Ted Nugent Is ‘Still Raising Hell'
He rocks the Chumash Casino with his gonzo guitar shredding and edgy political commentary
By Jeff Moehlis, Noozhawk Contributor
At Friday night's concert at the Chumash Casino, Ted Nugent bombarded the audience with killer guitar playing and over-the-top anti-liberal, pro-gun/pro-hunting zingers.
Some of the latter were actually pretty amusing. For example, Nugent said that "in Texas [where he lives], we don't have a mountain lion problem. The mountain lions have a Ted problem." Another example: Detroit [where he used to live] is "not the murder capital because we're more violent; we're just better shots."
Other statements directed at specific politicians were a bit too raw, certainly doing little to raise the level of political discourse in the United States. For example, Nugent invited Barbara Boxer to come onstage to suck one of the (real) machine guns that were on display. He also claimed derisively to have shot a large blacktail deer for Dianne Feinstein, and said "when Ted Kennedy had that aneurysm - that was me."
Such statements were reflections of his early claim that "I get up every day just to make liberals s*** blood." Personally - and don't think this is a call for the irrepressible Nugent to be censored in anyway - the comments made the title of a Frank Zappa album spring into my head: Shut Up ‘N Play Yer Guitar.
Why? Well, unlike his cheap shots at politicians, his guitar playing is truly spectacular.
Nugent kicked off the concert with a Jimi Hendrix-esque wah-wah-heavy guitar instrumental version of the "Star Spangled Banner," punctuated by comments such as "You can't do this in France," and he and his "greasy little Motor City fingers" never looked back.
He shredded through such Nugent classics as "Wango Tango," "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang," "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold," plus a cover of Sam & Dave's "Soul Man." Particularly notable was "Just What the Doctor Ordered," during which the previously subdued crowd left their seats and rushed to the stage.
Nugent alternately described his music as "Motor City high energy s***" and "soul music," and made several amusing statements about his songs, such as calling "Rawdogs & Warthogs" "just another love song," and saying that the metal-ish "KLSTRPHNKY" was the "only country and western song we do."
Call the music what you will, but Nugent's passion for the music of Detroit was apparent - including his reference to bassist (and sometimes lead vocalist) Greg Smith and drummer Mick Brown as the Funk Brothers, in homage to the legendary Motown rhythm section. This was a power trio of the first order.
Nugent's passion for hunting also came through loud and clear, with the song "Fred Bear" complemented by footage of deer getting shot by the bow-hunting Nugent mixed with vintage footage of his bow-hunting friend Fred Bear. The encore had Nugent in the headdress of a Native American chief shooting a flaming arrow at his guitar, which represented a white buffalo. Good theater.
At age 61 and having played more than 6,000 concerts during his lifetime, Nugent shows no sign of slowing down. I certainly don't want to be the one who tries to stop him.
Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
Rawdogs & Warthogs
Still Raising Hell
I Need You Bad
Just What the Doctor Ordered
Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead
Cat Scratch Fever
Great White Buffalo
Spirit of the Wild
Visit the TalkBack Forum to chat with Uncle Ted about his experience.