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- Posted on Jun 10th 2010 12:30PM by Jason MacNeil
But it seems nobody told Thorogood that.
"No, I never made any plans like that ever," Thorogood tells Spinner prior to a show at Toronto's Massey Hall. "We plan on making another album right now as we speak. It has a certain concept but I can't really elaborate more on it because it's still very much in its infant stage. It might not materialize at all and then I would look foolish giving you information about something that's not going to happen."
"You prepare, I mean I've had many projects that I prepared for but just never came through," he continues. "That's just the way it goes, that's just the way this business is. And that's what we're doing now. It would be a different type of thing than what we've done in the past. When you're doing it you're going at it and the way things are now and the way the system is set up you don't know what could be coming next."
The latest album was a combination of new material with a half-dozen revamped favorites. Of the new tracks, Thorogood is particularly pleased with 'Drop Down Mama,' one of the songs blending in well in concert with warhorses like 'Bad to the Bone' and 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.'
"The band was playing it and I just went out and started singing these lyrics to it," he explains. "It was something they were playing already and I said, 'These lyrics fit with this arrangement you guys are playing.' So it gives us another song and it gives us something different. It's not a regular shuffle or a Chuck Berry-type of thing or Bo Diddley, which we've been doing a lot."
Although Thorogood says he was initially influenced by bands like Steppenwolf, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, his "fundamentals on guitar" were inspired by Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson.
He also says though that compared to starting out when he did in the late '60s and early '70s, up-and-coming bands today have a much tougher time breaking in.
"When I started playing, the guitar was very in vogue at that time," he says. "The Allman Brothers were going big with Duane Allman on slide guitar, Bonnie Raitt was making a mark for herself; Ry Cooder, Elvin Bishop, Johnny Winter. So with what I was doing people were hiring me almost immediately. There was a market for me and I knew exactly what my market was and what I was heading for.
"There are about 15 million people trying to play music now and the competition is just ridiculous. I mean I don't know how you watch a band anymore. In those days you'd go to [famed promoter] Bill Graham and say, 'Yeah, I got a hot band' and he knew you wouldn't be lying to him. He'd put you on to open for the Allman Brothers right off the street. I saw that happen, it happened to me. I was playing, somebody saw me and they said, 'Hey do you want to open for Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. I said, 'Sure I do' and bam, there I was."
As for the future, Thorogood quickly dismisses ideas about possibly writing an autobiography as well as playing one of his earlier albums in its entirety on tour. One notion which seems a distinct possibility is releasing a box set containing previously unreleased material.
"We talk about it all the time and if it becomes a reality that would be great," he says. "You know every artist does it at a certain time -- Johnny Winter put one out, Eric Clapton put one out and Rod Stewart put one out. You know, hopefully at some point."
Thorogood also says he would like to hit a few places he hasn't played yet, including Russia, Spain, Portugal and South America. But Canada definitely holds a warm spot in his heart.
"There's never been a bad tour of Canada, don't you know that?" he says with a laugh. "It's probably our strongest market outside of the United States. This tour ends in Montreal, but we've been to Halifax, we've been to Moncton, we were in Prince John...Prince Albert -- all of the Princes we've been to.
"It's all good -- it's better to have a bad day in rock and roll than a good day at the morgue."
And one last question: considering it's a song title on The Dirty Dozen, when was Thorogood's last twenty-dollar gig?
"Probably tomorrow," he says. "It's been a while, let me tell you."