ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 20, 2012
George Thorogood is a born entertainer. Even before he hits the stage to blast out his patented array of boogiefied blues classics he’ll try to get a reaction from folks anyway he can.
That’s what happened backstage before his gig at Coquitlam’s Red Robinson Show Theatre last night (May 19), at least. As soon as the 62-year-old Yank strolled out to meet a small assemblage of media and fans and pose for photos with them he started into a joke he’d handpicked for us Canucks that went something like this:
“So there’s this guy from Texas, and he wants to become a Canadian citizen. But in order to get his Canadian citizenship the officials tell him that he has to accomplish three tasks.
“The first task is to drink a full case of Canadian beer in one hour. The second is to fight a Canadian Grizzly bear. And the third is to make sweet, sweet love to a Canadian woman.
“So they bring in the case of beer and the Texan guzzles the whole thing down in 60 minutes, no problem. Then he leaves and they don’t see him again until the next day, when he staggers back into the office with his clothes torn to shreds, huge scratches all over his face, and bloodstains on his pants.
“The guy’s half dead, and he can barely move, but he makes his way over to the officials and says: ‘Okay, now where’s that Canadian woman you want me to fight?’ ”
Maybe you had to be there when George said it. Or maybe it’s not the biggest gutbuster you’ve heard all day. The good news is that, after some 40 years in the boogie biz, Thorogood isn’t planning on a career move into comedy anyway.
As he proved in front of a near sell-out crowd last night, his rowdy reworkings of old blues, rock, and roots gems by John Lee Hooker (“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”), Bo Diddley (“Who Do You Love”), Chuck Berry (“Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller”), and Hank Williams (“Move It On Over”) can still get people moving.
Of course, it helps that he’s still got the same rhythm section–drummer Jeff Simon and bassist Billy Blough–that’s been barrelling along with him since ’77. Add in the blustery sax blasts of Buddy Leach and the top-notch rhythm-guitar of Jim Suhler and it’s pretty hard to see how old Georgie Boy could go wrong.
Still can’t decide if seeing Thorogood in the ‘burbs last night was worth missing out on the Ramblin’ Ambassadors down at Vancouver’s Fairview Pub, though. That Brent J. Cooper is quite the entertainer himself, I understand.