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George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Blues Rock Group

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 George Thorogood & The Destroyers Biography

2120 South Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago's Chess Records, may be the most important address in the bloodline of the blues and rock 'n' roll.

That address -- immortalized in the Rolling Stones' like-named instrumental, recorded at an epochal session at Chess in June 1964 and included on the band's album "12 X 5" -- serves as the title to George Thorogood's electrifying Capitol/EMI salute to the Chess label and its immortal artists.

Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009's "The Dirty Dozen." On "2120 South Michigan Avenue," he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics.

The album also includes original tributes to the Windy City and Chess' crucial songwriter-producer-bassist Willie Dixon, penned by Thorogood, producer Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming, plus a cranked-up version of the Stones' titular instrumental.

Chess Records had been making musical history for a decade before it moved into its offices on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Windy City's record business district, in 1957. Leonard and Phil Chess, sons of a Polish immigrant family and South Side nightclub operators, bought into a new independent label called Aristocrat Records in 1947. The brothers bought out their partners in 1950 and gave the label the family name; by that time, they had racked up blues hits by Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, and St. Louis Jimmy.

Chess' studio spawned timeless '50s and '60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin' Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Thorogood recalls, "I remember as a teenager reading about Mick Jagger meeting Keith Richards on a train. Jagger had a Chuck Berry record, and he said he wrote to Chess Records and got a catalog sent to him. Just out of curiosity, I took out one of my Chess records, got the address, and I wrote to Chess Records. And they sent me a catalog of the complete Chess library, and I started buying up these Chess records. I bought every single one of them I could possibly get.

"And I remember reading the backs of those Chess records and seeing the address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and I said, 'That's the same address as the Rolling Stones' instrumental!' And I started putting one and one together and coming up with a big two."

Over time, Chess' catalog and artists became the sources of Thorogood's higher education in music. "That was my school, the college that I had to learn my trade in," he says. "I had to figure out how these people did these things."

The new album also celebrates the performers who shared stages with Thorogood and the Destroyers and encouraged them when they were just coming up on the East Coast blues scene.

He says, "The people who helped me out were all the guys in Muddy Waters' band, all the guys in Howlin' Wolf's band. They were wonderful to me, and they wanted to help me. They saw what I was trying to do."

"2120 South Michigan Avenue" isn't just Thorogood's salute to a great record label -- it also pays homage to the tough, larger-than-life men who made the music.

"It was a lifestyle as well as an art form, as far as music goes," Thorogood notes. "They were singing about what their life was like on a daily basis. Sonny Boy Williamson and Wolf and Muddy Waters -- they didn't think they were the baddest cats in the world, they knew they were the baddest cats in the world. They had to be, or they wouldn't have survived. There's nothing glamorous in it -- that's just the facts. They had to fight their way through on a daily basis just to keep their heads above water. That's very clear in a lot of their songs."

Some of the songs from the Chess catalog heard on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" were staples of the Destroyers' live repertoire; Thorogood says, "A lot of the things I recorded I was doing 25 or 30 years ago, and I had stopped doing them."

He adds that since many Chess recordings have become linchpins of the rock and blues repertoire, both on record and in concert, some careful winnowing had to be done for the album: "We did a lot of research and said, 'Wait a minute, the Rolling Stones did that song, John Hammond did that song.'"

Producer Tom Hambridge is the ideal collaborator for "2120 South Michigan Avenue." A veteran of tours with Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, the Drifters, and other stars, Hambridge won a 2010 Grammy for his work on Buddy Guy's "Living Proof," and wrote the album's Guy-B.B. King duet "Stay Around a Little Longer." He received Grammy nominations for Guy's "Skin Deep" (2008), Johnny Winter's "I'm a Bluesman" (2004), and Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" (1998). He also fronts his own band, Tom Hambridge & the Rattlesnakes.

The special guests on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" sport direct connections to Chess and Chicago's blues scene. Guitarist Buddy Guy made his Chess label debut 51 years ago.

Thorogood remembers, "I went to [the Austin blues club] Antone's for the first time in 1977, and I saw Buddy Guy play. It was the first time I saw him, and I never forgot that he led off with [Chess artist Tommy Tucker's] 'High Heeled Sneakers.' I thought that was just unbelievable. Buddy just tore it apart, like he does everything -- that's his style."

Through the entire project, Thorogood and the Destroyers attempted to put their own distinctive spin on the Chess material while maintaining fidelity to the originals' attack.

"When you do Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, when you play Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, there's no experimenting," Thorogood explains. "That's a religion, and you've gotta do it right."

The historic music heard on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" didn't merely change George Thorogood's life, as he himself notes.

"It's not a musical phenomenon, it's a social phenomenon. The man who created rock 'n' roll was Chuck Berry, and he listened to Muddy Waters. Bo Diddley went to the same school and listened to the same people. Rock 'n' roll changed the whole world. That never would have happened if it hadn't been for Chess Records. It's the source of the whole thing."

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  • HOW TO BOOK George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like George Thorogood & The Destroyers for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for George Thorogood & The Destroyers, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for George Thorogood & The Destroyers or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    Booking fees for George Thorogood & The Destroyers, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire George Thorogood & The Destroyers, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like George Thorogood & The Destroyers for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book George Thorogood & The Destroyers for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent George Thorogood & The Destroyers or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for George Thorogood & The Destroyers or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Blues Rock Group

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George Thorogood & The Destroyers Biography

2120 South Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago's Chess Records, may be the most important address in the bloodline of the blues and rock 'n' roll.

That address -- immortalized in the Rolling Stones' like-named instrumental, recorded at an epochal session at Chess in June 1964 and included on the band's album "12 X 5" -- serves as the title to George Thorogood's electrifying Capitol/EMI salute to the Chess label and its immortal artists.

Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009's "The Dirty Dozen." On "2120 South Michigan Avenue," he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics.

The album also includes original tributes to the Windy City and Chess' crucial songwriter-producer-bassist Willie Dixon, penned by Thorogood, producer Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming, plus a cranked-up version of the Stones' titular instrumental.

Chess Records had been making musical history for a decade before it moved into its offices on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Windy City's record business district, in 1957. Leonard and Phil Chess, sons of a Polish immigrant family and South Side nightclub operators, bought into a new independent label called Aristocrat Records in 1947. The brothers bought out their partners in 1950 and gave the label the family name; by that time, they had racked up blues hits by Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, and St. Louis Jimmy.

Chess' studio spawned timeless '50s and '60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin' Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

Thorogood recalls, "I remember as a teenager reading about Mick Jagger meeting Keith Richards on a train. Jagger had a Chuck Berry record, and he said he wrote to Chess Records and got a catalog sent to him. Just out of curiosity, I took out one of my Chess records, got the address, and I wrote to Chess Records. And they sent me a catalog of the complete Chess library, and I started buying up these Chess records. I bought every single one of them I could possibly get.

"And I remember reading the backs of those Chess records and seeing the address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and I said, 'That's the same address as the Rolling Stones' instrumental!' And I started putting one and one together and coming up with a big two."

Over time, Chess' catalog and artists became the sources of Thorogood's higher education in music. "That was my school, the college that I had to learn my trade in," he says. "I had to figure out how these people did these things."

The new album also celebrates the performers who shared stages with Thorogood and the Destroyers and encouraged them when they were just coming up on the East Coast blues scene.

He says, "The people who helped me out were all the guys in Muddy Waters' band, all the guys in Howlin' Wolf's band. They were wonderful to me, and they wanted to help me. They saw what I was trying to do."

"2120 South Michigan Avenue" isn't just Thorogood's salute to a great record label -- it also pays homage to the tough, larger-than-life men who made the music.

"It was a lifestyle as well as an art form, as far as music goes," Thorogood notes. "They were singing about what their life was like on a daily basis. Sonny Boy Williamson and Wolf and Muddy Waters -- they didn't think they were the baddest cats in the world, they knew they were the baddest cats in the world. They had to be, or they wouldn't have survived. There's nothing glamorous in it -- that's just the facts. They had to fight their way through on a daily basis just to keep their heads above water. That's very clear in a lot of their songs."

Some of the songs from the Chess catalog heard on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" were staples of the Destroyers' live repertoire; Thorogood says, "A lot of the things I recorded I was doing 25 or 30 years ago, and I had stopped doing them."

He adds that since many Chess recordings have become linchpins of the rock and blues repertoire, both on record and in concert, some careful winnowing had to be done for the album: "We did a lot of research and said, 'Wait a minute, the Rolling Stones did that song, John Hammond did that song.'"

Producer Tom Hambridge is the ideal collaborator for "2120 South Michigan Avenue." A veteran of tours with Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, the Drifters, and other stars, Hambridge won a 2010 Grammy for his work on Buddy Guy's "Living Proof," and wrote the album's Guy-B.B. King duet "Stay Around a Little Longer." He received Grammy nominations for Guy's "Skin Deep" (2008), Johnny Winter's "I'm a Bluesman" (2004), and Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" (1998). He also fronts his own band, Tom Hambridge & the Rattlesnakes.

The special guests on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" sport direct connections to Chess and Chicago's blues scene. Guitarist Buddy Guy made his Chess label debut 51 years ago.

Thorogood remembers, "I went to [the Austin blues club] Antone's for the first time in 1977, and I saw Buddy Guy play. It was the first time I saw him, and I never forgot that he led off with [Chess artist Tommy Tucker's] 'High Heeled Sneakers.' I thought that was just unbelievable. Buddy just tore it apart, like he does everything -- that's his style."

Through the entire project, Thorogood and the Destroyers attempted to put their own distinctive spin on the Chess material while maintaining fidelity to the originals' attack.

"When you do Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, when you play Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, there's no experimenting," Thorogood explains. "That's a religion, and you've gotta do it right."

The historic music heard on "2120 South Michigan Avenue" didn't merely change George Thorogood's life, as he himself notes.

"It's not a musical phenomenon, it's a social phenomenon. The man who created rock 'n' roll was Chuck Berry, and he listened to Muddy Waters. Bo Diddley went to the same school and listened to the same people. Rock 'n' roll changed the whole world. That never would have happened if it hadn't been for Chess Records. It's the source of the whole thing."

George Thorogood & The Destroyers Videos

  • George Thorogood And The Destroyers - I Drink Alone
  • GEORGE THOROGOOD "Bad To The Bone"
  • George Thorogood and The Destroyers "2120 South Michigan Avenue"

FAQs on booking George Thorogood & The Destroyers

  • How to book George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like George Thorogood & The Destroyers for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for George Thorogood & The Destroyers, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for George Thorogood & The Destroyers or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    Booking fees for George Thorogood & The Destroyers, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire George Thorogood & The Destroyers, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for George Thorogood & The Destroyers?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like George Thorogood & The Destroyers for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book George Thorogood & The Destroyers for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent George Thorogood & The Destroyers or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for George Thorogood & The Destroyers or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book George Thorogood & The Destroyers for your event is $100,000 - $200,000. George Thorogood & The Destroyers generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Don Felder, Styx, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, 38 Special and Grace VanderWaal. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling George Thorogood & The Destroyers for an upcoming live or virtual event.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers Speaker Videos

  • George Thorogood And The Destroyers - I Drink Alone
    GEORGE THOROGOOD "Bad To The Bone"
  • George Thorogood and The Destroyers "2120 South Michigan Avenue"

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Speakers Similar to George Thorogood & The Destroyers

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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