Music » Music Features

Ted, white and blue



Propelled by double entendres and hot guitar licks, Detroit rock institution Ted Nugent’s still cruising on a three-decade schtick worth more than 30 million records sold and 6,000 shows performed.

On paper, the Motor City Madman’s career is as mind-boggling as the high-fret theatrics his 63-year-old fingers continue performing. A run from 1975 to 1977 collectively yielded six-times-platinum sales, top-grossing tours and now-iconic hit singles, most notably “Cat Scratch Fever.”

Although that rush of success failed to yield a Billboard Hot 100 single after 1980’s “Wango Tango,” and the showman’s studio output has waned considerably since 1988’s If You Can’t Lick ’Em ...

Lick ’Em, Nugent’s remained on the radar by amplifying a long-running broadcast of conservative politics and defense of gun rights.

Anybody who doubts the shift of focus to hot-button punditry need only compare the subject matter of 2007’s Love Grenade (which
contains a song titled “Girl Scout Cookies,” literally about how much he
likes them) with his recent streak of inflammatory remarks about
President Barack Obama
. The latter, naturally, has garnered more

“I do
believe I’ve got the American language down pat,” Nugent said. “Great
Americans are dedicated to taking our beloved country back from a rotten
gang of America-haters who are intentionally dismantling the greatest
quality of life and freedom in the history of the world.”

the Nuge’s populist appeals and brash characterizations push him to the
media fringe as a tea party-like outlier, his dog-and-pony show has
swelled to include TV and radio programming, and several published
books. God, Guns, & Rock ’n’ Roll proved a New York Times best seller.

“Thank you all for more
than 40 years of soul-cleansing, passionate, pure, animal, rock-’n’-roll
celebration,” he said with a shout-out to Oklahoma City. “You animals
deserve me.”

we do. Either way, fans attending Friday’s Zoo Amphitheatre set with
Styx and REO Speedwagon are as likely to experience political fireworks
as ’70s classic-rock standards.

6 Nugent song titles with barely disguised sexual innuendo

1. “Love Grenade”
2. “Missionary Mary”
3. “Hard As Nails”
4. “Saddle Sore”
5. “The Harder They Come (The Harder I Get)”
6. “Habitual Offender”

Hey! Read This:
Ted Nugent's redneck rhapsody

Latest in Music Features

Readers also liked…

Add a comment