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INSIGHT

Jeff Simon

Thorogood and the Destroyers embarked on their current tour back in February, and it doesn’t wrap up until late September. For longtime fans, the band promises surprises throughout the show, while those coming to see the band for the first time are advised to “bring (their) dancing shoes and prepare to be entertained,” says Simon. The band’s last studio album was 2120 South Michigan Ave., released in 2011, but Thorogood is releasing his very first solo album this August. Simon believes the solo album, entitled Party of One, will have nothing but a positive impact on the band, insisting it’s just something new for the fans to embrace. The band has no intention of slowing down anytime soon, Simon says. “We still have fun playing. Nobody’s talking about hanging it up. It amazes me to this day that we’ve been able to do it for this long,” he says. “It’s not something to be taken for granted. It’s what you dream about as a kid.” It’s no accident when a band succeeds as long as Thorogood and the Destroyers have, and Simon credits “a good mix and balance of personalities in the band.” Simon and Thorogood’s relationship dates back to childhood. “George’s house was less than a mile from our house. We’d play baseball every 8

cityscenecolumbus.com | July 2017

day and come back and listen to music at night,” Simon says. “I knew even back then that George had charisma. I just knew … that something was going to happen with him.” Simon’s youthful intuition was spot on, and as the years have passed, the band members have become more aware of the uniqueness of a music career spanning four decades. As a result, they find themselves wanting to give back. For their current tour, $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Additionally, the band has been involved with the Grammy Awards’ MusiCares Foundation, and Simon personally supports another cause he’s passionate about. “Most of the charity stuff that I do is focused on an arm of the Blues Foundation called the HART (Handy Artist Relief Trust) Fund,” he says. “They raise money and pay for medical and funeral expenses for blues musicians. It’s a cause that I’m really keen on.” The band has also embraced the digital music age. It employs a social media team to help reach fans and get the word out about it’s up to. Even the crew has gotten in on the act, with its own website dedicated to telling their story about life on the road with the band. The site, www.

tonightoncrew.com, is worth a visit simply to view the behind-the-scenes sound check videos. This August’s show will mark Thorogood and the Destroyers’ ninth visit to Columbus. The band’s first show here was in 1981 at the Agora Ballroom, which today is the Newport Music Hall. “It was the 22nd show of our 50/50 Tour,” Simon says. “We played all 50 states in 50 consecutive days. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We did get a lot of good publicity out of it.” That publicity led to popularity, and the band played shows in Columbus at the Mershon Auditorium, Newport Music Hall, Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium and Polaris Amphitheater over the years. It’s been eight years since the group last took the stage in Columbus, performing at the LC Pavilion, now Express Live!. “We’re thankful to be able to come visit Columbus again and hope everybody has a chance to come out and see us,” says Simon. “We’re looking forward to the show.” CS Bob Valasek is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at gbishop@cityscenemediagroup.com.

George Thorogood and the Destroyers with 38 Special 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 Celeste Center, Ohio Expo Center 717 E. 17th Ave. www.ohiostatefair.com

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R E L AT E D R E A D I N G

cityscenecolumbus.com ➜ State Fair homebrew winners ➜ State Fair baking winner ➜ 2013 fair performers the Isley Brothers

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Blissett Photography

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CityScene Magazine July 2017  
CityScene Magazine July 2017