By Chris Shapiro:
Ted Nugent’s name is synonymous with Rock ‘n’ Roll. If you searched for the definition of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the dictionary, you would see the “raw abandon” face of Nugent staring back at you. Most likely it would be the photo from the album cover of Scream Dream. After all, he is the man who made “Cat Scratch Fever” a hit single with one of the most identifiable and addictive guitar riffs in rock.
During 1977, 1978 and 1979, Nugent was the highest grossing musician on tour. His touring success matched his record sales success as the albums Ted Nugent, Cat Scratch Fever and Free for All were all multi-millionselling records.
The most impressive aspect of Nugent’s 40 plus rock career is how he has been able to keep his music pure and true to his musical identity.
“I am a very, very lucky man in that I have always been able to create music with pure, raw abandon with zero outside considerations or pressures,” Nugent said.
Through his career, Nugent has been able to avoid “selling-out” and going mainstream in order to sell his records.
“The world class musicians I have always been so blessed to be surrounded by have always shared this pure, American R&B and R&R celebration from the depths of our hearts. We become the music and just let ‘er rip,” Nugent said.
Being the face of Rock ‘n’ Roll, it is a surprising fact that Nugent never gave in to the drug and alcohol scene. He was one of the few musicians of the 60s and 70s who did not partake in drug and alcohol use.
“In the 60s and 70s my clean and sober demands caused much frictions with others, but I never felt any friction myself. I think stoned and drunk is the most soulless, irresponsible condition fathomable,” Nugent said.
When the 1980s arrived, Nugent’s career did anything but slow down. In 1986, Nugent enjoy success on the U.S. Mainstream Rock charts as his single, “Little Miss Dangerous,” from the album of the same name, broke the top 30 and landed at #22.
Nugent explains that the guitar tone on the album was experimental and breaking new musical ground for him.
“I got my hands on the prototype Paul Reed Smith guitar with that unique buzzsaw biting sound, coupled with my use of the Fender Bass VI created a tonal wall very different than any other,” Nugent said.
The hit single also brought about a music video that featured Nugent performing a concert at a Las Vegas venue.
Nugent says that his large catalog of music, which drives him “wild,” makes it difficult for him to single out an album as his favorite. However, if put to the test, Nugent would select his first solo album as the one to represent him musically.
“I would certainly glow with pride represented by my first solo Ted Nugent record with ‘Stranglehold,’ ‘Motorcity Madhouse,’ and all those other masterpieces on it. Again, we unleash a primal scream every time we rock and those songs represent me just fine,” Nugent said.
Nugent’s last studio album, Love Grenade, was released in 2007. Nugent says he is constantly writing new music with his band, which is currently on tour.
“My killer band is on tour creating the most intense, ultra fun music of our lives.” Nugent goes on to describe his band as, “the tightest, hi-energy band on earth, and the music is a force to reckon with. I am constantly creating new killer songs so there is no end in sight.”
Along with a summer tour, Nugent also has two new songs available for download on his website. The songs are in “demo form” and are free to download.
Nugent’s advice to future musicians is to, “stay clean and sober, surround yourself with kind considerate, conscientious, good people dedicated to a soulful musical dream.” Nugent adds that, “Chuck Berry, James Brown and Motown should constantly drive your creative juices.”