Motor City motor mouth: There's only one Ted Nugent, and here's our chance to see why
BY SHELLIE BRANCO
Ted Nugent has the formula for the perfect life, or so he'll tell you as he spends an afternoon loading machine gun magazines in his Waco, Texas, home with his dog at his side, using a little downtime before he hosts a barbecue with war veterans he reveres.
The Motor City Madman, vector of "Cat Scratch Fever," brings his Rolling Thunder 2008 Tour to the Fox Theater Thursday.
An outspoken supporter of hunting rights and host of "Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild" on the Outdoor Channel, he isn't bothered if he comes off like a talk radio screaming match.
"People are shackled by political correctness," he says in a phone interview.
Then there's the milder side of the Nuge, a rock star who loathes the typical celebrity indulgences of booze and drugs. The D.A.R.E. spokesman created "Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids," which offers outdoor sports to children as an alternative to drugs.
Nugent has kept busy with film and music projects, including the new "Sweden Rocks" live concert album and companion DVD documenting his 2006 Sweden Rock Festival appearance, and his feature film debut in "Beer For My Horses," starring country giants Toby Keith and Willie Nelson, due out in August.
Also hitting shelves that month is his book "Ted, White &Blue: The Nugent Manifesto," which will outline the "spiritual orgy" that is his lifestyle.
"None of my family commits crimes," he says. "We don't spend beyond our means. We educate ourselves where the education system fails. We constructively critique each other on every issue of quality of life and conduct: courtesyness, politeness, productivity, et cetera."
Here's more Nugent, edited for length and content:
ON HIS SHOW:
You'll see more smiling faces per capita than any musical event you'll ever go to.
Our music isn't one of complaints. Our music isn't negative. Our music is buoyant. It celebrates the Howlin' Wolf ... and the Muddy Waters and the Bo Diddley, God rest his soul, and the Chuck Berry uppityness, the defiance, the celebration of free, free at last.
It's alive in my music. We are the funk brothers. There's no white guys in my band. We just celebrate the health we are blessed with ...
I was born in '48 and only three years after Les Paul electrified the damn thing? It was right when Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry were showing what it was made for. That was a black emotion in the most uninhibited of fashion ever. More uninhibited than the most fiery voodoo rituals of aboriginal peoples, but it was directly linked to that voodoo fire dance of aboriginal peoples because the inventors of my music were all black, not a generation removed from the ripping from the perfect autonomy and life of independence as hunting Africans enslaved by their own people ... By the time Muddy Waters was creating this stuff and Chuck electrified it, all of a sudden the electricity made it sound as emotional and unlimited in its audio vibracity, in its sonic vibracity, as their voices.
ON COOL-HEADED DEBATE:
Yeah, you know, I'm such an extremist that I bet if the British came to take my guns away, I'd meet 'em at Concord Bridge and shoot 'em dead. Wow! That's off the charts, isn't it? Just think, if they overtaxed us I'd probably be so rude as to throw their tea in the harbor. Gosh, there's no room for people like me in the world!
The time for debate is a little bit over, Obama. You don't allow me to carry a gun, but you're gonna send me the bill for your armed security detail? Gee, that rubs me the wrong way. Why don't we just sit down and discuss how you have the audacity as an equal human being to dictate to me that I will be unarmed and helpless, but I have to pay for your armed security detail? Boy, I betcha a little discussion would work out there.
You know, it's like seeing a bunch of Nazis making lampshades out of little boys' and little girls' skin. Well, gosh, we should probably sit down with that funny mustached man and see if we can't reason with him. There's a time for a handshake and a time for a bullet between the (expletive) eyes.
My kids, as I was raising them ... I'm so loving and affectionate and gentle. I rock them and I goo-goo them, I coo them, I bathe them just as gentle, loving as possible.
And I gently and lovingly tell them not to play with fire the first time. The second time, I turn up the volume a little bit.
Emotion as expressed in passionate ways, what political correctness would tell you, ooh, that's abrasive, can't we all just get along? Abrasiveness is different than passionate articulation and the occasional pounding of fists on pulpits and dining room tables.
FROM THE HEAD OF TED: QUOTABLES
"I'm just a humble guitar player. I never went to college. I was too busy learning (expletive). And what I learned is that truth and logic reign supreme. I genuflect at the truth and logic altar every day."
"Boy, I couldn't be more independent. John McCain is a joke. Obama is the illegitimate son of Mao Tse-tung. And I don't even know what Hillary is. She's not even the same species as I am."
"Everybody I know cannot in the deepest realms of their imagination expect a government to provide jack squat for us. And we pity the soulless punks who line up behind Hillary, Obama, and John McCain and snivel and whine while they smoke their cigarettes and buy their bling-bling going, ‘Heh heh, can't make ends meet.' See, I have to pass 800 help-wanted signs to pick up my welfare check."
"I don't produce a hunting show. I film my life. I just film the way I live. We hunt, we fish, we trap, we feed ourselves with the sacred protein from Mother Nature's renewable sustain-yield pantry."