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Ted Nugent

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Ted Nugent

If there is a musician who shows in an exemplary manner that musical talent does not have to go hand in hand with wisdom, then Ted Nugent is the prime example. Blessed with a divine talent when it comes to playing guitar, he delights fans all over the world. Away from the stage, on the other hand, it would be a relief if Nugent refrained from blowing his views on God and the world into them and just shut up.

Nugent was born on December 13, 1948 in Detroit. The fact that he appears more like a gun fool than a musician has to do with his upbringing. He learned archery when he was five years old, while it wasn't until three years later that he picked up a guitar for the first time. In the sixties he founded his first bands called Royal High Boys and Lourdes, inspired by the rock and roll of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. Ted runs with these formations as one of many. It wasn't until he was hanging around Chicago from 1965 that things started to move. There he gathers some musicians around him who make music under the name The Amboy Dukes.

He brazenly steals the band name from a recently disbanded formation of the same name, which is named after a book. In Chicago, Ted mumbled with his boys relatively unsuccessfully. It didn't seem until 1967, when he went back to Michigan and got together with singer John Drake, whom he still knew from Lourds, as well as Steve Farmer (guitar), Bill White (bass), keyboardist Rick Lober and drummer Dave Palmer Time for the band. In the same year, the Amboy Dukes released their self-titled debut. But it wasn't until 1968 - after a few changes in the line up - that things really got going with "Journey To The Center Of The Mind"; the title track climbs into the top 20 of the American charts.

Ted Nugent claims that he didn't know that this song was a real drug glorification. The Amboy Dukes put the promising start with the following albums ("Migrations", "Marriage On The Rocks", "Survival Of The Fittest") in the sand, so that Nugent throws all members out. He then continued under the name Ted Nugent & The Amboy Dukes. The other albums ("Call Of The Wild", "Tooth, Fang & Claw") flop a lot, but the titles alone show the preference for game hunting.

So Nugent removes the Amboy Dukes from the name and goes officially on solo paths. In 1975, in addition to a management contract with Aerosmiths Company, Ted also got a record deal with their label Columbia. From now on he throws all psychedelic elements that were once an important part of the Amboy Dukes overboard and devotes himself to a strong and straightforward hard rock. The self-titled debut already sets a first fragrance brand, what can be expected from the house of Nugent in the future.

Ted himself acts as a tyrant within the band, which is why his relationship with subordinates such as bass player Rob Grange, drummer Cliff Davies and singer / guitarist Derek St. Holmes is more than difficult. So Derek left the band shortly after the debut was released, but returned in time to the recordings for "Free For All". The backing vocals are sung by a hitherto completely unknown shouter, who is said to be a lot more successful as a solo singer in later years than Nugent ever was and will be. His name: Marvin Lee Aday. Never heard? Well then maybe under his pseudonym Meat Loaf? Just. Afterwards it goes on tour in the opening act of Black Sabbath.

The 1977 album "Cat Scratch Fever" established Nugent in the rock Olympus of the USA. His live shows are getting ludicrous. If he was already known in the past for being very crazy on stage, he now shoots the bird. Dressed only in a loincloth, he swings on a liana on the stage to rock the house. Here we can already hear the Neanderthals, as Nugent would reveal himself in later years when it comes to topics such as homosexuality, US internal security or gun control.

With the live album "Double Live Gonzo", which was released a year later, he brought his stage sound into the living room. Actually, this record is something like the house number when it comes to Ted Nugent, because here you can hear the actual power unpolished and powerful. That is probably one of the reasons why this output sells like sliced ​​bread. With this, however, he has reached his creative zenith for the time being. First he falls out with his band and releases one irrelevant album after the other. The new man behind the microphone goes by the name Charlie Huhn and should later be quite successful at Victory.

Just like drummer Cliff, he remains loyal to the crazy guitarist for many years. However, there is no album on which another woofer does not pick up the strings. Unfortunately he hangs his musical flag in the wrong wind; No rock fan wants to hear wavy keyboard sounds at this time. Accordingly, the public interest is also gradually waning. If a pinball maker dedicates a special edition to him, Nugent is practically broke at the beginning of the eighties. Only constant touring can avoid a total crash. He's throwing the whole band out again and looking for new people.

More or less at least, because on the work simply titled "Nugent" from 1982 Derek St. Holmes sings once more. Dave Kiswiney plays the bass and Carmine Appice (ex-Ozzy Osbourne) sits behind the drums. Less than two years later he recorded "Penetrator" with a completely new team, and on "Little Miss Dangerous" from 1986 he got a whole host of guest musicians, none of whom were permanent with his tape belongs. With a small guest appearance in the series Miami Vice, he gets a taste of the film business, but ultimately returns to his guitar.

current album

Before he throws the gun in the grain in '89, the album "If You Can't Lick 'Em ... Lick' Em" is released. Dave Amato can be heard as the singer, who later joins Reo Speedwagon. Ted put his solo career aside for the time being, contributed a contribution to the Beastie Boys album "Check Your Head" and joined the supergroup Damn Yankees. In addition to Nugent, the band's line-up includes Jack Blades (Night Ranger), Tommy Shaw (Styx) and Michael Cartellone. Not least thanks to the lard ballad "High Enough", the combo's debut is terribly steep, Nugent has restructured itself in one fell swoop.

The 1992 "Don't Tread On Me" doesn't top this smash hit anymore. Nugent and his colleagues then returned to their own interests. And with Ted they look like he is jerking through the American forest with his buddies and hunted down all kinds of animals with all kinds of weapons. In addition to these dubious live activities, Nugent is also more or less politically active. To call his views value conservative would be about as apt as to call Kim Jong-Il the representative of a humanitarian socialism. Nugent's comments on current and socio-political events are legendary and would contain a certain comedy. But unfortunately the crazy redneck is really serious.

After indulging in his original passions for a while with various hunting shows on US television, books (legendary title: "Kill It & Grill It") and videos, he returned to musicianship solo in 1995. "Spirit Of The Wild" marks a triumphant return to the spotlight. After another new live album ("Full Bluntal Nugity") Ted opens the shows of the KISS Farewell Tour. In the meantime he is behind the microphone himself and doesn't look bad at all. Marco Mendoza is at his side on bass and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake / Ex-Ozzy) sits behind the drums. Then it goes on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Deep Purple.

In 2001 he wrote his autobiography "God, Guns, & Rock'n'Roll", and in 2002 he added another studio record, "Craveman". Tommy Clufetos has now slipped into the band for Aldridge. In April 2003 ZZ Top, Double Trouble and Kenny Wayne Shepherd go on the 'Beer Drinkers And Hell Raisers' tour through the USA. Finally, VH1 even runs a reality series called "Surviving Nugent - The Ted Commandments", in which The Nuge first saws his leg with a chainsaw and has to be sewn with 40 stitches ...

In September 2005, it came as no surprise that Nugent was considering running for governor. At the last second, however, he withdrew his application and put off his supporters for the next election in five years: "Even if Michigan urgently needs me - the pimps, whores and welfare brats have to be introduced to my crowbar - it is better for my family for my family first to do in five years ". God bless America! When it comes to music, however, he doesn't know that much reticence.

The documentary 'Supergroup' is running on VH1, in which, in addition to Ted, bald anthrax Scott Ian, former biohazard bassist Evan Seinfeld, ex-Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach and drummer Jason Bonham (Foreigner) take part. In addition, at the beginning of October 2007 he added "Love Grenade" and was probably promoting the big game hunt with hand grenades ...

He is supported on the disc by drummer Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie) and bass player Barry Sparks, who was also part of the 2006 Sweden Rock gig. The recordings from there will be released at the end of June 2008 under the title "Sweden Rocks" and show The Nuge not only live on stage, but also monitoring a few target practice of his family and fellow musicians.