Ted Nugent. The very name of this famous son of the Motor City conjures up different images to different people – hunting enthusiast, NRA spokesperson, TV host, author, American patriot, environmentalist, ultra-conservative, humanitarian, family man – and all of them are accurate.
Like all of us, Ted Nugent is a complex man with many sides, many moods and many opinions. Opinions he is famous for sharing whether one wants to hear them or not, because as Nugent puts it, “I’m all about good health, keeping fit and exercise. That includes exercising my First Amendment Right of Free Speech to help keep this country fit and healthy.”
But first and foremost, Ted Nugent is a rock ‘n’ roller known for his wholly unique stage entrances — swinging on stage from a rope wearing a loin cloth, riding in atop a live buffalo, or in the earliest days jumping to the floor from a 25-foot stack of Marshall amplifiers – and for such high decibel hits as “Stranglehold,” “Motorcity Madhouse,” “Great White Buffalo,” “Free-For-All,” “Cat Scratch Fever,” and “Wango Tango,” which made him one of the most popular rock stars of the 1970s.
Nugent is spending much of this summer as he had last year, chugging across America as part of the triple-threat Midwest Rock ‘N’ Roll Express Tour with fellow Great Lakes-rooted rockers STYX and REO Speedwagon. In between those split-bill performances Nugent grants his own group no rest, opting to fill open dates with solo concerts like the one on May 16 at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.
“I love playing the Michiana area because it takes me back to all those Amboy Dukes years when we were playing the Wild Goose shows,” said Nugent, adding how Star Plaza has become one of his favorite in the world to perform. “It’s not just that it’s a great venue, but it’s the great people there. We have a lot of good friends that we love to see when we play in Merrillville. A lot of my blood brothers are there.”
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