Ted Nugent explains himself
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By Allison Stewart |Special to the Chicago Tribune August 8, 2008
It turns out Ted Nugent is exactly as you imagined him.
That button-pushing, bow-hunting, NRA-touting creature of myth? He's really like that. Politer and more articulate, maybe, and mystical in the way that hunters get sometimes (you've heard about that, right? That he loves to hunt?), but otherwise pretty much the same.
More than 30 years after "Cat Scratch Fever," Nugent Inc. is a thriving concern, built on the singer's back catalog, his outsize personality and his advocacy of conservative causes.
Nugent, 59, is spending the summer on the road in support of his latest studio album, ("Love Grenade"), his feature-film debut ("Beer for My Horses," in theaters Friday) and his book, "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto," out in October. He recently submitted to some e-mail questions intended to get to the nub of the Nuge.
True or False: In real life, he's actually kind of normal.
False. "I am very intense," Nugent says. "Fortunately, my wife Shemane and my entire family love me dearly and help me back off the intensity for what is surely a most wonderfully balanced life. Remember, I sit in trees nearly every day from September well into the following February each year, still, silent and spiritually erect. The spirit of the wild cleanses my soul and is the ultimate calming routine. Thank God, huh?"
True or False: He recently waved a machine gun around onstage while saying things about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that can't be printed in a family newspaper. Suffice to say, it did not involve an in-depth comparison of their health-care plans.
True. But the gun wasn't loaded, Nugent says. So everybody should just stop freaking out. And that rumored visit from the Secret Service? "They wanted to borrow some of my superior ammo and have me teach them how to shoot better."
True or False: It's possible to be a Ted Nugent fan and be a liberal. Or a vegetarian. Probably not both, though.
True. "I in fact have very positive relationships with some vegetarians," Nugent says. "Liberal, I'm not so sure."
True of False: He's backing John McCain for president.
True. Although McCain probably hopes Nugent won't mention this to anyone. "In a world of politically correct cowardice, I'm sure he is thrilled, off the record."
True or False: Being Ted Nugent is exhausting, but it's all good.
True. "I cherish my every waking moment," Nugent says. "There is no way I would back off any of my life's callings. They are all critical, essential and deeply gratifying. As an American free man, I feel a soulful obligation to participate in this experiment in self-government every day in every way I possibly can."
True or False: He's thinking of running for governor of Michigan in 2010.
False. Well, maybe. "I will continue to consult with my campaign manager, Mrs. Nugent, and let you know ASAP."