Since the late 1950s Ted Nugent has been a rock legend. While strumming his Les Paul, Nugent not only has been part of bands including The Amboy Dukes and Damn Yankees, but is also a successful solo artist who is known by any die-hard rock fan. His music topped the charts with his 1976 single, “Cat Scratch Fever,” his 1980 hit, “Wango Tango” and he is known for performing with some of the most talented musicians in the world.
However, more recently, Nugent became a board member of the National Rifle Association and a strong activist against the Obama administration. He is often vocal about his beliefs regarding gun control, hunting and the current state of the government and his standing as a right-wing republican but this rock star doesn’t give a damn about what people think.
Nugent took the time out to talk with The Stony Brook Press in an email interview and he discussed everything from his new album, “Shut Up & Jam!” to running for president one day. He also gives words of advice for the struggling college student that, we think, could be very inspiring and helpful to all of us at SBU.
Q: Out of everyone you have recorded with, who was your favorite artist to work with? Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with in the future?
A: I am so very blessed to continue to collaborate with the world’s greatest virtuosos and gentlemen that the list is too long to complete here. I have played bass for the masters Chuck Berry and Bo Diddly, jammed with the best of the best and have always been surrounded by band mates that can best be described as musical monsters! We are recording some of the best killer songs of my life right now for my new record SHUTUP & JAM! and the spirit and energy of each days musical outrage is phenomenal.
Q: Do you have any plans for touring coming up?
A: Nah, I’m thinking of taking up gardening full-time.
(Ted’s Shutup & Jam! Tour kicks off July 3 in Wichita Falls at the Wichita Falls Memorial Auditorium. His latest CD, also titled SHUTUP & JAM! will be available later this year on Frontiers Records.)
Q: How did you initially get involved with gun and hunting rights? What made you want to become and activist for them?
A: I witnessed the abandonment of logic and common sense by freedom hating, stoned maniacs that were hellbent on banning conservation and self-defense. I refused to stand by like some soulless sheep and let such dishonesty and dangerous mindlessness go unchallenged. This sacred experiment in self-government demands that all “we the people” remain engaged and demand the adherence to the US Constitution and self-evident truths that created this greatest quality of life in the history of mankind. Only uncaring sheep fail to be involved.
Q: You’ve said in the past that you’ve thought and “threatened” to run for president and other offices. Looking into the future, do you see yourself doing that any time soon?
A: Not currently, but I would never rule it out.
Q: Looking at the current political and social status of the country, what do you think should really be done in order to be a great nation?
A: America must end the big lie that bureaucrats can run our lives better than we can. All Americans must return to the logic that no one has a right to anything they don’t earn. We must return to the competitive spirit of being the very best that we can be and end the embarrassment of Americans who have given up looking for jobs. We must end the embarrassment of jobs Americans are not willing to do. We must end the slavery of welfare, foodstamps, the big lie that there is any such thing as free stuff. We have fallen so far from the honest, rugged individualism that made America the last best place. America must demand that the government get the hell out of our lives. Everything this liberal democrat and RINO (Republican in Name Only) government touches, they destroy. Detroit is the poster child of unaccountable government out of control, and they are doing everything in their abuse of power to do to the entire country what they did to Detroit, Chicago, DC, Philadelphia, etc. etc. etc. No thank you.
Q: Since this is for a college newspaper, what are some words of advice for the youth today?
A: Young Americans better wake up to the reality that nobody owes you jack squat. Life is not fair and you better get used to it. Nobody owes you a job or a wage. By sheer willpower, sacrifice, dedication, professionalism and work ethic, you can earn as much money as you want to and have any American Dream you desire. You must learn to kick maximum ass, or you will surely get your ass kicked. Save your money, live within your means, and always help others to the best of your ability. Put your heart and soul into everything you do and nobody can stop you. Sometimes you give the world the best you got and you get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you got anyway.