Rock 'n' roller George Thorogood, having built his music around the basics, will take to the road soon with a schedule that would destroy a less energetic spirit: he'll perform in 50 states in 50 days, driving between 200 and 500 miles a day in a carefully orchestrated tour that will bring him to Washington for an afternoon concert on Nov. 25; he'll perform in Baltimore later that night. Method of transportation: plane between Hawaii and Alaska; the rest of the journey will be made in a converted Checker cab with sleeping space. No, the meter won't be running, but Thorogood may have to change the name of the band from the Destroyers to the Destroyed.

The idea for the grueling tour came from a friend, and, Thorogood admits, "it didn't quite sink in at first." There also will be a long-awaited live album on A Major Record Label (the name of his own new record company). In the meantime, Thorogood is warming up for his "50/50" tour by opening nine concerts for the Rolling Stones, including two shows this weekend at the 90,000 JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, a break in Thorogood's long-standing policy of not playing in halls holding more than 2,000 people. "There's always an exception to every rule," he laughs, "and that's been the Rolling Stones mystique all along -- they're the exception to the rule." Did he think twice about such a big jump? "What do you think?"