RRC Extra No. 36 / May 2013:
Ted Nugent’s Double Standards
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DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO… Ted Nugent spent the hours before his speech at the National Rifle Association’s recent national convention as just another vendor, hawking his books to the public. Then, as the confab’s final speaker, he gave his stock speech about his love of guns and his eagerness to kill people (“if you dare attempt to argue with me about my right to self-defense, I will just have to destroy you”). But the truth of the matter is that Ted’s never killed anyone and when he had a chance to, he bailed. Ted Nugent is just another chicken hawk.
He was born in 1948, so he was eligible to enlist in 1966 or early 1967. Why didn't he? Not because his family didn't want him to--his father was professional military, a staff sergeant. In 1977, Nugent described to High Times his efforts to evade conscription. Later he claimed to have a 1Y deferment because he was enrolled at Oakland Community College. It would be interesting to know how many times he entered a classroom, considering that by 1967 his band, The Amboy Dukes, had a record contract, which tends to make the band members pretty busy. Nugent also claims he lied to a gullible High Times reporter. Why would he do that? Was it macho to be a draft dodger back then?
Nugent likes to brag about jamming with fellow veteran Jimi Hendrix…oh, that's right, Jimi enlisted as a paratrooper, while Ted fled. As for his “support for the troops,” which he trumpeted again at the NRA’s Houston convention, in 1977 he said that “If I would have gone over there, I’d have killed all the hippies in the foxholes.” Now he’s an avid supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least Nugent’s consistent—in all these cases Americans are being killed while Ted lives a protected life out of harm’s way.
Nugent also brags about his deep Christian faith, which by his own account hasn’t prevented him from screwing hundreds of teenage girls, often well after he'd reached the outer fringes of middle age. More recently, Nugent couldn’t marry his third wife, Pele Massa, because she was underage so Ted arranged (at what price one wonders) for Pele's parents to sign legal guardianship over to him until she legally ripened. Three of his children were born out of wedlock. Wonder what Christian splinter group he's found to endorse all that?
Nugent's first hit was with the Amboy Dukes on "Journey to the Center of the Mind," which he claims not to know was about drugs, making him a unique teenager who wasn’t able to decode psychedelic drug references in 1968. Did he also not know it when he played the song at a Dukes reunion in Detroit in 2009?
In 2007, Nugent went on the Hannity and Colmes TV show to complain that at the Coachella festival Zach de la Rocha said that the Bush administration should be "hung and tried and shot." On April 17, 2012, Nugent said that if Obama was re-elected he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year." This proved to be a lie. Or maybe he's filed for an extension.
Anyway, Ted couldn't die because he remains on Federal probation until next April. Seems the great sportsman killed more bears than he was entitled to in Alaska. (Nugent has a previous conviction for deer baiting in California.) His other monumental achievement as a nature lover is his support for Massey Energy's mountain removal program: "On behalf of the Nugent family, I say, start up the bulldozers and get me some more coal, Massey." Might as well, since he couldn't go hunting around there--the mountain removal devastates all wildlife.
Come to think of it, maybe if Nugent took a closer look at the actual record of Barack Obama, he’d see a kindred spirit. After all, both Ted and Barack are big fans of fossil fuels. Nugent hates immigrants (“We should put razor wire around our borders and give the finger to any piece of shit who wants to come here”) and Obama has deported more immigrants than any President in U.S. history. Ted Nugent likes to kill defenseless creatures (animals), while Barack Obama is the world’s leading proponent of drone warfare. Maybe Ted should go over to the Pentagon with the President and spend an afternoon using a computer mouse to target and destroy a wedding party in Afghanistan. All would be forgiven. Except by us.