RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL (Circ. 72,388; daily; Reno, NV)
Rocker Ted Nugent talks hunting, guns, politics and, oh yeah, his music
By Jason Kellner
For some, Ted Nugent may only be remembered as the guy who wrote "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold" some 30 years ago. For others, he's the right-wing mouthpiece who frequently shows up on news programming.
Nugent, who's wrapping up a summer tour here in Reno this weekend, has learned to market himself in a way that would make KISS proud. As his music faded from the limelight, he became a political activist, the author of such books as "Kill it and Grill it" and "Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto," and the star of his own popular cable-television shows "Spirit of the Wild" and "Wanted: Ted or Alive." He's serving his fifth term on the National Rifle Association's board of directors and released his 35th album, "Love Grenade," in 2007.
To say he can polarize a crowd is an understatement. The Nuge sat down at the keyboard for a Q&A with us (he'd agree only to an e-mail interview) from his home near George W. Bush's place in Crawford, Texas. He declined to answer questions about the "Love Grenade" song "Girl Scout Cookies," which includes the line "I like the Thin Mints, 'cuz nobody likes a fat mint," among other sexually suggestive lyrics, and to comment on the Goldfinger song called "FTN," which stands for F--- Ted Nugent.
Question: Got any recommendations for hunting and serving Nevada's top game -- chukars, big horn sheep or elk?
Answer: For the healthiest and most delicious food on Earth, you cannot go wrong with these majestic creatures, like all wild game, when approached with proper, intelligent respect for the sacred beasts! Cleanly killed and handled with care, clean and cold, there is no wrong way to prepare these natural, organic gifts of pure protein. Kill 'em and grill 'em baby! Though each species has its own flavor and specific preparation preferences. Used sparingly, all various seasonings, herbs and spices are all great.
Q. Is it true you haven't eaten store-bought meat in more than 30 years? What do you eat on the road?
A: At home we eat only what we kill ourselves, and even on the road we have so many hunting and fishing BloodBrothers around the country that we are almost always blessed with the gift of sacred flesh in our travels. How cool is that?
Q. If everybody in America were to hunt their own food, as you suggest, wouldn't we all starve, even if we all were good hunters?
A: The human genetic could use a little quality control weeding out, don't you think? Not everybody is cut out to be a hunter, but surely there are more than enough game animals out here in this day and age to feed way more people than we currently do. Our Hunters for the Hungry program serves more than 250 million pure meals of venison each year, plus the soulless bureaucrats at the USDA waste millions of our tax dollars each year hiring people to kill our surplus wildlife where we the people are not allowed to do so, then have the audacity to bury the carcasses. Truly one of the most offensive and soulless practices the punks in governemnt have insulted Americans with in the name of braindead political correctness. For shame.
Q: You appear on lots of news shows, but it seems they only want your opinions on guns and politics. Does it bother you that they don't want to talk about your music?
A: Of the thousands and thousands of interviews I do each year, there is good balance between political issues and the joys of my gravity-defying musical career.
Q: With your books, your music, food gathering, TV shows, NRA duties and now acting in "Beer for My Horses," what's the top priority these days in the empire of Uncle Ted?
A: It is always family first, but the thrills of my musical and naturalist lifestyle is beyond dreamy. I may very well be the happiest human being on Earth.
Q: Do your endeavors outside your music, like your involvement with the NRA, help sell your records?
A: I do not think so.
Q: Certainly, there are a lot of left-wingers in the music biz. Who do you count on as musician friends these days?
A: Certainly all my amazing musical collaborators are dear friends. Mick Brown, Greg Smith, Sammy Hagar, Tommy Clufetos, Marco Mendoza, Barry Sparks, Tommy Aldridge, Michael Lutz, Kid Rock, Johnny Gunnel, Derek St. Holmes, Tommy Shaw, Michael Cartellone, Jack Blades, the ZZ Top boys, Ricky Medlock, Damon Johnson, Alice Cooper, John Sykes, Toby Keith and his band, and many many more are good friends.
Q: You've got no reservations about sexual conquests in your music, but how is it that you've stayed drug-free throughout your career, given the temptations?
A: I saw so many stinky hippies drool, puke, stumble about and die, that the writing on the wall was inescapable from the earliest years. I am a big fan of cause and effect, and as a bowhunter, knew damn well that such suicidal, self-inflicted poisoning was a surefire road to a wrecked life. No thank you.
Q: Will you be campaigning for McCain this fall or making appearances on news shows?
A: To the best of my ability.
Q: Do you think there's a lot riding on this election?
A: A future for America with a nonstop, we-the-people connection to John McCain, or the horror of America turning into France under Obama.
Q: Your position on gun control is well-known. Do you think all weapons available in the U.S. today should be available for self-defense -- weapons that were never conceived when the constitution was written?
A: Our founding fathers wanted free people to have state-of-the-art military hand-held, self-defense weapons for Americans. I concur.
Q: Being that you and Michael Moore are both from Michigan, have you ever run into him? If you did run into him, what would happen?
A: We had an exchange at the Detroit airport years ago after I terminally gutted his goofy marxist "interviewer" on his "TV Nation" television show. He admitted that though they scrambled to "get" me with every resource at their disposal, that when the editing ended, they concluded that I was indeed "un-gettable". It was a very humbling moment, for him. I offered him a lifetime of personal hygiene products, but he didn't seem to know what I was talking about.
Q: You've been writing for the newspaper in Waco (Texas). Are you witnessing its decline like the rest of the nation's newspapers? Any hope for their survival?
A: Word has it that my writings, celebrating truth, logic and the American Way, have revived the Waco Trib. Such spiritual upgrade would do the same for all of America's newspapers I am sure.