Ted answers questions about music, politics, and where his recent bear-hunting expeditions have taken him! Check it out below.
Ted Nugent still loves to make the fur fly
By Lee Zimmerman
At age 61, Ted Nugent still bears a remarkable resemblance to the manic guitar slinger he portrayed in his younger days, a man still bristling with the unrelenting energy and the unrepentant attitude that became his signature style.
Although he got his start with the Amboy Dukes in the heady era of ’60s psychedelia, he’s only been aligned with one other outfit since — the heavy metal, heavy-handed super group Damn Yankees (which also featured Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw and Michael Cartellone). Indeed, for the most part it’s been his string of solo albums that have most effectively documented his grit and defiance.
His latest tour — tellingly titled “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead” — suggests that even as he approaches the age of eligibility for Social Security, the so-called Motor City Madman isn’t about to mellow. Indeed, his love of weaponry and outspoken support of the National Rifle Association continue unabated, and his conservative views often make the right-wing radio crowd — Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck etc. — seem like liberal ideologues by comparison.
Not surprisingly then, The Nuge was first off to a bear-hunting expedition prior to embarking on what promised to be an equally killer tour. Happily, he allowed Goldmine a few minutes to chat with him prior to his departure …
You’ve always veered away from the norm in terms of the usual rock ’n’ roll lifestyle — you don’t do drugs, you’re unabashedly pro guns and seemingly conservative in your political beliefs. What’s more, you’ve never really won a whole lot of praise from the critics. How has this apparent estrangement from the rest of the rock community felt to you?
Ted Nugent: I’ve never felt any estrangement from anyone of merit. My time with great musicians has always been very positive, and I have been treated very respectfully, especially in jam sessions with Jimi Hendrix, Rick Derringer, Johnny and Edgar Winters, B.B. King, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Heart, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Kiss and so many others. I am good friends with Sammy Hagar, Kid Rock, Toby Keith, John Rich, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and many other gifted and talented fellow musicians. I’ve been having the time of my life brutalizing my guitar for more than 50 years now, and having more fun and creating more intense music in 2010 than ever in my life. The positives obliterate the negatives and its getting better all the time. “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead” will be the most outrageous rock out of my life. Know it.
Detroit has been such a hotbed of great music for the past 50 years — you, the Stooges, the MC5, Bob Seger and the Motown sound all hail from Motor City. Is there still a tight musical community there that you’re a part of? And why do you think Detroit has had such an impact on popular music?
Nugent: Amen! The mighty Motor City has gushed energy, soul, piss and vinegar forever. Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, Billy Lee, Johnny Badanjek, Jimmy McCarty, Earl Elliot and Joe Kubrik laid down the gauntlet for high-energy, ultra-tight, defiant R&B and rock ’n’ roll for all of us way back then. By the time we were exposed to the mighty Funk Brothers of Motown, we knew we had to be absolute animals on our instruments or forget about it. That pride and spirit is alive and well today with Kid Rock, Eminem, Jack White and a whole gaggle of intense, defiant rockers all over Michigan. I am their godfather and proud of it.
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