MarkHoran.Pictures was sent out by MNPR Magazine on assignment to The Villages, Florida Wednesday October 17, 2017. No they are not retiring me, it was to cover George Thorogood and The Destroyers at The Sharon Morse Performing Arts Center. I arrived two hours before showtime and had trouble finding a place to park. The theater is in a shopping complex next to Florida’s largest retirement community, and the lobby was packed around the bar as the cocktail party was in full swing. Sharon Morse Performing Arts Center seats 1000 guests and security said 4/5th of the three-level theater would be filled. The seating was comfortable and well accommodating to an older crowd.
I first saw George Thorogood and The Destroyers in 1977 opening for The Rolling Stones in front of 80,000 frenzied fans on a hot summer afternoon. Things have changed since then, we are all a little older. George is fighting father time, but he is kicking and screaming and not going quietly at age 68. It was my seventh Destroyers show, and I have never been disappointed, George always gives every ounce of energy whether it’s in front of 150 fans in an intimate setting, or 80,000 in a stadium show.
The show opened with an empty stage, blue lights and the playing of Barry McGuire’s 1965 protest theme “Eve of Destruction”. At the end of the song the band entered the stage and George walked up to the microphone “How Sweet It Is”. Then he exploded for an hour and a half of rock/rhythm and blues rattling the rafters. George played with the crowd between songs with his usual banter, and the crowd responded with longer standing ovations as the show progressed. It’s not easy to sit in plush theater seats when you need to boogie in the isles.
For over forty years, George Thorogood and The Destroyers haven’t slowed down, averaging over 100 shows a year. Notably, and to my knowledge, they are the only band ever to do a 50/50 tour. In 1981, The Destroyers performed in all 50 states in 50 days, traveling the lower 48 in a 1979 Checker Cab driving over 11,200 miles. Their commitment to their fans has never subsided. If you love Rock N Roll, you owe it to yourself to go out and see George Thorogood and the Destroyers, “Live”, there is no comparison.
“How Sweet It Is!”
George Thorogood – Vocals/Guitar
Jeff Simon – Drums
Bill (The Doctor) Blough – Bass
Jim Shuler – Guitar
Buddy Leach - Sax
8. Cocaine Blues (Johnny Cash Cover)
9. Gear Jammer
10. Get a Haircut
11. Bad to the Bone
12. Twenty Dollar Gig
14. Born to Be Bad