I'm 40, and when I was ten years old, I really did get cat scratch fever! My oldest brother, who is now 54, had the double 33 vinyl albums. I was sick for a month, doc thought I had rabies. The glands in my arm pits got big enough that they thought they were going to have to lance em'. After, I finally got better, I shot that cat with my 45lb. recurve and rabbit blunt on the end of a broken wooden arrow my dad had shot into a tree. He didn't scratch anybody else. Later, my brother said, "You got the cat scratch fever! duh duh duh! So I introduced, everybody I Have Ever met, to the live albums. Found out later that Ted has archery in his blood. I really used to love to hear him say he blew the balls off of a charging rhino at 50 paces. That song really was my Favorite. Ted really speaks of the indians, and we love to search for indian arrows at local fields here in Winston-salem, N.C. I wish he would come hang with some true blood brothers like us. Oh! almost forgot, I would jump all over the hunting room of the house listening to those albums, playing those songs so much, I scratched my brothers album from bouncing. It is a wonder I'm still here.... lots of love ted, ToddB.
Submitted November 29, 2011
Ted Nugent isn’t interested in your feelings or the turmoil in the Middle East. Sweaty Teddy is only concerned with rocking your face off, and that’s exactly what Double Live Gonzo accomplishes.
Released in 1978 at the height of Nugent’s fame, Gonzo is pure adrenaline from start to finish. There are no political statements or tender moments, just wide open rock and roll. Featuring most of Nugent’s radio hits — “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Stranglehold” and the guitar masterpiece “Great White Buffalo” — the live versions on Gonzo kick the mud out of the tame by comparison studio versions. Nugent’s solo on “Stranglehold” is an example of perfect guitar playing.
The other star of the album is lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Derek St. Holmes, whose soulful hard rock vocals have enough Detroit R&B grit to make Nugent’s misogynist lyrics seem almost palatable.
Double Live Gonzo is that rare example of arena rock done right. Anybody who claims to love rock and roll should own a copy.
5 stars out of 5
Source: Jon Dawson - Kinston.com
Submitted January 28, 2010
As exciting as they were, Ted Nugent's first three albums lacked the sonic punch in the gut of his outrageous live performances, something readily proved by 1978's classic Double Live Gonzo! Both Nugent and his band are in top form, yielding a fierce performance of their numerous mid-'70s classics. Mega-hit "Cat Scratch Fever" makes an obligatory appearance, but it's the songs from Nugent's self-titled debut which truly stand out. "Just What the Doctor Ordered" is damn near perfect, and the band really clicks on extended jams through "Motor City Madhouse" and the fantastic "Stranglehold." A consummate showman, Nugent also unleashes a number of hilarious, motor-mouth stage raps on "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" before offering the definitive version of his early classic "Great White Buffalo." In the year of the live album (1978), this one's about as good as they come. [Rock Candy's special edition adds special packaging, including a 12-page poster booklet, along with remastered sound.] ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, All Music Guide
Submitted December 04, 2009
It was referred to, mostly by fat men in ill-fitting polyester suits waving cigars in the air, as: “THE FULL IN-CONCERT EXPERIENCE”—a moment of such earth-shattering importance that it had to be preserved forever on four sides of black plastic.
We gobbled it up like starving dogs, safe in the belief that, well, it really didn’t get any bigger, better or louder than this. All hail, then, the power of the Double Live Album (or DLA) – an art form that took the ‘70s by storm and racked up more over-the-counter sales than you could, even if you should so wish, shake a very large stick at.
These were, it is generally agreed by people who know about such things, the best of times for rock music. The psychedelic ‘60s, all mod cons and Carnaby Street razzle, had refined and shaped the musical spectrum, but it wasn’t until the rock steady end of that decade poked its long hair and heavily bearded face around the door that musicians felt comfortable exploring the very wild possibilities of stretching out.
Up until then, rock concerts had mainly been a vehicle for reproducing catchy three-minute pop songs, but by the tail end of the ‘60s groups such as the Grateful Dead, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd had turned on, tuned in and embraced the notion that it was possible to both extend their studio material and (with the judicious use of extreme volume and other extracurricular indulgences) completely re-invent it.
It was a masterstroke, the catalyst if you will, that signalled a sea change in live performance. Attendances at rock shows seemed to expand in direct relation to the amount of stretching out that was taking place, and now of course fans were seeing shows that were essentially unique, ebbing and flowing with the mood of the night.
So every time your favourite band rolled into town there was only one particular place to be – squashed up tight against the front of the stage, like a sardine in a can.
Then someone (probably one of the rotund cigar-waving types mentioned earlier) had the very bright idea to exploit the concept of live recordings, enshrining key moments for posterity. Slowly but surely, as the ‘70s unfolded, the impact and the importance of live albums increased significantly, yet no-one expected the volcanic eruption that occurred in 1975 with the super nova success of Peter Frampton’s astounding ‘Frampton Comes Alive’.
Of course, prior to that record a few well-timed DLAs had already made their mark on the genre, receiving the kind of accolades normally reserved for career-defining studio classics. I’m thinking here about The Allman Brother Band and their tour-de-force ‘At Fillmore East’, Humble Pie’s stunning ‘Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore’ (both recorded incidentally, at the same NYC venue) and last but probably loudest Kiss’ breakthrough album ‘Alive!’ – the latter taking Simmons, Stanley & Co. Into the platinum stratosphere and establishing them fairly and squarely as The Hottest Band In The World!
As for ‘Frampton Comes Alive’, well simply, it made anyone who was anyone sit up and take notice. Here was a record that literally set the world ablaze; a record that romped its way to the top of the charts, selling over six million copies in the US alone and giving birth to a couple of hits along the way. It was the defining moment for the DLA as an art form – the point at which the industry realised that these onstage outings were much more than just inexpensive stopgaps between over-budget studio creations. Careers, it was clear, could be broken wide open, especially if the artist’s live reputation and material were both indisputably strong.
For rock bands – especially hard rock bands – DLAs were a wonderful opportunity to showcase the family jewels, and in this respect ‘Double Live Gonzo!’ was absolutely no exception.
Ted Nugent, having solidified his reputation and popularity as with a string of classic studio recordings (the landmark self-title release in ’75, ‘Free For All’ a year later and ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ in ’77), was in a remarkably strong position to deliver what is arguably the mack daddy of all Double Lives. His stock was right through the roof and his in-concert status second to none, so great news then that ‘... Gonzo!’ (1978) didn’t disappoint. Not in any way.
Planned and executed with a fastidious military precision typical of the man, the album rocks like a bitch from first note to last. All of the songs are twisted and stretched out to accommodate the brutal thrashing administered without mercy to his 1957 Gibson Byrdland, Nugent’s weapon of most destruction, and needless to say there are no ballads in sight...
“If anyone wants to get mellow... well, they can turn around and get the f**k outta here!” is one of many particularly insightful raps delivered from the stage to a significant army of devotees (all 15,000 of them), and there’s no question that the Nugent tongue is in fine form throughout.
The ‘DLG!’ toggle-bruising kicks off with a fitting and absurdly souped up ‘Just What The Doctor Ordered’, allowing Ted to take aim and shoot at anything that blinks an eye. There is no respite for man or beast as the boulder-sized riffs and machine gun solos just keep on coming, song after song; every note is carefully designed to shock an’ awe, and by the time we reach ‘Great White Buffalo’ (extended here to nigh on six minutes), Detroit Rock City’s No. 1 Sonic Stormtrooper has us eating out of the palm of his blood-soaked paw...
“The indian and the buffalo existed hand in hand. Then came the white man... He wanted all the buffalo dead...”
Ted’s ecological, egalitarian spirit has been sorely overlooked through the years, but here is proof that he really does have a heart of gold... not to mention balls of solid steel!
For most, however, it’s the back-to-back coupling of ‘Stormtroopin’’ and ‘Stranglehold’ that most boldly underlines the feedback maestro’s standing as the world’s Greatest Living Hard Rocker. Both tunes are exercises in pure pleasure and pain, carpet-bombing the audience with arguably the best rifts and solos ever committed to raw vinyl. Better by far than their studio equivalents, these tracks pretty much take on a life of their own as Ted attempts to pistol-whip them into submission with a sense of righteous anger plus a guitar that refuses, simply refuses, to “play sweet shit”.
‘Cat Scratch Fever’ is very much more of the same, as is delightfully titled ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’, Ted salaciously licking his lips in pure anticipation of further close-quarter combat. Indeed, so good is the intro to ‘Wang Dang...’ that, years down the line, it would gleefully inspire another US outfit (Nashville Pussy) to christen themselves in its honour!
Fittingly, it’s left to ‘Motor City Madhouse’ – a Nugent’s-eye-view of the “murder capital of the world” – to bring things to a riotous close, with Ted screeching like a scalded banshee as he pummels the audience for one last time before being helped into the wings for a lie down and a strong cup of tea. Possibly.
Simply, Double Live Gonzo! is the high watermark for hard rock DLAs, and God knows there is no shortage of worthy competition – Tokyo Tapes by the scorpions, Live Bootleg by Aerosmith, The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin, Strangers In The Night by UFO, Live by Status Quo, On Your Feet Or On Your Knees by Blue Oyster Cult & Live Bullet by Bob Seger. All are fine examples of the medium, but pound for pound, riff for riff (and of course rap for rap!), it is DLG! that wins through, capturing a time and a place so completely that you can visualise Ted’s eye-popping grimaces and manic demeanour long after the needle has lifted from the groove.
Double Live vinyl albums enjoyed a healthy respect right into the early ‘80s, but as soon as the Digital Compact Disc arrived on the scene, it was clear that things were set to change, and change fast. Now that 74-or-so minutes of music could be captured onto a single carrier, anyone and everyone was able to issue an entire live performance on a whim. There was no longer any need for special packaging concessions from the label, or indeed the obligatory fights with artists over pricing issues. The vinyl format was effectively obsolete. Washed up and wiped out. Kaput.
In 2006, however, DLAs live on as a simplistic yet effective antique curio in an era of relentless technological advancement. The days of two slices of vinyl plus a beautifully functional gatefold cover plastered with photos of the band or artist in question may be long gone, but – praise the Lord – the impact remains with us to this day. And Double Live Gonzo! is an ear-splitting, brain-crushing testament to the very core of that belief. No “sweet shit” guaranteed.
-Derek Oliver, London
Submitted April 01, 2006