Thursday, January 27, 2011

Busker strikes right chord with rocker out for a stroll

CHRIS SKELTON/The Dominion Post
A busker who gave a scorching live performance to an audience of two in Lambton Quay was "awestruck" to find one of them was rocker George Thorogood – who was so impressed he gave the guitarist free tickets to his concert.

Joe Murphy, 19, of Tawa, was playing in his regular spot outside Whitcoulls on Tuesday when two men stopped to listen.

He strummed BB King's The Thrill is Gone and Santana's Black Magic Woman before one of the men approached him.

"He came up and said, 'Hi, I'm George Thorogood,' and I said, 'Hi, I'm Joe, how's it going?'.

"He said, 'Do you know who I am?' and I said, 'No', then he said, 'We play that song Bad to the Bone."'

Blues rocker Thorogood complimented him on his musicianship and asked why he was playing in the street. The former New Zealand School of Music student replied that it was hard to make a living as a musician.

Thorogood then invited him to the Wellington concert he was playing with Joe Cocker that night, handed him an American dollar bill and strolled off, along with his minder.

George Thorogood
"He was pretty chilled out. I didn't know who he was, but I knew he was either rich or famous or both, because they have that kind of swagger about them," Mr Murphy said.

"They were listening quite intently, which is cool – not many people stop by and actually take the time. I was stoked that anyone would do that, but it was pretty awesome that it was George Thorogood."

Dad John Murphy, who was the lucky recipient of the second ticket, thought it hilarious his son did not recognise the 60-year-old rocker, who has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

John Murphy said: "When I got home he said, 'Dad, this guy supported Santana, he's huge!"'

George Thorogood and Joe Cocker are set to play the Bowl of Brooklands, here in New Plymouth on Friday the 28th of January. So if your a busker and want a free tickets I would suggest One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer or you can leave your hat on.

Until next time keep rockin'
The 0800 Jukebox crew.

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