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 5th 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.”