George Thorogood has never been to Lodi. After discovering that he'll be the first performer at the Grape Bowl in 31 years, he's a little nervous. "Where do people play?" he asked, confused.
Rest assured, the bad boy who is secretive, tidy and a little quiet, promises Lodi will experience pure rock 'n' roll next week when his band's tour buses roll into Lodi.
The George Thorogood & The Destroyers concert is not only a preview to the new album, "Dirty Dozen" that will be released July 28, but a rebirth of the Grape Bowl, which hasn't experienced the lights and sounds and commotion of a concert since Foreigner performed in 1978.
Though he says he's in his fifties or sixties, Thorogood is still all about the music, and little else. Here, Thorogood talks about his disinterest in food and explains why he listens to the Jonas Brothers.
Q: What were you think about when you wrote "Bad to the Bone" in 1981?
A: Well, I was on a tour with the Rolling Stones and I noticed every time the Stones broke into "Honky Tonk Woman," there would be a loud verbal response from the audience. I thought to myself, you better come up with a tune soon or five years from now, people are going to say, "Remember that George Thorogood guy?" It happened very quickly.
Q: What does it feel like when your standing on stage and staring out to an audience?
A: It depends on where I am. It could be 110 degrees and you're playing in the middle of cabbage field (or it could be a nice venue). It feels a hell of a lot better than sticking (something) sharp in my eye.
Q: Do you still enjoy what you do?
A: More than ever.
Q: What do you miss most from the good ol' days of music?
A: These are the good ol' days. If there were good ol' days, I would have stopped . . . Things were a lot more freeer then. It was a very small but concentrated music. That was market I was targeting for. Now, it's a big huge corporate thing. It's gotten very cold over the years.
Q: What music do you listen to?
A: I don't really listen to any. I don't really have the time. When I'm out on the road it's music, music, music. I listen to what my daughter (Rio, 11) listens to. She likes the Jonas Brothers and Jack Johnson.
Q: You and the band tour by bus. Can you describe the scene?
A: The guys all have their own bus. I travel in a seperate one. I try to keep it as quiet and as clean as possible.
Q: What's your favorite food?
A: I don't really have one. I'm not really big on eating anyway. Free is always good.
Q: What's something only your friends know about you?
A: You'll have to ask them. My wife and daughter are friends. (Others are) business associates.
Q: Have you been to Lodi, or do you know anything about the area?
A: I've never been there . . . Bruce springteen plays at the Superbowl and I play at the Grape Bowl.
Q: Who was your major musical influence, either now or when you were growing up?
A: Blues. It's tough to whittle it down to one (musician). When I was a kid i was heavy into the Rolling Stones.
Q: What is your all-time favorite song and why?
A: I like "Beautiful Dreamer" by Stephen Foster. It's beautiful.
Q: Do you get tired of playing "Bad to the Bone?"
A: No. When you do this thing (for a career), you have a vision of what you want to do for the rest of your life and you write signature songs for that purpose.
Q: At what age did you know you wanted to be the George Thorogood? Why?
A: Fifteen or 16. I couldn't hit, run or throw so the big leagues were out . . . All that's left was music.
Q: If you had one pick, would you describe yourself as "thorough" or "good?"
A: Probably the first. The second is a matter of luck or a coincidence.
Q: If you had to choose, would it be one bourbon, one scotch or one beer?
A: I wouldn't choose any. It's really early in the morning.
Q: What's the favorite part of your job?
Q: When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
A: A comic, a stand-up comic.
Q: Who are your favorite comedians?
A: Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen.
Q: What do you like to wear when you're on stage? Any signature piece?
A: Something comfortable.
Q: Do you wear anything personal or a good luck charm?
A: Occassionally. It wouldn't be personal if I told.
Q: What's your most prized possession
A: My health.
Q: Good health is good. How old are you?
A: I'm 50 or 60.
Q: Is there anyone you want to perform with that you haven't?
A: Sir Paul McCartney - who else? That was the name of the album, "Meet the Beatles," right? I've been waiting. I ain't cheap, but I could be had.
Q: What else do you want people to know about your or your Lodi concert?
A: It's (going to be) the best rock live show they've ever seen in their life - or else why else do it?
All you need to know about the concert at the Grape BowlLocation: 221 Lawrence Ave.
Parking: There will be lots for $10 and street parking.
Seating: All seats are general admission on the lawn. Best seats will be first come, first serve.
Blankets: Bring your own blankets to sit on.
Chairs: Chairs will not be provided, but you can bring your own if they meet measurement requirements: seats must be lower than 12 inches to the ground, and the back of the chair must be lower than 32 inches from the ground.
Ice chests: Are not allowed, nor is your own food or water.
Food available: Tri-tip, hot dogs, veggie burgers, hamburgers, nachos, etc.
Alcohol: Beer and wine will be available.
Tickets sold so far: 700
Expected ticket sales: 2,000; the venue can accomodate up to 7,000 people.
Buy tickets: $29, plus small fee from http://www.loditickets.com">www.loditickets.com.
VIP tickets: $100 gets you into a VIP tent with preferred seating and hospitality.
Where to buy: At the door to the concert or at the Hutchins Street Square box office, 125 S. Hutchins St.
Recommendations: Dress comfortably, bring seating and don't wear shoes with heels.
Opening act - Lee RockerSolo bassist, singer and songwriter Lee Rocker will open July 24 for George Thorogood & The Destroyers at the Grape Bowl.
With the Stray Cats in the early 1980s, Rocker is credited to reintroducing rockabily to a mass audience, and also for adding a passion and vibrance to a music that in itself is known for getting people up and dancing.
With the Stray Cats, Rocker headlined New York haunts like CBCG's and Max's Kansas City.
Rocker's solo career took off in 1994 with the release of "Big Blue."
He began taking classical cello lessons at the age of 8 and initially hated them. Soon after, he picked up the electric bass and mastered the instrument.
Follow GeorgeMyspace: http://www.myspace.com/georgethorogood">www.myspace.com/georgethorogood
Web site: http://www.georgethorogood.com">www.georgethorogood.com