Ted Nugent and his band of Nugerian rebels will be playing a rare concert this weekend at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg, NY. Being that it's been a handful of years since Uncle Ted has played at the fair, we thought it would be a good idea to reach out to the wild man of rock-n-roll, and have him get us up to speed on all things "Nuge." While the usually verbose Gonzo was somewhat short, but to the point with his answers, they were given in the undeniable, inimitable fashion you would expect from dear 'ol Uncle Ted.
RockMusicStar: You recently finished up the "Midwest Rock and Roll Express Tour" with Reo Speedwagon and Styx. Looking back, do you feel such an odd pairing was a help or hindrance? Do you think you won over any of the 'soft rock' fans who were there for the other bands?
Ted Nugent: Whenever, wherever, under any and all conditions, when my killer band takes the stage, it is a win win win on all counts. Our music has a life of it's own, and the spirit and energy is a soul cleansing force to reckon with. If I wasn't me, I would definitely go see me.
RMS: When I saw the show in Big Flats, NY I noticed some onstage banter between yourself and Reo Speedwagon. Were the little jabs friendly, or did you sense some intimidation by Cronin and his boys?
TN: There isn’t a negative bone in my or Kevin Cronin's body. Everything we do is solidly in the cute column. Kevin is actually cuter than I am.
RMS: For years, many fans have been clamoring for some kind of Damn Yankees reunion. On the last night of the tour, you joined Tommy Shaw and Styx to play "Coming Of Age." Is there a possibility of more Damn Yankees action in the future, or did this one off jam fill your personal quota for some time?
TN: One thing is abundantly clear in the wonderful world of rock-n-roll, and that is that anything can happen. There is an unbridled giddiness we all share for Damn Yankee music, so hope springs eternal.
RMS: The continued collaboration between yourself and Derek St. Holmes is quite a treat for your longtime fans. After all these years, the chemistry is still alive and well, adding a large amount of authenticity to the classic songs. Could you, or a better question, would you, try to recapture that chemistry in the studio and write some new songs in the vein of records like "Cat Scratch Fever" or "Free-For-All?"
TN: Sadly, stagnant American radio passed up our killer music together from the "Nugent" LP in 1982 and the amazing songs Derek sang on "Spirit of the Wild" in 1995. Truly a mystery. But yes, we salivate in anticipation of making new music together ASAP, hopefully in 2013.
RMS: On August 12th, you'll be returning to the Erie County Fair (in Hamburg, NY), almost 4 years to the day. I know it's probably all a blur for you, but do you have any memories of the show from 2008, and what can fans expect for this year's appearance?
TN: But what a lovely, intoxicating blur it is! Yes, I am blessed with an incredible connection with the people across the land, especially the gung ho music lovers and hunting families of the region. Many wonderful deer hunting stories are shared backstage, and I look forward to more, as we unleash the ultimate soundtrack for freedom and defiance of BBQing the world has ever known.
RMS: For shows like this (at a fairgrounds etc.), do you find you have to dial yourself back a bit or are we gonna get full on Nuge?
TN: I am so fortunate to have so many families that come to our shows, especially in the family friendly environment of fairs, that I make sure I am PG13 for all the kids. Our audiences celebrate our Spirit of the Wild TV show on the Outdoor Channel, so that means more and more young people are showing up. But musically, we unleash the mighty beast nightly!
RMS: To switch gears for a minute, when you were recently asked about the Colorado Batman film shooting, you said that it may not have happened if more people in the theater were armed. While I see your point, if it comes down to more people being strapped, what will prevent it from turning into the 'wild west?'
TN: An undeniable common sense and pragmatism, that has been proven irrefutably time and time again, where armed Americans do the right thing. Such predictions are laughable, and are nothing more than hysterical fantasy, driven by dangerously out of touch lefties. An armed society has proven to be a polite and capable society. Gun free zones are a murderer's dream. We must ban gun free zones immediately.
RMS: While bands like Gwar can (mock) kill Barack Obama onstage every night, you make a couple of comments about the upcoming election and you get the secret service at your door. Do you feel you get singled out because you are so outspoken or because of your political views?
TN: Always have. Gwar is a cartoon act, so the left knows they mean nothing. Conversely, the left knows I make perfect sense, and destroy their lunatic fringe insanity every time I open my mouth, so they trip over themselves in a mad scramble to demonize me. The Saul Alinsky mantra is alive and well with America haters everywhere. I could not be more proud that I cause soulless idiots much anguish.
RMS: In a recent interview, your old "Supergroup" cast mate, Sebastian Bach, said that you're a "great guitar player," but "people are disgusted" by you because "they don't like guns." He says your old school ways are "from the fifties" and it makes you come off as racist, which to him "is not acceptable." How do you respond to these comments?
TN: I don't. Why do you think they call it dope?
RMS: Would you ever appear on "American Idol?" What would they have to do to get you on that show?
TN: They could donate 10 million dollars to my children's charity, and my military charity, and I would be happy to appear.
RMS: What's next for Ted Nugent?
TN: The continuing incredible quality of life I have always carved out for my family and friends. The best soul music on earth and the best hunting season of my life. Constant upgrade and adventure, far beyond the road less traveled.
RMS: Could you leave a personal message for all of your fans reading this at RockMusicStar.com?
TN: Thank you all for providing me this unbelievable, gravity defying career, for more than 50 years. The pure animal love we share for real honest to God American music, throttles my very being and I love you all madly for the support, energy, attitude and spirit. God bless you all.
For more info. on Ted Nugent, please visit www.tednugent.com