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Buy one of the following Ted Nugent items from amazon.com:

'Double Live Gonzo' (1978)

'Great Gonzos!--The Best of Ted Nugent' (1981)

'The Ultimate Ted Nugent' (2002)

'God, Guns & Rock 'n' Roll' (2001 memoirs)

'Kill It & Grill It: A Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish' (2002 cookbook)


Photograph by Bonnie Schiffman

Yank Me, Cranky Old Man: Ted Nugent has the anti-gun camp in a stranglehold, baby.

Ted Shred

A Ted Nugent fan issues a plea to the Motor City Madman: Get off the soapbox and just rock

By Todd Inoue

AN OPEN LETTER to Ted Nugent. Please tape to Mr. Nugent's dressing room mirror. Thanks.

Hi, Ted. This letter should light a fire under your ass so hot that you're going to slay them tonight. I promise.

So many people dog you out, but I see the good parts. You're an outspoken guy who doesn't do drugs. You like to hunt with guns and bows. Go for it. I respect your right to participate in outdoor activities with or without weapons. My Uncle Howard took me boar hunting in Molokai when I was 11, and it changed my life; I've never wanted to hunt since.

I believe, at your core, that you're committed to honest American values. I don't agree with 90 percent of what you say--mostly about immigration, English-only legislation, rap music, welfare, AIDS and hand guns--but I honor your First Amendment right to run your mouth. I flipped through your book Gods, Guns & Rock 'n' Roll and laughed my ass off.

I can overlook these tics because, well, you rock. Albums like Double Live Gonzo, State of Shock, Free For All, Weekend Warriors, Cat Scratch Fever are all classics--no amount of political posturing can take that away. You and Derek St. Holmes forged an incredible chemistry. I still bump "Free For All," "Cat Scratch Fever," "Wango Tango," "Paralyzed" and "Stranglehold" on my iPod. I'm scratching my head over your current nu-metal phase of Craveman, but I'm waiting for my Full Bluntal Nugity DVD to arrive from Amazon, and no, I didn't buy it used!

There's a ton of bands like the D4, the 45s and the Datsuns that are sucking fumes from the rock & roll party bus you helped build from the ground up. All these Swedish and Aussie imports couldn't hold your jock. Even Ian Mackaye and Henry Rollins played your records while they were grinding curbs and halfpipes in DC. Mackaye said that seeing you cuss and spit onstage was an eye-opening experience for him.

Now stay with me here because it's about to get rough. Ted: Look at this tour, you're opening for Kenny Wayne Shepherd and ZZ Top, for Pete's sake. Not taking anything away from those guys--they're great talents and all--but come on. The Nuge of the '70s wouldn't stand for this treatment. Back in the day, you headlined over Aerosmith and AC/DC at the Oakland Stadium. You swung from a vine wearing nothing but a loincloth and a shit-eating grin. Then you kicked a bunch of fake rocks into the audience, strapped on your Gibson and tore it up. Why? Because you're the freakin' Nuge!

It was hard to be a Ted Nugent fan in the '90s. Derek St. Holmes was long gone. Then came Damn Yankees, and that's a whole 'nother retarded chapter; Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades aren't even on your level. But ultimately we, the loyal Nugent nation, forgave you. Dude's gotta make a buck.

But you really began to screw with your legacy when you became some sort of rock & roll Rush Limbaugh. You turned rock concerts into personal crusades; a show couldn't end without some messed-up Grandpa Simpson speech against immigration, guns, vegetarians, non-English speakers and rap music.

Now, when people think of Ted Nugent, do they think Double Live Gonzo, when you dedicated "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" to all "that Nashville pussy"? Does the sustained guitar tone of "Stranglehold" creep into their minds? No! People equate Ted Nugent with a right-wing blowhard, part-time sheriff and possible Michigan gubernatorial candidate who hawks his hunting magazines, camp for kids and beef jerky.

You're turning into a gimmick--a reactionary, gunslinging version of Dr. Phil. People are turned off by all the rhetoric. You couldn't even get in Bowling for Columbine, and Michael Moore is from Flint!

Bottom line: We love you, Ted, but kick back on the hate speeches, put down the guns and just freaking rock!

Ted Nugent opens for ZZ Top and Kenny Wayne Shepherd Sunday (June 8) at 7pm at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. Tickets are $31.25-$65.50 and available through Ticketmaster. (408.998.TIXS)

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From the June 5-11, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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