Rocker Skewers Critics with Homage to Grilling
By Steve Miller
For the Motor City Madman, the buzz begins with a fat deer and an arrow ready to shoot. From there, it's all "kill it and grill it," which is also the title of a new book by the Madman, aka Ted Nugent, aka, the Nuge. "We have a grill the size of a house," he said. "My idea of fast food is a mallard."
Mr. Nugent is a rock 'n' roll "guiterrorist," a hunter, an author, a vociferous gun advocate and a nature lover who believes that hunting and eating what you kill is "the unapologetic celebration, and I am a reasoning, conscientious participant in this wonderful tooth, fang and claw reality." His legacy is music of the FM classic rock variety — "Stranglehold," "Cat Scratch Fever" and the 1968 psychedelic smash "Journey to the Center of the Mind" — but his abilities as a scribe aren't too shabby either: His last book, God, Guns and Rock 'n' Roll, was a best seller. His latest book, Kill It and Grill It, co-authored by his wife, Shemane, is 250 pages of recipes, philosophies and anecdotes — a potpourri of the world according to Nugent.
"I love getting the truth out there," Mr. Nugent said. "My politics are clear, which is the reason I do all of this activism. I want to counter the intentional, dishonest misrepresentation of the Rathers, the Brokaws, the Jenningses and the major media of this country that hunters are not drunken slobs that shoot at noises and we did not wipe out the buffalo and have never endangered anything.
"In 2002, we have more deer, bear and mountain lions than ever recorded in history."
The 53-year-old with the machine-gun verbal skills has been lauded by conservatives such as Charlton Heston, president of the National Rifle Association, who calls Mr. Nugent "one of the good guys."
Mr. Nugent, who has attended Republican national conventions, has several slogans and mottos, one of which is: "You can't grill it until you kill it," which have made him an enemy of the left and environmentalists.
The Michigan native explains his worldview in simple terms: "I don't have a right to keep and bear arms because it says so in the Bill of Rights. I have it because it's in my heart and my soul."
Book and album releases are simply platforms for Mr. Nugent to expound his theories and philosophies. The books and albums would be likely to sell even without the tireless promotion, but he does 150 shows a year and hunts the rest of the time.
Just last week, he killed and grilled a turkey, he said. He has done this since childhood. "My first kill ever was with a Whammo slingshot," Mr. Nugent said. "I was 10 years old, and it was in a park near Redford Township in Michigan. I killed it with a marble, and I took it home, and my mom and dad showed me how to dress it and cook it. There was definitely some cause and effect there."
As he grew up, his love for the wild coincided with his passion for the guitar, and the two clashed creatively. He took to wearing a loincloth during live performances, swinging onto the stage a la Tarzan. Even now, he knows — not feels — that the guitar and the bow are intrinsically intertwined.
"This is not opinion; this is historic, irrefutable documentation," Mr. Nugent said. "The first notes came from the bow. I'm sure that the first music is not unlike my music. Music is always raved about as the universal communication, but, boy, if you don't celebrate in the universal communication, especially the tribal scream and the tribal rhythms, the dynamic of sex, meat and overwhelming your enemy: That's life, baby, and that's what I feel when I pick up the guitar or the bow."
After a promotion swing in New York, Mr. Nugent returns this weekend to his ranch in southern Michigan for, as one could guess, some more hunting. "This weekend I'll be turkey hunting, and the blue gills will be getting in their beds," he said, rattling off a series of non sequiturs designed to
amuse and inform. Finishing his patter, he pauses for the first time in 20 minutes.
"My American dream is my career," he said.
Source: The Washington Times