The lone rock music night at the Mississippi Valley Fair this year is Wednesday, July 30, and Ted Nugent is up for the fight.
The Motor City Madman, who turns 60 later this year, is as busy as ever, with the release of a live CD and DVD, a book called "Ted, White & Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" and co-starring in the movie "Beer For My Horses" with country singer Toby Keith (for whom Nugent was the opening act at the former Mark of the Quad-Cities in Moline during January 2005).
In an e-mail exchange, Nugent discussed the past and present as well as his outspoken nature:
Q: You're approaching 40 years in the business with as many concert dates as ever. How is the Nugent we see today different from the Nugent onstage four decades ago?
A: Actually, I performed my very first live performance in 1958, which makes this my 50th year! Dear Lord, the humanity! Though I am as stupefied as anyone, there is no question whatsoever that with Mick Brown on drums and Greg Smith on bass guitar, that our music and live show is tighter, more intense and off-the-charts more fun than ever. Approaching my 60th birthday and my 6,000th concert, I can only surmise that my 60 years clean and sober, plus my total discipline to maintain a grounded, spiritual, ultra-healthy hunting, fishing, trapping and hands-on outdoor lifestyle has actually increased my energy and focus all these years. I am a very, very lucky man.
Q: You've got a book, live CD/DVD and movie with Toby Keith coming out. In one paragraph total, make a pitch on why we should read, listen and watch.
A: Anyone so fortunate to cross paths with the runaway Nugent freight train always celebrates the overdose of positive energy and glowing fun that I am having living my incredible American Dream. What I sing about, conduct interviews about, write books and articles about, speak about and verily reek of is living proof that a conscientious, disciplined American, dedicated heart and soul to being the best that we can be, can also have this astonishing, energetic, healthy, productive, happy American Dream. I figured it out back in my teens and have fought hard nonstop for it my whole life. There is doable pragmatism in what I say and write, if not downright wisdom. Come get ya some.
Q: You've never been known to hold back your opinion, which caused some controversy in England recently. Do you ever regret what you say or change your mind after the fact?
A: Nope. In fact, the hysterical, soulless misresponses inspire me to turn up the heat. I had a bumper crop of crowbars this year, so anyone who needs one, I will be glad to either loan you one or simply thump one upside your humorless skull.
Q: What would you have to say to the young rock acts just beginning their careers?
A: Listen to Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, stay clean and sober, stand unmovable for what you believe in. Identify all things status quo and destroy them all. Use one of my crowbars, no charge.
Q: Is there anything in your career you feel like you have yet to accomplish?
A: There are still way too many able-bodied human beings who are slaves to mediocrity and welfare. I have created the soundtrack to ultimate independence, and I will not stop ‘til everybody dances to my music. Plus, I just know my guitar playing can still get blacker. I'm on it.
David Burke can be contacted at (563) 383-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment on this story at qctimes.com.