By Ray Parker
Rock guitarist Ted Nugent looked like a hunter ready to aim with his camouflage shirt and laser stare. But his target Wednesday was of a different nature than the deer he loves to stalk. This time it was teens.
Rock musician Ted Nugent delivers a bold anti-drug message to high school students of The Community School on Wednesday in Naples. "Don't just say no (to dealers). Turn them in and then punch them," said Nugent. Dan Wagner/Staff
"Jimi (Hendrix) got high and Jimi is dead; I went hunting and I'm still Ted," he told youngsters at The Community School of Naples, the private school his seventh-grader attends.
The students seemed enthralled by the celebrity, even if they weren't exactly sure why he's famous.
Said 11-year-old Helena Hawn: "He sang 'Cat Scratch Fever,' but I've never heard it."
That didn't matter.
As she and a 100 of her peers sat inside the school's theater, Nugent talked about his musical peers such as Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Unlike some, Nugent never trusted drugs or alcohol or tobacco.
"Puking and dying probably isn't a party," the 53-year-old rocker kept repeating. "I could name hundreds of them. ... It's not funny; they're really puking and dying."
Once, Hendrix offered him a marijuana cigarette.
"They'd offer me a joint and big boogers would be coming out of their noses," he said to laughter. "Puke and Die! Case closed."
It was the ideal message for the school's Red Ribbon Week festivities, which highlight the dangers of drugs.
Nugent, a national spokesman for DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), wanted the youngsters to remember one thing: the American dream.
Nugent signs an autograph for sophomore Brittany Henckel after Wednesday's speech. Dan Wagner/Staff
"You ever hear anybody say they want the Mexican dream?" he asked. "No. ... Your joys in life are only available in this dynamic in America. ... Drugs, alcohol, tobacco equal puking and dying."
To an outsider, Nugent's message might have seemed graphic. But the teens seemed to relate to his matter-of-fact language - and even returned a barb.
Nugent held up his hands and said he had a middle finger for anyone offering him drugs.
"Don't just say no to drugs, turn them (dealers) in," he said.
Then going a step further: "Punch them."
One student asked, "When Jimi offered you drugs did you punch him?"
Smiling, Nugent replied: "Almost."
Because his "radar" is clear, the avid hunter said he's still performing 100 concerts a year and hunting game with his crossbow, only eating meat from animals he kills himself.
He warned the crowd to watch what they eat. If you can't pronounce the ingredients, he said, then don't eat it.
Several students munched on snack foods.
One teen asked: Is McDonald's bad?
Nugent replied: "Absolutely, it's not food."
Afterwards, Nugent stepped out to do a TV interview sporting a black baseball cap with a New York Police Department logo holding down his ponytail, which snaked half way down his back.
Outside the theater, the reviews were good.
"It was fun," Berkeley Smith, 11, said.
Twelve-year-old Nick Waterhouse proudly showed off his red electric guitar recently autographed.
"I thought it was really cool," the wide-eyed boy said, "even though I don't know who he is."
Helena Hawn, 11, had only one reservation.
"I guess I'll try not to eat at McDonald's," she said without much enthusiasm.
Source: Naples News