Rockin' with Nugent
Bangor bassist is on tour with the Motor City Madman. They'll be on stage tonight at Penn's Peak.
Not many people can say they hang with rock stars on a daily basis.
Even fewer can say part of their job is strapping on a bass and performing in front of thousands of people.
Greg Smith can claim both.
The Bangor resident has spent the past two years touring the country and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent.
And yes, "The Nuge" is just as animated offstage as he is on.
"That's him 100 percent," Smith says with a laugh. "He's the same guy whether he's on stage or off stage, on TV or on an airplane flight."
Tonight he will join Nugent for a performance at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
"He has a ton of energy. He's 60 years old but he's a ball of energy. It's amazing, sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with him. His playing is just so good."
Smith says he hooked up with Nugent through a recommendation by Dokken drummer Mick Brown.
"(Brown) called me up and said 'Do you sing lead?' I said 'yeah' and he goes, 'Good, 'cause I told Ted you did.'"
Besides sharing the stage with Nugent, Smith also has performed with rock legends Alice Cooper, former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, The Alan Parsons Project, Wendy O. Williams and Blue Oyster Cult.
"(Deep Purple's) 'Machine Head' pretty much started it for me," Smith says. "We'd be playing some of those old Purple songs and I'd look over and be like 'Wow, how did I end up here?' I really enjoyed playing with him."
Smith also spent three-and-a-half years performing with the house band for the Billy Joel-inspired Broadway musical "Movin' Out."
"That was just a really great experience," Smith says. "I got to stay home. I've been touring since '77. When you have a kid, it's really good to be home."
Even though he gets to rub elbows with rock royalty, Smith says he's still just a fan.
"I definitely liked Ted's music (growing up). I have ('Cat Scratch Fever') somewhere in my house. I probably should get it out and have him sign it."
That music sounds better than it ever has, Smith says. "It's just getting so tight, it's really something else. You never know what Ted is going to say or do. I have the best seat in the house. He'll probably do the bow-and-arrow stunt. I get to light the arrow."
In October, Smith will hit the road with members of Dokken.
"Just keeping busy," he says.
Staff writer Dustin Schoof can be reached at 610-258-7171 or email@example.com.
Source: The Express-Times