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In an era just before the rise of cable tv, my family was watching what must have been one of the first pay-per-view tv events in history.  It was 1981 and my dad was cool enough to pay an extra fee so we could watch the opening night of The Rolling Stones 1981 American Tour – all from the comfort of our home.  As a young kid eagerly watching this special music event, the opening act immediately grabs my attention. This unfamiliar young dude with a raspy voice, loud snarling guitar, swagger and attitude, is running all over the massive stage in front of 100,000 people kicking ass with a familiar but heavier sounding Chuck Berry early 50’s blues rock style. Pleased at what I was witnessing I shouted, “Who the hell is this guy?” It was George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers (GT&D), and I was all in! 

The following year Thorogood made his breakthrough with the release of his fifth studio album, Bad to the Bone,  and the rest is history.  Thorogood’s music became a widely popular staple of 80’s rock radio and remains popular today on classic rock stations and is frequently blasted over the PA to fire up crowds at sporting events.  With 15 million albums sold, including two platinum and six gold albums, and four decades of relentless touring, the legendary GT&D aren’t slowing down anytime soon.  They rock and rolled their way into San Diego this week on their 2021 “Good to Be Bad” tour.  In one of those surreal life moments, 40 years after I first saw Thorogood on pay-per-view and instantly became a fan, I now found myself just a few feet away taking photographs as George and the boys launched into their high-energy show at Humphreys by the Bay

With a sold-out crowd likely warmed up with help of friends Jack Daniels and partner Jim Beam, Thorogood took the stage and declared, “How sweet it is!” and got the night started with the appropriate tune “Rock Party” – and it sure was!  A smiling upbeat Thorogood enjoyed bantering throughout the night with his familiar bad boy humor; “We’re gonna do some nasty things tonight, some very bad things!”, he proclaimed laughing.  The GT&D show is just non-stop fun rock n’ roll at its best - “Who Do You Love”, “I Drink Alone”, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, “Gear Jammer” (my fav), “Move it on Over” and of course “Bad to the Bone”.  Go see this show!  Thorogood’s delivers a hit after hit foot tapping boogie-woogie blues rock dancing in the aisle good time!  

Rock on and be well!

Greg Vitalich


Greg Vitalich

Photojournalist - San Diego

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