Ted Nugent turns 60 today, so you can expect two things from him: He’ll probably try to kill something and he’ll probably do something crazy to show everyone that he’s still relevant.
He isn’t, of course, and for me Ted Nugent stopped being relevant the moment he shitcanned Derek St. Holmes from his band in the late 70’s. Nugent didn’t enjoy having to share the stage with a lead singer…never mind that he hogged the spotlight even when St. Holmes was singing some of The Nuge’s most famous hits…and decided to sing everything himself.
I don’t know if you’ve heard Ted Nugent sing, but it’s worse than the mating cry of a great white buffalo.
Ted watched as his sales slipped throughout the 80’s, even to the point where he even started to allow other lead singers take over the vocal duties, but without a decent song to sing, Uncle Ted slipped farther down into irrelevance.
A pair of other musicians with diminishing appeal called up Ted to have him join their “supergroup” called Damn Yankees. Amazingly, Ted’s ego was so large that he couldn’t simply stand around and cash a paycheck. Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades allowed Ted a few songs, endured his pointless soloing on stage and gave him with some time each night to voice his conservative ideology to hordes of drunken males.
But Ted was still restless.
By singlehandedly assisting with the dismantling of Damn Yankees, Ted returned to his original plan of slipping into obscurity. MTV/VH1 gave him a few more opportunities, understanding that more and more people were by then starting to recognize Ted Nugent thanks to his mouth rather than his music.
On both shows (Surviving Nugent and Supergroup), Ted barks like an old man desperate to be heard over the sudden celebrity of retarded nobody’s like Tila Tequila.
It was clear that the spirit of rock that Ted always claimed to have seemed to have been replaced by the spirit for moneymaking. With his ears shot, he appeal diminishing, and his creativity stifled, Nugent decided to focus on the brand of Ted Nugent in the hopes that it would salvage his legacy. While this may be great for him to make enough money to go hunting (his primary passion now, it seems) it does nothing to show future generations that there was something more to this guy than just being a loud-mouthed, right-wing gun nut that is probably one of the most hypocritical douchebags in the business.
Support the troops? Ted shit in his pants (literally) when his number came up in Vietnam.
Right wing values? Ted had a child out of wedlock and pursued a relationship with a teenage girl. Survivalist? Even if you have no experience, Uncle Ted will take your money and let you bag a deer at his ranch.
Rocker? Did I mention that he was in Damn Yankees?
The thing is, those first few albums are good fun. They hint at a wider range than what Ted had with the Amboy Dukes and they’re better than when Ted truly when solo. And like the migration we’ve seen from Michigan for the past thirty years, it’s obvious that even the Motor City Madman has left his old stomping grounds (both literally and metaphorically) with no sign of returning.