There's nothing we love more than hearing it direct from the source! Uncle Ted took time to speak with Kevin Yeanoplos, writer for the Tucson Concerts Examiner, prior to last night's show at the Celebrity Theatre. See below what Ted had to say about life on the current 2010 Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead tour, who he likes in 2010 for president and much more.
Ted Nugent interview: straight talk from a straight-shooter
By Kevin Yeanoplos
OK, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way. A Ted Nugent neophyte or maybe even one of his critics might mistakenly think that the nickname “Motor City Madman” is a commentary on his mental health – rather than a description of his frenetic, take-no-prisoners guitar style.
But all it takes is for you to spend five minutes with “The Nuge” and you’ll get a double-barrel dose of refreshingly candid, well reasoned sanity. In advance of his 8:00 pm Celebrity Theatre show in Phoenix on August 11th, Ted graciously took the time for an interview with me.
With all of the uncertainties in the music industry over the past few decades, Ted has been one of the few artists you can count on. Amazingly, he’s been touring annually since 1967. On July 4, 2008, he celebrated his 6,000th concert. I asked him about the next 6,000.
“Don't I wish! The 1st 6000 were certainly a joyous adventure were they not? Amazingly, Mick, Greg and I are creating the most intense, high energy rockin’ music of my life on this current 2010 "Trample the Weak Hurdle the Dead" tour and many killer new songs are erupting. I see no end in sight. Thank God, huh?”
His hard work and no-frills rock and roll has secured him a legion of devoted fans of all ages. The music industry has definitely changed, particularly over the last few years. Do Ted’s fans expect more today?
“They know I will deliver more that's for sure.”
He’s not content to simply play a bunch of old hits. With Ted, the creative juices are still working, perhaps even more than earlier in his career.
“Killer new songs blow up from my hands and spirit on a daily basis! It is fascinating really. Yes, there are many more killer grinding songs coming ASAP.”
Fans will be ecstatic to contemplate new musical offerings from The Nuge, but that’s not all. Although he’s collaborated with a number of other artists, he still has a “wish list” of future musical partnerships.
“Sammy Hagar, Steven Tyler, Toby Keith, John Rich, Kid Rock, many.”
And we think Them Crooked Vultures is a super group?
Not surprisingly, Ted writes new songs without regard to critical acclaim, which makes perfect sense, since he is his harshest critic.
“All my songs erupt spontaneously to satisfy my own musical cravings, and their commercial successes have no bearing whatsoever. The music industry is clueless that my amazing song “Fred Bear” from 1989 has been the #1 song in both states that play it, MI & WI. I couldn't be happier.”
I have a feeling that “Fred Bear” is going to be hitting the airwaves much more over the next few months.
While Ted’s been rockin’ the free world over the last six decades, many other rock stars have crashed and burned. Ted attributes his musical stamina to wise choices he made early on.
“Absolutely. I wisely identified the dangers of burnout way back in the 1960s watching the braindead hippies and beatniks poisoning themselves with drugs, alcohol and tobacco and bad food. I knew instinctively that if I were to honestly pursue my American R&B&R&R Dream that I had to be absolutely healthy and aware of everything. That's when I promised myself I would never miss a hunting season ever, and those soul cleansing healing powers of nature have provided me with unlimited energy and enthusiasm. The purity of a hunting lifestyle is it!”
Music has been his passion for many years, but by no means his only talent. Among other things, he is a successful songwriter, singer, author, actor, and outdoorsman. Is there anything left on his “to do list”?
“I am studying relentlessly to perfect my new talents as the master of preparing Sports Illustrated models for their paint on bikinis. It is truly a challenge and labor of love.”
Ted may not know this but from what I hear, there is a 25-year waiting list for the SI position.
As busy as he is with all of his artistic endeavors, he still makes time for a number of worthwhile charities.
“All the military charities and children's charities certainly do God's work as fueled by incredibly giving, loving Americans. Nobody gives more than Americans. We have Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids and Freedom's Angels that do amazing things for those most deserving. We welcome people to visit tednugent.com to find out how they can help.”
When not authoring popular books like Ted, White & Blue: The Nugent Manifesto and playing rock standards like "Wango Tango," "Cat Scratch Fever," "Dog Eat Dog" and "Stranglehold," The Nuge is an unwavering voice for conservative causes and patriotism.
He “affectionately” refers to the out-of-control government bureaucracy as “Fedzilla” and cautions that American global supremacy is vanishing – “the rest of the world sucks, and America has always sucked less – but we’re catching up fast,” a thinly veiled jab at the current administration.
His high profile has afforded him opportunities to spread his political message. He’s spoken often about running for political office (governor of Michigan) and many have encouraged him to do so. There are many that feel that the country is circling the drain right now, screaming for someone with his abilities. Is now the time?
“It certainly appears to be a critical time, thanks to the scourge of apathy that opened the doors for Obama and his disgusting Mao Tse Tung fan club. The entrenched corruption and vicious abuse of power as manifested by this administration is beyond the pale, and I pray with all my heart that we the people take back this great country from the grasp of such flagrant America haters in charge. I am in with all I've got.”
Who does he like in 2012 for president?
“Nobody at this moment, and that is scary.”
Hmmm, Vote for Ted in the Blue, White and Red? It’s Ted All Day in the U.S.A.? You get the picture.
Knowing that he is a keen political observer, I ran an idea by him as to how to resolve the SB 1070 controversy that currently dogs Arizona. I suggested that we solve it with a winner take all “Battle of the Bands.” Ted’s thoughts?
“I'd rather have a winner take all battle of the military. I'd like to deer hunt in Mexico but not while Mexico is in charge. I want to run Mexico and turn it into a place people will want to go to instead of escape from.”
Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admire him for standing up for what he believes in. While there are those that disagree with him, there are many that are glad he’s saying it. He agrees.
“Amen. The lunatic fringe will never get it. I shall carryon yet more intensely thank you.”
And, oh yeah, whether or not you agree with The Nuge’s politics, you’ve got to love his all-out rock ‘n’ roll style. Along with bassist Greg Smith and drummer Wild Mick Brown, Nugent’s “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead” Tour makes a stop at the Celebrity Theatre at 8:00 pm on August 11. Tickets are $35, $50, and $60.