By Rick Coates
The political season is in full swing and the Motor City Madman Ted
Nugent is definitely campaigning. While not running for political
office as of yet, Uncle Ted believes for now his best platform is the
rock and roll stage and living by example. But he says the threat is
there, it will always be there, (to run for office).
The Nuge will bring his political stump speech in the form of two and
half hours of blistering rock and roll to the Leelanau Sands Showroom
on July 31 and August 1. Both shows sold out in less than an hour, but
a search of craigslist at press time showed a couple of dozen tickets
for sale at face value ($40 plus ticket handling fees).
Now in his sixth decade, The Whackmaster is approaching 62 and is
showing no signs of slowing down. He attributes his longevity in the
music business to his work ethic, clean living, a positive attitude,
surrounding himself with great people, and of course, his hunting.
His passion for music is still there, and as he puts it, Until people
stop coming I wont stop rocking unless the blistering soulful sounds
stop spewing from guitar then I will quit, but how likely is that?
Not very likely; few people who have been in the business of rock and
roll as long as Sweaty Teddy have as much as he does, for that matter
few people in general probably have as much fun as he does every day.
Factor in the throngs of young people coming out to his shows and
Terrible Ted looks like a guy who will be around for several years. As
he says: That is not a threat, that is a promise!
Nugent is in the middle of a 70-date tour (over a span of 90 days) and
he took time out to answer a few questions during a rare day off from
his home in Waco, Texas (his ranch is near George W. Bush). In the
business of interviewing rock stars, Nugent is among the easiest, just
simply hit record and ask, Hey Ted, how are you doing? and 30
minutes later, hit the stop button and here are the results:
Northern Express: Okay Ted, give it to us straight; are you going to
run for political office? You have been threatening for the past 10
Nugent: The threat is there, it will always be there. If the
Communist/Mao/Che fans in the White House keep putting forward the
Communist/Mao/Che agenda, then the threat level heightens. I get asked
a lot to run in Michigan for governor or U.S. senator and I have a
great campaign manager in my wife Shemaine, and she will let me know
when the time is right. But I will tell you this; as I travel this
great country rock and rolling and hunting, I talk to a lot of people
who are getting tired of the blood-sucking pigs elected in office who
are self-serving and not working for us. Those pigs in Washington who
want to redistribute the wealth of the hard-working Americans are
turning us into a communistic society and people are not going to take
it. That is why the Tea Party is gaining momentum. I see November 2,
2010 (election day) as a new Independence Day as we vote the pigs out
of office. So as for me running for office, for right now I plan to
keep touring and listening to the people and leading by example.
NE: What do you mean lead by example?
Nugent: I live my life to the best of my abilities according the the
U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments. I
expect my family and the people who work for me to do the same thing.
Every day I get up early and do the best that I can do to be a
productive being in society. I make sure that what I do shows up in
the asset column not the liability column and I expect that every
American should do the same.
NE: You have been a proponent of clean living all your life. Are you
saying that you have never tipped back a cold one?
Nugent: Lets put it this way, I dont have a budget for poison. I
dont get these people who spend half their paychecks on drugs and
alcohol. Now do I think having a cold beer is bad thing? No, I have
family and friends who have a cold one around the campfire after a day
of hunting. And yes, over the years I have been known to have a cold
beer myself or a good glass of red wine with some back-straps.
NE: Reviews from your current tour say you are as lively and feisty on
stage as you were 30 years ago.
Nugent: They are wrong; I am more feisty now than I was back then. I
just came off double knee surgery and I am dancing around on stage
like I am a reincarnated James Brown.
NE: Give us a little taste of what we can expect this weekend at the
Nugent: Every night I am playing for 2 1/2 - 3 hours and not only are
we pulling from the Nugent catalog but from all the greats that
inspired me. I have always paid sincere tribute to the masters of
American music by performing masterpieces by Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry,
Sam and Dave, James Brown, Lightning Hopkins, Wilson Picket, Motown
greats, plus we will do some Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Booker T.
& The MGs and others. My incredible drummer Mick Brown and amazing
bassist Greg Smith and I all owe everything to the black American gods
of soul music and we are compelled to remind everyone where all killer
music comes from each night.
NE: Okay, explain what you mean by Trample The Weak Hurdle The Dead,
Nothing But Love Songs From Your Uncle Ted, the name of your tour.
Nugent: All good things in the history of humankind have been
accomplished by overcoming serious obstacles. Innocent lives have
always been saved by warriors willing to charge forward and get the
job done. That title describes my life, band and music perfectly.
NE: You are coming Up North, a place that is near and dear to your heart...
Nugent: The term Up North is a battle cry for sheer joy and
wonderful memories of my growing up in the Winter Water Wonderland.
There is no question that to this day my beloved Northern Michigan
represents a powerful spiritual call to the Nugent family. My sacred
hunting lifestyle was and continues to be nurtured and celebrated in
the mystical wilds of Northern Michigan. These concerts are going to
be a family reunion with me and all my blood-brethren of the North.
Plus, all my family and extended family will be around.
NE: Do you have any regrets in life?
Nugent: Sure, like not making the time to join Fred Bear on many of
the incredible hunts he invited me to join him on. Though I was
privileged to hunt with Fred on many hunts for many years, I should
have done them all.
NE: You are essentially the CEO of the Nugent brand. What are some of
the principles you operate under to create success for you and your
Nugent: I lead by example by getting up earlier than anybody, perform
every imaginable duty to the absolute best of my ability, dismiss the
word cant and put my heart and soul into everything I do. My
entire team operates by the same Herculean work ethic and American
dream of excellence that the Nugent family does. I am surrounded by
NE: Ted is there anyway you could possibly have anymore fun in life?
Nugent: I work on it relentlessly everyday and succeed maniacally,
thank you very much.