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  • Ted Nugent

    An interview with Guitarist/Wildman Ted Nugent
    by Aaron Manogue
    September 2011

    Ted Nugent

    Ted Nugent "Blue Mist" by James & Maryln Brown
    photo by James & Maryln Brown

    Over the past fifty years, there have been literally hundreds of thousands of bands and musicians in the business. There have been some successful bands, some not so successful and a very select few that have become icons of rock n’ roll. Out of all of the musicians and bands there have been, there is only one Ted Nugent. In the past 50 years, Ted Nugent has done things that most musicians could only ever dream of, including setting attendance records at venues worldwide in 2005 and ‘06, was the top grossing act in the world in 1977, ‘78 & ‘79, and has sold over 30 million records worldwide. His number one weapon, while on stage at least, is his trademark Gibson Byrdland. Some of his most famous riffs, and it just so happens some of rock n’ rolls most recognizable riffs, were written by him on this guitar.

    “The mighty Gibson Byrdland guitar is a magical piece of American craftsman artwork that has a musical voice all its own. A beast of an instrument that was created to provide a limitless pallet for creative sonic bombast and musical adventure that called my name from the very 1st time I witnessed its power in the hands of Jimmy McCarty of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels way back around 1961. This custom guitar is capable of more sounds than a normal human being is capable of dreaming of. But since I am not a normal human being, our love affair continues to produce soul cleansing and crotch inspiring sounds and love songs for the masses,” Nugent said.

    But believe it or not, even with the amazing records he’s broken and the millions of records he’s sold, Ted Nugent’s music career is but a mere fraction of the man that he is. Just speaking with Ted for a few minutes, one can sense the immaculate intelligence, patriotism and genuine purity that he holds. He has never been afraid to speak his mind and beliefs, despite the consequences that may arise because of them. He has never shied away from a debate or argument and would stand against anything to support his beliefs. He supports our soldiers around the world through every avenue that he can; donating his money, donating his time and even simply sending venison to troops; thousands of pounds of it.

    “Last year alone, I donated over one-thousand pounds of venison and flew it over to our troops overseas!” exclaimed Nugent during his recent show in Madison on August 21st.

    Ted Nugent is a man with many nicknames from “Uncle Ted” to the “MotorCity Madman” but there’s really only one truth that always fits whether you agree with his beliefs or not. He’s an American Patriot that is part of a dying breed in this great nation that would do anything for the betterment of the United States of America and it’s people. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue had the pleasure of speaking with Uncle Ted about how he started playing guitar, where he got his inspiration as a young kid, his first true love hunting and what advice he gives to young kids picking up a guitar for the first time.

    Maximum Ink: Tell me about your first guitar you ever played.
    Ted Nugent: I might have been 5 or 6 years old and commenced to beat and abuse an old acoustic guitar of my aunt Nancy’s, pounding out raw, primal scream Bo Diddly rhythms and grinding pulsations from the soul of man. No really, at 5 or 6. It was beautiful and foreboding.

    MI: Who was your biggest inspiration musically and made you want to pursue a career in music?
    TN:The tsunami of spirit and attitude from Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, so many masters of American rhythm & blues and rock & roll soul music pummeled me with inescapable inspiration to join in on the tribal musical melee. There was no Plan B.

    MI: With so many bands out there today that struggle to stay relevant even for an album or two, what do you think has been the key to your continuing success over the past decades?
    TN: Pure unstoppable gungho animal spirit, attitude and a work ethic unrivaled by entire Mythalonian societies. I bleed defiance.

    MI: How do you feel social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) has changed the landscape of the rock n’ roll scene?
    TN: It hasn’t and can’t in my world of superior virtuosos. My band and music has a life of its own. We are a force to reckon with and no technology or outside influences have a prayer to affect us.

    MI: You’ve set records for attendance worldwide, sold millions and millions of records, is there anything that you haven’t done that you still would like to?
    TN: More of the same, and I shall.

    MI: You’ve hunted all over the world and experienced probably ever type of hunt. It may be impossible to name, but what is your most memorable hunt?
    TN: Every hunt with family and friends is a soul cleansing connection with God’s miraculous creation, and I cherish every outing, every encounter with every beast and every magical moment of truth when I receive the gift of life sustaining nutrition from a dedicated kill. That being said, I have been so blessed to be invited into very special families’ lives who are preparing to say good-bye to a loved one when they ask me to take their sons and daughters on their last hunt in life. I am also been phenomenally blessed to be invited into the inner circle of US Military families to share sacred campfires with heroes of the US Military that have so dearly sacrificed for our American Dream and freedom. These hunts are indescribable in their spiritual ramifications and spirit fortifying powers. I am a very, very fortunate man to be welcomed by such superior human beings.

    MI: What would be your advice to anyone, young or old who is picking up a guitar for the first time?
    TN: Remain clean and sober, reach for the sky, put your heart and soul into everything you do, practice till it hurts, then practice some more. Learn all the genius guitar licks and songs by the black masters like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, and concentrate on the groove and follow your dreams. Never give up.

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