A Landmark Q and A with the noted guitar showman
by Brad Carl
Just like the staff at The Landmark, Ted Nugent is a rare breed. The rockin’ guitarist from Detroit takes a hard stance against drugs and alcohol, loves guns, bows and arrows, hunting, and has starred in his own television show (“Spirit of the Wild”) on the Outdoor Channel since 2001.
Ted Nugent is commonly recognized as one of the world’s leading guitar showmen and his no-holds-barred career spans five decades of multi-platinum hits, including “Stranglehold,” “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Wango Tango,” and “Free-For-All.”
And if you’ve been living under a rock you might not know that Nugent also has strong opinions on various political issues, including gun control and animal rights.
Let’s head straight to Tedquarters and learn more about the Motor City Madman from Uncle Ted himself.
THE LANDMARK: With roughly 60 years of fun under your belt writing, recording and performing music, is there anyone you’d be intrigued to work with that you haven’t?
TED NUGENT: I’ve been blessed beyond measure to have jammed with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, BB King, SRV, Eddie Van Halen, Sammy Hagar, Aerosmith, Heart, ZZ Top, Rick Derringer, Steve Winwood, Brian May, John Entwistle, Carmine Appice, literally 100s of the world’s best musical forces but I sure would have loved to get it on with James Brown, Wilson Picket, Little Richard, the mighty Motown Funkbrothers, the Stax Volt gang and so many of the founding fathers of the greatest music in the world. I mean good Lord, all my bandmates over the many years have been the best of the best and in 2022 with Jason Hartless on drums and Greg Smith on bass I live the dream every gig, every night, every song!
THE LANDMARK: The Internet turned the music industry on its head over the past 20-plus years. Do you think things would be different today if record labels had been quicker to embrace technology?
TED NUGENT: I wish like hell the ripoff technology never happened as it nearly eliminated the inspiration to pay one’s dues and learn the spirit of the music through struggle, sacrifice and taking adventurous risks. There is literally no comparison whatsoever between the dynamic soulmusic of the 50s, 60s and 70s to the embarrassing drivel of today by so many artists who go by formula instead of gut instinct. Thank God many of us old dudes continue to throttle like animals.
THE LANDMARK: No doubt those were the days. Speaking of throttling animals, Hunters for the Hungry is an organization that gives back to communities by supplying thousands of meals to the needy. Can you tell our readers how valuable this is to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food banks across the United States?
TED NUGENT: The great hunting families of America proudly and lovingly serve more than 300 million delicious, nutritious, healthy meals of venison to our fellow Americans without any interference or waste from Uncle Sam. No USDA, no FDA, no EPA, no soulless bureaucrats to wreck everything. Most people have never heard of this amazing “we the people” charitable program over the last three decades because so many clowns in the media, driven by the insanity of scamming animal rights freaks, don’t want to tread on the political correctness curse of denial by mentioning how hunters perform the ultimate hands-on “wise use” conservation sustain yield duty of killing millions of deer and other big game every natural hunting season, bringing balance to the land, perpetuating the most revered wildlife conservation model in the history of humanity, and feeding millions and millions of needy families across the land the highest quality protein found on earth. I’m like Gandhi with a bow and arrow.
THE LANDMARK: People don’t realize that homeless shelters and food banks have a difficult time getting ahold of meat for meals. Everyone needs protein.
I’ve heard you use the phrase “many minds.” Can you briefly explain how archery emulates life and why it’s so special to you?
TED NUGENT: The tradition of Samurai supremacy comes from the total immersion into any chosen endeavor, particularly the historical Martial Art of archery, to become one with the path of the arrow. The subconscious mindset is to not think about it, but rather instinctively be it, and too many minds will certainly interfere with one’s pure, unencumbered spiritual path. Now apply that to guitar playing, and you have Ted Nugent music! Cool as hell or what!
THE LANDMARK: Definitely cool as hell. It reminds me of a book I read many years ago titled Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It was basically an exploration of what makes us happy.
Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” You’ve gone toe-to-toe with many critics over the years and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s not enough to just believe in something – you’ve also got to have the facts. How would you suggest the average person go about obtaining legitimate facts to support a cause and avoid opinions?
TED NUGENT: There is unlimited evidence throughout history to fortify our instinctual moral and intellectual compasses to know right from wrong, good from evil, truth from dishonesty. Having shared many campfires with WWII heroes and others, their eyewitness corroboration confirms my research and gut instincts to give me definitive confidence in my reading of current events and the good, bad and ugly of mankind. Clearly I am dangerously low over the target based on the flak I’ve been taking for 50 plus years. I couldn’t be more proud that the worse people in the world hate me. I’m like Mother Teresa with a Glock.
THE LANDMARK: Another one of my favorites I’ve heard you say is “If you’re not pissed off at the a-holes, you’re an a-hole.” Well said, Ted.
Will you have your bow with you for practice when you come to Ameristar Casino in Kansas City August 6th?
TED NUGENT: Along with other essential hardware necessities, I never leave home without my trusty Mathews bow and quiver full of GoldTip arrows as the mystical flight of the arrow cleanses my soul daily and purifies my spirit to prepare me to unleash the sexiest sonic bombast in the history of animal breeding soulmusic. I got this down baby!
Ted Nugent’s concert at Ameristar Casino is Saturday, Aug. 6 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets begin at $60 and can be purchased through ticketmaster.com.