Melvins' 'Record-Breaking' Tour May Not Be, After All

George Thorogood's reps say his 1981 trip - 51 states in 50 days - came first

September 25, 2012 2:05 PM ET
Buzz Osborne of the Melvins
Buzz Osborne of the Melvins
Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

In 1981, one of rock's hardest-touring acts, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, set a record by playing 51 shows in 50 days (and in the process, playing a show in each state). Recently, another group of perennial road dogs, the Melvins, have set out to break Thorogood's record, by launching what is being billed as "50 States + D.C. in 51 Days Record Breaker Fall U.S. Tour."

However, it appears Melvins growler/guitarist Buzz Osborne may have been fed some false information, as he has been quoted in the Anchorage Daily News as saying, "When I was a fan of George Thorogood in 1980 when he tried to do it, I remember him specifically not doing it."

Now the longtime manager for George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Mike Donahue, is offering to set the record straight. "There are a multitude of promoters and press people who can verify they did complete the tour [in 1981], and, in fact, took one day off, then went on tour with the Rolling Stones for five days. In fact, the band completed 10 days with the Rolling Stones less than a week before kicking off their 50/50 tour."

The Melvins (who are touring in support of their 18th studio album, Freak Puke), launched their tour on September 5 th in Anchorage, Alaska, and will wrap it up on October 25th in Honolulu.

When Thorogood and company set the original record in 1981, they did so by traveling to shows in a Checker Taxi. It was a year before the band released what would become their best-known tune (and an early MTV favorite), "Bad to the Bone."

Thorogood has supposedly wished the Melvins luck towards their modern-day road marathon, but Donahue offers a parting pointer: "They’ll have to do it in 50 days, not 51, just to tie the record set by George Thorogood and the Destroyers in 1981."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »