The Nuge unleashed
Rocker dishes on what makes him tick
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 6/23/2008 12:17 AM
Perhaps no performer in the 21-year history of the Naperville Exchange Club's Ribfest seems to epitomize the theme of the holiday festival more than Ted Nugent.
The flag-waving, hard-rocking, unabashed carnivore opens Ribfest this year with a headlining main stage performance July 3 that he promises won't disappoint.
Ahead of his stop in Naperville, "Uncle Ted" dispatched a lengthy missive touching on all his loves - music, hunting and politics. He opines about the perfect steak dinner and his disappointment with President Bush.
Q. What's getting most of your attention these days: your music, your hunting or your politics?
A. My wonderful American dream is a grand adventure of diversity and exploration, the road less traveled. I feel a deep obligation to participate in this amazing experiment in self-government as a proud "we the people" asset to my fellow Americans' quality pursuit of happiness.
Therefore, my politics are critical in bringing logic and truth back into policymaking, which drives the defiant spirit of my music, which commands my spiritual battery recharging of my sacred time in the wild with family and friends. It is indeed a perfect win-win-win exciting life.
Q. What kinds of new things are you up to musically nowadays?
A. Throttled by the soul-fire talents and energy of Mick Brown on drums and Greg Smith on bass guitar, my music has never been more intense, fun and James Brown tight. We are pushing ourselves into uncharted high energy soul music and there is no end in sight.
Q. Is it difficult to create new music as you get older on top of your reported hearing problems?
A. The only musical problem I have is trying to harness the uppityness and firestorm of creative energy that bursts out of me every day I grab my guitar. The spirit of the wild so cleanses my soul and so thoroughly snatches me completely away from the music that I am like a maniacal child with his first guitar and loud amplifier every jam session.
I am a very, very fortunate man to have discovered this perfect balance at such a young age many years ago.
Q. Your wardrobe seems to largely consist of camouflage. What do you think of the new digitized camo pattern?
A. It is all good. The mighty warriors of the U.S. military have graciously outfitted me with state of the art G.I. camo and I seem to experience an increased attitude when so attired.
Q. Tell me about the best way to prepare a steak for dinner, including your selections for side dishes and dessert.
A. Kill it and grill baby! With venison - the Nugent family's mainstay protein - it is always about a clean kill, thorough cleaning of the sacred beast, keeping it cold for a week or more aging, then quite simply dousing it in garlic and butter and singeing it on a good mixture of indigenous wood coals so it is real hot but pink inside. Good spuds and eggplant, peppers and squash grilled the same way with a snort of good South African red wine, and we're talking heaven on earth around a spirit campfire with loved ones and the dogs.
Q. You're a neighbor of President Bush's compound in Crawford, Texas, right? Do you think he's doing a good job?
A. Unfortunately, yes I do think he's doing a good job in some areas, like the war on terror, but sadly I wouldn't allow a good musician in my band. All my cohorts are the best there are and I was hoping that my president would perform as well. I admire President Bush on many levels, but he's blown it on taxes, education, energy, the borders, welfare, court reform and gun control. We the good people of America are praying for a real leader ASAP.
Q. Do you ever think you're too honest?
Q. Since we're talking about ribs, what's your preference for a side dish? Baked beans or coleslaw?
A. They're both good done right, but my palate needs more diversity. I like to get creative with marinades, basting goo and dips. Every meal at the Nugent grill is sexy and titillating.
Q. Which of your many nicknames do you like the most?
A. BloodBrother Nuge is the best.