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Thorogood returns to First State for show at The Grand

Aaron Rapoport

George Thorogood is coming home to Delaware. The 1968 Brandywine High School graduate plays Tuesday at The Grand Opera House in his hometown of Wilmington.

Thorogood has fond memories of growing up in the First State, including playing his first ever gig with his band the Destroyers at the University of Delaware.  The band’s long time drummer Jeff Simon booked their inaugural show at Lane Hall, a dormitory on UD’s Newark campus.

“Unbeknownst to me, I didn’t even own an electric guitar at the time,” says Thorogood. “And he booked this gig. I had just gotten back in town. I was in Florida, playing some gigs down there as a soloist and I got back to Delaware and Jeff Simon says you better be home, we’ve got a gig Saturday night and I go, ‘Saturday Night!, I don’t even have an electric guitar’ and he says, ‘well then get one.”

The Brandywine Hundred native and the band then honed their Delta blues influenced rock and roll, performing club gigs in Philadelphia. Thorogood’s 1977 self-titled debut consisted mainly of blues cover songs, most notably, a Thorogood fan favorite, John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer.”
By 1982,  George Thorogood was writing his own songs with the release of his biggest hit, “Bad to the Bone,” an album that stayed on the Billboard music charts for a full year.  The song has since been used in countless movies and TV shows and is even the inspiration behind Thorogood’s new clothing line.

Two platinum and six gold records later, the musician is excited to be coming back to the First State and cites a high school librarian at Brandywine High as particular influence.

“You know this was a time when men were just starting to grow their hair long, the world was changing and I was one of those kind of people. I wasn’t real conservative. This man was really encouraging to me to say you know, you have to be yourself George, you’re going to go on to do what it is you’re going to do but you can just start by having confidence in yourself.”

George Thorogood plays the Grand Opera House in Wilmington Tuesday. For ticket information visit The Grand's website.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.