BAD TO THE BONE was formed in the summer of 1993 by singer/guitarist Gator James and has been going strong ever since. Based in Oshawa, Ontario, this band is the only authentic George Thorogood to tribute band playing across North American, and they continue to attract and entertain audiences from coast to coast. The band has shared stages with many well-known recording artists over the years, for example: April Wine, Kim Mitchell, David Wilcox, Georgia Satellites, Sass Jordan, and many others.
On Saturday September 16th, they join other great tribute bands [The SRV Experience, Thunderstruck, Bon Jovi Forever and Southern Fried] along with host Kenny Robinson, the award-winning comedian and tv personality, t0 play Durham’s 1st Annual Rock Tribute Festival presented by Sunrise Concerts (details below). I recently chatted with Bad to the Bone frontman and founder Gator James about life on the road portraying the rock/blues icon….What first inspired you to sing/play guitar like George Thorogood? I was doing “I Drink Alone” with a band I was touring with in the 80’s and when I came off the road and decided to put together a tribute band, one of the other members said my playing style and voice sounded a lot like him. So, we learned a few more songs and it really clicked.
Was rock/blues your first passion or were you a closet disco lover? I’ve played many styles of music from classic rock to jazz, rhythm and blues to progressive rock. I always gravitated to music that makes you feel like moving and Thorogood fit the bill for me.
What keeps you (and the band) on the road and performing for the fans? The feeling we get when we rock our audience and turn new fans onto George Thorogood.Have you ever met George, and if so, what was your first comment/question to him? I contacted Thorogood’s manager when I was forming the band and told him I would like to meet George to have him authenticate my poster when he was in Toronto. His manager told me George doesn’t like tributes so he said George probably would not comply. A few years later I got invited by a sound tech friend of mine to help him with staging at Toronto’s Government nightclub when George was playing there and I hung out with his guitar tech all day. I watched sound check and was even able to offer help as a stagehand during his show….. but was unable to get to him due to security. But at least he does know about us.
Apart from the September 16th gig in Oshawa, what other shows have you booked in the coming months…any Christmas or NYE concerts we should mark in our calendars? All our festival shows are done for the summer and we only have a couple of club dates as I am busy with my other band The Gator James Band. But we’re definitely waiting on calls for more Bad to the Bone dates.
You can follow Gator and the band via their website: badtothebone.ca and their Facebook Group Page.
Durham’s 1st Annual Rock Tribute Festival
Saturday Sept, 16th (doors open 5pm)
General Sikorski Hall, 1551 Stevenson Rd N, Oshawa
Tickets are available from: www.ticketpro.ca