'Here's a guy that defies it all': Ted Nugent finds right balance with work, family
by Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | Contributing writer
Wednesday July 02, 2008, 2:03 PM
Rocker Ted Nugent is the poster child for work-life balance. He manages to juggle all of his projects -- which include performing, penning songs, writing a book and starring in a movie -- and still sit down for a family dinner.
"If you look honestly at my calendar, I bet you, Christina, that I snuggle my dogs and eat more meals with my wife and son, Rocco, than most people," Nugent said during an interview with The Flint Journal.
"Even during the hunting season -- September through March -- it looks hectic because I guide and outfit hundreds of hunters (but) I'm still home. I'm guiding my properties probably 80 percent of the time near home. Even when Anthony Bourdain's crew comes out and does a TV show for the Travel Channel, I'm home. Even when I'm in Las Vegas doing the Criss Angel TV show, I've got my family with me. So I really have a great balanced life."
Because his life is settled, his energy bubbles at the seams -- even at nearly 60 years old, said Nugent, who lives in Crawford, Texas, but has two vacation homes in Michigan.
"I was able to balance what I call my spiritual time and the outdoor lifestyle, which is my home time, and the not-so-spiritual time of the insanity of my rock 'n' roll," said Nugent, who described himself as "ultrasnuggable." "The honest analysis is there is nothing much more spiritual than the musical creative forces of collaborating with guys like Greg Smith on bass and Mick Brown on drums. It's out of body. It's very stimulating. It's very demanding and very challenging and intense, at the same time it allows after-show time to be very calming, very gratifying. It's easy to accomplish a lot when you have that kind of balanced lifestyle for this many years."
As for his recent accomplishments, Nugent has written a book, "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto," due in stores in August; he recorded a live CD and DVD "Sweden Rocks;" he appears in the forthcoming Toby Keith movie "Beer For My Horses;" and he penned the song "I AM THE NRA," written in all caps for emphasis. He recorded it at the studio of David Crowder, a Christian rocker.
"I wrote it a number of years ago actually, maybe not in its complete form," he said. "[This year] the NRA annual family gathering was about to take place in Louisville in upcoming weeks. I just felt the urge to capture it on tape. I called David Crowder and as I was singing it, as I was recording it, [NRA president and actor] Charlton Heston was dying.
"I'm not a voodoo guy. I'm not a karma guy, but certain moments in life can only be described as an alignment of the planets. It was the time to do it. It felt right. I was compelled to capture it. It just happened to be that the greatest civil rights warrior for all mankind, a hero, that happened to be the president of the NRA, Charlton Heston was moving on. I think that's one of the reasons the song is so passionate."
He is also working on new material for a future set. The night before the interview, Nugent said he wrote a song called "ThrottleMaster," a song that celebrates his music and his career.
"It's just such a joy to unleash the guitar every night with these guys pounding me. I'd like to think that we're the throttlemasters. If you're gonna really celebrate the American dream, you should probably throttle it. Music is always coming out of me. It's just this unstoppable force."
In the meantime, he is marking his 6,000th show with a performance at DTE Energy Music Theatre on Friday in support of "Sweden Rocks," an album he cut in Scandinavia because of the uninhibited nature of his fans over there.
"When they hear the soundtrack coming from Uncle Ted's band, it inspires the ferocity of uninhibitedness that they don't get from many places," he said. "If we're really honest, Christina, if you look at the typical heavy metal bands that perform in Europe, they're more like sheep than independent souls. They wear the same clothes. They put on the same tattoos, the same look, the same fashion. It's very cookie-cutter sheep-like heavy metal.
"People want to break away from that. At some point, a person goes 'I'm my own person. I have my own ideas, my own expressions, my own dreams and enough of this denim jacket with the patches and the tattoos and the pierced body parts and the weekend warrior haircut. I don't need to follow that marked sheepness.' Here's a guy that defies it all.
Wow another self serving loaf of bread from Mi's most famous mouth. Yes Ted a lot of European bands are similar but every genre is a cookie cutter sheep heard. While I do appreciate your talent I would like to point out you have had the same stage show and same cookie cutter musical approach for the last 30 years. It would be nice to see YOU try something different. When is the last time you got a hair cut hippy? Go enjoy your oldies tour...