George Thorogood and the Destroyers are playing at the Akwesasne Concert Grounds Saturday, July 31, and tickets are going fast.

Special guests are the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

VIP tickets are $40 in American funds and $42 Canadian, while general-admission seats are $25 American and $27 Canadian.

Tickets may be obtained in person at AK Gas and Tobacco, 1569 Route 37 in Akwesasne or by credit card at 358-9335.

The concert is sponsored by Jacobs Manufacturing, which successfully applied to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council Compliance Office for a mass-gathering permit to hold the performances at Akwesasne.

Compliance Officer Elliot Lazore said 3,600 to 4,000 people are expected at the show and that all of the emergency-medical personnel, fire departments and the Tribal Police Department are involved to protect the public.

"This is a family event, and we want everyone to enjoy it and be safe," he said.

Thorogood's group stepped onto the blues-music scene in 1974, recording their self-titled debut album in 1977.

It contained "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer," their popular cover of a Rudy Toombs song that was a hit for John Lee Hooker.

A year later, the band released "Move It On Over," and they hit stardom on the strength of the title track, a cover of the Hank Williams tune, and a version of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?"

In between musical gigs, Thorogood had started a successful career as a semi-pro second baseman and was named Rookie of the Year in his league, according to a Wikipedia entry.

But the stellar guitarist had to give up the ball and glove for good when the songs and album continued climbing the charts.

It was four years of touring and another studio album for the band until 1982, when he and the Destroyers released "Bad to the Bone" a year after MTV was launched.

The wildly popular and heavily played video featured Bo Diddley and Thorogood in a tense poolroom contest decided in the end by a fortuitous flick of cigar ashes.

In 1985, Thorogood and Co. was back on top with the bar-room anthem "I Drink Alone" off the album "Maverick."

Ten more album releases have come since then, with a hit here and there, such as "Get a Haircut" in 1993.

The band is touring in support of "The Dirty Dozen," released last summer, which includes six new studio recordings, fan favorites and out-of-print songs not available in the United States.

E-mail Denise A. Raymo at: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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