Music News

Happy Birthday, Ted Nugent!

Despite the fact that he's turns 63 today and he's proceeded past the age of eligibility for Social Security, Ted Nugent remains the manic guitar slinger he was in his younger days, a man still bristling with the unrelenting energy and the unrepentant attitude that became his signature style early on.

Other than the Amboy Dukes, the Detroit band that jumpstarted his career in the late '60s, he's only been aligned with one other outfit since, Damn Yankees, a super group of sorts which also featured Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw, and Michael Cartellone. Otherwise, it's been an ongoing series of hard rocking solo albums, spanning the better part of the past 40 years, which have effectively reflected his uncompromising stance. Indeed, his conservative politics and outspoken support of the NRA set him apart from his left-leaning contemporaries, and have garnered scorn from his critics. 

Whatever one thinks about The Nuge and his politics, it must be admitted that he's willing to stand up for his beliefs. In fact, he's outspoken on any number of issues. Outspoken? Make that outrageous.

On the plus side, he's been the national spokesman for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, urging individuals to indulge in a natural high that's found with enjoying the outdoors. However he's also aroused the ire of animal rights groups in his defense of hunting. "I'm stymied to come up with anything funnier than people who think animals have rights," he once told an interviewer. "Just stick an arrow through their lungs." He became downright despicable during a radio interview, when he labeled Heidi Prescott, an official at the helm of the Fund for Animals, a "worthless whore" and a "shallow slut."

"Who needs to club a seal, when you can club Heidi?" he added, ever so gallantly. He was later ordered by a court to pay Prescott $75,000. However that didn't stop him from further lambasting his detractors, who he accused of threatening him and his family. "Anyone who thinks hunting is terrible can kiss my ass," he eloquently insisted.

Nugent hasn't spared our political leaders either. He's lambasted Hilary Clinton and Barbara Boxer but saved his most controversial comments for the president. "Obama's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun," he boasted. He referred to the governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, in one of his songs, injecting the lyric "Jennifer Granholm can kiss my ass" into his songs, and went on to shoot an arrow at her likeness during a stage performance. He later stated that Granholm "is not doing an ugly job, but as the perfect woman, she is scrotumless." He also criticized Senator John McCain during the 2008 elections, accusing him of "catering to a growing segment of soulless Americans who care less what they can do for their country, but whine louder and louder about what their country must do for them. That is both un-American and pathetic."

As one might expect, he also has a low opinion of homosexuals, who he refers to as "morally wrong."

Not surprisingly, Nugent has mentioned that he would consider running for public office. When asked what he would do if elected, he said we would "Slash the living hell out of the waste and corruption and the outrageous army of do-nothing bureaucrats. I would fire every government worker whose job I would deem to be redundant and wasteful. No able-bodied human being would ever get a handout again."

The scary thing is... given the current state of politics in this country, The Nuge might just get elected.

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Lee Zimmerman