Walking into the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas for the SHOT Show was like NAMM for guns! SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Tradeshow) is where Screamer Magazine caught up with Uncle Ted after an amazing invitation to walk the show with him. Weaving in and out and up and down the aisles, a line has formed at the American Tactical booth as The Nuge is seated for a meet and greet and autograph signing as he calls each man by name, (he cheats by reading name tags) and says “Hey Lady” to every female. The smile never leaves his face.
Standing tall over his head is a huge billboard for Ted Nugent Ammo…sporting the renowned Ted Nugent logo along with Nugent’s photo holding one of his favorite guns. Red, white, blue and Nugent too, who would have guessed? Enjoying each and every moment he greets every person in line as his sons Toby and Rocco assist in moving the line along by snapping photos for the fans with their dad. Eventually the line ends and it’s time to move. Following immediately behind the man and his sons is an adventure in itself as they are stopped every few hundred feet to say hello or to shake a hand. Finally making it to a separate media area, we are ready for the Motor City Madman. “Where’s my Screamer Wench”, he states as he sits down for our chat. “What do you need to know woman?! I can tell you everything you need to know.” Since we last talked with Nugent in October, he has been hunting, hunting and more hunting and is happy and eager to tell everyone about hunting and his dream. “My American Dream is like a fireball up your ass, but what a friendly loving fireball up your ass. It brings nothing but warmth and snuggles!”
Asking Nugent to speak of his music for a moment, he is quick to state the facts. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world; I’m surrounded by the most caring, hardworking, supportive and high energy people in the world. I had the greatest tour of my life in 2013 which is an astonishing statement because my tours are the utmost. There is no bar set for my music and my musicians, my crew, my team, not to mention my audience. The energy I get from my audience is such a firestorm of goodwill and celebration. To be on stage each and every night with Mick, Greg and Derek and with the coolest songs in the world is just amazing. If I wasn’t me up there on stage performing, I’d go see me”, he shouts out laughing. “Seriously, if I wasn’t in this band, I’d get a front row ticket to see us play as often as I could.” Nugent continues his story of stories stating he began performing at the age of ten in Walt’s Malt Shop on Warwick and Grant River in 1959 while also stalking the Rouge River outside of Detroit with a bow and arrow to learn his responsible relationship with Mother Nature and the creatures that would eventually feed, clothe and spiritually medicate him. “55 years later here I am, and this past year has been predictable, however in these crazy times, it can also be unpredictable. It has been a wonderful celebration of what I love to do which is rockin’ rhythm and blues musical adventure with the greatest band ever with the greatest songs ever.” In October of 2013, Nugent and his band released ULTRALIVE BALLISTICROCK, a 2 CD + DVD set. Live footage was captured and recorded on the “I Still Believe Tour” at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA on August 14, 2011.
Hunting is a definite passion for him as he eagerly speaks of the current season. “I go right into the hunting field in September, and I’ve hunted every day this season with the exception of about three. One of them being for my oldest son Fleetwood’s wedding this past year in New York. So being here at the SHOT Show and walking the floor with me, you have seen and felt the love and the thank you for fighting the culture war to stop the freedom haters that want to disarm us. The freedom haters that want to stop us from the successful conservation hunting lifestyle. The worst subhuman freaks of the world hate me and the finest loving educated intelligent caring people of the world love me. My critics’ insanity rolls off my back like personal hygiene from Michael Moore”, he says dryly. “You know, someone needs to airlift the man some soap and some ice tongs to get the blubber lifted so the soap can access his stench. My point being, my American Dream Cup runneth over.” As we continue to chat, his vast wealth of knowledge of music flows as easily as his fingers on the frets of his guitar. “I’m verbose! You have to cattle prod my ass to get me to shut up!”
Nugent stands firm to his beliefs and is a truly caring and supportive man for the military that continues to stand for our freedom here in America. Donating most of his hunting bounty to the military and to soup kitchens all over, he still remains hated for what he believes in. “I’d like to make a statement right now. My name is Ted Nugent. I have no peers; there is only one of me. God made me unique like he made you unique. We are not equal and you are better at some things than I am. I don’t dislike you for that; I actually praise you for that. That sense of caring is directly attributable to the discipline of my father with a bow and arrow; aim small-miss small; the stealth of getting close to wild life to understand them and my stewardship responsibilities. That level of awareness was also the musical impetus for me as well. If I’m going to jam with Jimi Hendrix, why would I want to be stoned like he is and not communicate to my best capability? Whereas I picked up more from Jimi in that jam than he did, I think. He was a genius and an extremely gifted gentleman, but he fell for the peer pressure of getting stoned, fading away and eventually dying.” As Nugent continues the passion stories of his beliefs, a small group has gathered to listen to the well spoken and controversial man. “That level of awareness not only drove my quality of musical communication, it also drove my quality of outdoor spirit invigoration. I began to see where the government couldn’t help people, so how could I not see the unlimited pantry of the hunting season with the purest form of organic protein nutrition. Who amongst us could not see that? There are many and there are many that hate it! It was just instinctual to help those in need like the soup kitchens and the most deserving which is epitomized by the American military who constantly sacrifice and give so you and I can sit here today. You see I wasn’t smart enough to seek them out. They reached out to me out in the 60’s during the Vietnam clusterfuck. They thanked me for my music.” During this statement, Nugent is interrupted by a nearby reporter and is quick to reply, “Tell them to STOP, I’M not going to stop. This is more important than what they have to say I promise you that! This interview here is going to tens of millions of NON-HUNTERS that need to hear what this show is about…OK?! Thank you very much.” He clicks back on the Nugent charm and continues his story. “As I was sought out by the heroes of the military and law enforcement to help the families in need, what rotten force could quell the instinct to immediately respond to help? So I did so as anyone with a conscious would do. I donate hunts to terminally ill patients and have found that hunters just give more. We just dig a little bit deeper and sacrifice a little bit more to help those deserving in need. This isn’t a Ted thing! This is a people thing I’ve found out here in America.”
Music and hunting is considered a photo finish neck-and-neck race as to what excites Nugent more. He says the music so inebriating, intoxicating and stimulating but also states they can also apply to the pre-dawn stalk in the swamp to find a deer. Taking a few months off after having a double knee replacement scheduled in February he laughs as he explains how he will recuperate. “I think it was God’s way of telling me to sit down for a minute. I’ll have both knees replaced at the end of February. All those jumps I did off the amps for 5000 concerts destroyed my knees to a terrible level so I’m going to have them fixed. As for being a good patient, I will be an absolute wonderful patient. I have spent so much time with military heroes that have much more suffering than I’ll ever experience and I watch their courage and I will make sure I try to emulate them.”
Stepping back to his music for a moment, he revels in the excitement of tour time being in July and August. “While I’m rehabilitating, I’m going to be in the studio recording a new album. We already have some killer songs with some killer musicians. It’s so exciting! It’s like a first date every time we go into the studio.” 44 million albums later he still grins like a child with a new toy. Loyal long time fan, new fan or no fan at all, everyone knows the Ted Nugent name and logo. Another story that he grins as he tells is all about the logo. “Isn’t that a clever script!? It was designed back in 1974. The guys at Epic Records had put together a bunch of samples and I picked that one immediately. When I go shopping, I go in the store, go straight to what I want and walk out! I pay for it first of course”, he laughs. “I don’t dilly dally! So when I got the set of samples, I picked that one out straight way because I thought it was an eye catcher. It’s just obvious isn’t it!? I was just lucky a great artist was hired to do it and I wish I did know who designed it, as that was a long time ago. Back then, maybe I wasn’t as polite and conscientious as I should have been so when Epic proposed the motion, I just gave credit to the art department and didn’t get the guy’s name. In fact a lot of those incredible artists that designed my album covers, I don’t remember their names as well but I’m sure they know who they are and how much I appreciate it some 44 million records later!”
To finish the ultimate Ted Nugent trilogy interview, the ultimate question was asked. Will Ted Nugent consider running for a political office? So many different stories have been told and reported and what better way to find the truth than straight from Uncle Ted. “I seriously think about it constantly. Again, if you hung with me here all three days at the SHOT Show, you will know that I’ve been asked a thousand times each day. I’m not exaggerating. You saw I’ve signed some five or six hundred autographs in the last two hours and everybody shakes my hand very firmly from every walk of life. They each look me straight in the eye and offer that question to me very emotionally because they know we have the enemy of America in the Whitehouse. We have a felon as an Attorney General. We have a mongrel in Hillary Clinton who doesn’t think it matters that she didn’t provide her oath to office responsibility to provide security to Americans. So the concerns of Americans are dire, genuine, well thought out and are supported by evidence that is heartbreaking and tragic. I have some people in politics that I truly respect; Governor Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Rep. Steve Stockman, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Rep. Mike Rogers from Michigan. There are really so many good people in politics that don’t just ask IF I’m going to run, but they ask me WILL I run. I think we can all agree,” he bellows out a single chuckle, “that if I ran for any office, especially the Presidency, the debates alone would be worth the price of admission, because I could go Piers Morgan on every one of these dopes and their politically correct denial cultus. Here’s the bottom line that my critics will never grasp. If America was run like the Ted Nugent family was run…everyone of MY family members has to be punctual, accountable, efficient, honest and productive to the best of their ability. We have to have recreation to re-create our souls on a level we all determine benefits out productivity rate. Bureaucrats refuse to do any of the things I just mentioned; most bureaucrats anyway, and only the guilty need to feel guilty because I just mentioned some bureaucrats a moment ago who are ‘We The People’ servants. So the good deserve a salute and they know who they are. The bad and the ugly can go ahead and squirm with guilt when they hear me talk, because when they throw eggs and viciousness at me; that’s guilt. So the answer is yes I would, but it’s all up to my family; Mrs. Nugent, my overall health and my own intellectual determination that I can be effective and bring upgrade in accountability and pride. I do think accountability is the major battle cry for the engineered debt orgy by Barack Obama and most of his predecessors that will go down in history as the great crime against freedom and the great crime against America.”