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Ted Nugent

Throughout his lengthy career, guitar wildman Ted Nugent has reveled in the controversy and criticism that always seems to follow in his path. While there's no denying his exceptional talent on the six-string, his knack for penning arena rock anthems, or his standing as one of rock's top live acts, it's his non-musical endeavors that have caused the most condemnation from his detractors (his pro-right wing beliefs, pro-gun advocacy, appreciation of hunting animals, etc.). But by the same token, Nugent is a family man and one of the few hard rockers who has admirably stuck by his lifelong anti-drugs and -drink stance throughout his career.

Born on December 13, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, Nugent became interested in rock & roll early in the game, picking up the guitar as a youngster, while his disciplinarian father passed his beliefs down to Nugent. In the '60s, Nugent formed his first bands (including Royal High Boys and Lourdes), drawing inspiration from such British blues-rockers as the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. But it wasn't until the formation of the Amboy Dukes that the Nuge got his first taste of stardom (it was also around this time that Nugent began playing a Gibson Byrdland guitar, a model that would be instantly associated with him throughout his career). The other members of the group didn't exactly share Nugent's clean-living lifestyle, as proven by their psychedelic hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind," which Nugent claimed he didn't know at the time was about being "under the influence." The band managed to issue several albums throughout the late '60s -- 1967's self-titled debut, 1968's Journey to the Center of the Mind, and 1969's Migration -- as the group fit in well with other high-energy rock bands that emerged from the Motor City, the MC5 and the Stooges in particular.

With bandmembers coming and going at an alarming rate, Nugent remained the only constant member -- eventually officially changing the band's name to Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes by the '70s, and issuing 1971's Survival of the Fittest, 1973's Call of the Wild, and 1974's Tooth, Fang & Claw. While none of these releases exactly stormed the charts, Nugent and his cohorts remained an in-demand concert draw, as he also set up "guitar duels" on-stage around this time (battling with MC5's Wayne Kramer and Mahogany Rush's Frank Marino, among others).

By the mid-'70s, Nugent decided to finally ditch the Amboy Dukes name and set out on his own, assembling a first-rate backing band that included second guitarist/vocalist Derek St. Holmes, bassist Rob Grange, and drummer Cliff Davies. By 1975, the new band was signed to Aerosmith's management company (Leber & Krebs), as well as the same record company, Columbia, resulting in the release of Nugent's self-titled debut in November of the same year. The band immediately struck a chord with the heavy metal/hard rock crowd from coast to coast, due to the band's over the top stage show. But the bandmembers' relationship with Nugent was rocky at best -- Nugent wanted complete control of the band, while the others wanted it to be more of a democracy. The end result was St. Holmes leaving the band prior to the sessions of their sophomore effort, 1976's Free-for-All (which saw a then-unknown singer by the name of Meat Loaf filling in for the departed singer).

St. Holmes returned, however, in time for the album's ensuing tour, and by the release of 1977's Cat Scratch Fever (which spawned the hit single title track), Nugent and company were one of the top rock bands in the U.S. -- storming the charts and selling out arenas coast to coast. By now, Nugent had assumed the stage persona of a caveman -- hitting the stage dressed in nothing but a skimpy loincloth and knee-high boots, and would often begin his show by swinging out on a rope à la Tarzan (!). Like other rock acts of the '70s (Kiss, Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, etc.), Nugent used a live album -- 1978's classic Double Live Gonzo! -- to catapult his career to the next level of stardom. But despite all the success, the members of his band began deserting him one by one over the course of such albums as 1978's Weekend Warriors, 1979's State of Shock, and 1980's Scream Dream. To add insult to injury, Nugent found himself bankrupt around this time, due to several failed business ventures and poor management.

Nugent continued to tour and crank out albums throughout the '80s (including such forgettable releases as Intensities in 10 Cities, Nugent, Penetrator, Little Miss Dangerous, and If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em), but it appeared as through the Nuge was trying to keep pace with the burgeoning pop-metal crowd instead of sticking to the raw and raging rock that brought him success in the first place. Nugent also tried his hand at acting around this time, appearing as a drug dealer in an episode of the hit TV series Miami Vice in 1986. By the end of the decade, Nugent joined the rock supergroup Damn Yankees (joining former Night Ranger bassist/singer Jack Blades, former Styx guitarist/singer Tommy Shaw, and drummer Michael Cartellone) -- resulting in the quartet's self-titled debut in 1990, which became a surprise hit due to their Top Ten power ballad "High Enough." But ultimately, the union proved to be short-lived; after only one more album (1992's lackluster Don't Tread), the band called it quits.

Nugent returned to his solo career, issuing his best album in over a decade, 1995's back-to-basics Spirit of the Wild, while several archival releases turned up throughout the '90s: 1993's three-disc box set Out of Control, 1997's Live at Hammersmith '79, as well as his first three albums reissued with added tracks and newly remastered sound in 1999 by the Epic/Legacy label (also issued at the same time was the first truly comprehensive compilation of the Amboy Dukes, the 18-track Loaded for Bear). The Nuge was also the subject of an interesting VH1 Behind the Music episode. He continued to tour well into the 21st century (landing the opening slot on Kiss' Farewell U.S. Tour in 2000), and issued the third live collection of his career, Full Bluntal Nugity, in 2001. That same year, the Nuge penned his own autobiography, the perfectly titled God, Guns, & Rock n' Roll. His Spitfire-issued 12th long-player, Craveman, dropped in 2002, followed by Love Grenade in 2007. He next embraced the digital realm by releasing the two-disc, 30-track MP3 online song bundle Happy Defiance Day Everyday over the 4th of July weekend in 2010. In 2014 Nugent released his 14th studio album, Shutup & Jam!, which featured a guest appearance from Sammy Hagar.

In addition to music, Nugent has gotten involved in politics, hosting a number one morning radio show in Detroit; has run his own hunting camp and issues instructional videotapes (as well as the Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild PBS video series); owns his own hunting supply store; has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association; writes columns regularly for a number of different magazines; and even sells his very own beef jerky (called Gonzo Meat Biltong)! ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Motor City Mayhem (Explicit)

Disc 1

1. Ted Nugent Intro (Live 2008)

2. Star Spangled Banner (Live 2008)

3. Motor City Madhouse (Live 2008)

4. Wango Tango (Live 2008)

5. Free For All (Live 2008)

6. Stormtroopin' (Live 2008)

7. Dog Eat Dog (Live 2008)

8. Need You Bad (Live 2008)

9. Weekend Warrior (Live 2008)

10. Love Grenade (Live 2008)

11. Honky Tonk (Live 2008)

Disc 2
x

Track List: Love Grenade

1. Love Grenade

2. Still Raising Hell

3. Funk U

4. Girl Scount Cookies

5. Journey To The Center Of The Mind

6. Geronimo And Me

7. Eagle Brother

8. Spirit Of The Buffalo

9. Aborigine

10. Stand

11. Broadside

12. Bridge Over Troubled Daughters

13. Lay With Me

x

Track List: Craveman

1. Klstrphnky

2. Crave

3. Rawdogs & Warhogs

4. Damned If Ya Do

5. At Home There

6. C*m N Gitya Sum-O-This

7. Change My Sex

8. I Won't Go Away

9. Pussywhipped

10. Goin Down Hard

11. Wang Dang Doodle

12. My Baby Likes My Butter On Her Gritz

13. Sexpot

14. Earthtones

x

Track List: Great Gonzos! The Best of Ted Nugent (Reissue)

1. Cat Scratch Fever

2. Just What the Doctor Ordered

3. Free-For-All

4. Dog Eat Dog

5. Motor City Madhouse

6. Paralyzed

7. Stranglehold

8. Baby Please Don't Go

9. Wango Tango

10. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

11. Yank Me, Crank Me

12. Homebound

13. Give Me Just A Little

x

Track List: Cat Scratch Fever

1. Cat Scratch Fever

2. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

3. Death By Misadventure

4. Live It Up

5. Home Bound

6. Workin' Hard, Playin' Hard

7. Sweet Sally

8. A Thousand Knives

9. Fist Fightnin' Son Of A Gun

10. Out Of Control

11. Cat Scratch Fever (Live)

12. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang (Live)

x

Track List: Ted Nugent

1. Stranglehold

2. Stormtroopin'

3. Hey Baby

4. Just What The Doctor Ordered

5. Snakeskin Cowboys

6. Motor City Madhouse

7. Where Have You Been All My Life

8. You Make Me Feel Right At Home

9. Queen Of The Forest

10. Stormtroopin' (Live)

11. Just What The Doctor Ordered (Live)

12. Motor City Madhouse (Live)

13. Magic Party (Outtake)

x

Track List: Shutup&Jam!

1. Shutup&Jam!

2. Fear Itself

3. Everything Matters

4. She's Gone

5. Never Stop Believing

6. I Still Believe

7. I Love My Bbq

8. Throttledown

9. Do-Rags and A .45

10. Screaming Eagles

11. Semper Fi

12. Trample the Weak Hurdle the Dead

13. Never Stop Believing (Blues)

Comments

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I wanna hunt, cook, n break bread at the dinner table with Ted n family
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elreycarlos_ 2 0 0 0
Since 77 back in my country Colombia South America Ted has been the guitarist of my preference, even if I didn't understand his lyrics
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Yo
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Uncle Ted for President.
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mdscotty68
Ted went to my high school. Wonder if anyone remembers how he wanted to help the school and they turned him down
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Great tune but s**tty recording can't hear the band to well.
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Classic tedley!!! Saw him with aerosmith headlinin, Kansas..in 75.. Nugent stole the show!! Rock on man
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My man! Hot and sweaty, rock and roll teddy. Double live gonzo came out when I was fifteen. It was, and still is my inspiration for playing guitar. Although, I never made the big time, Ted's music makes me keep trying. Never too old for kick a**, balls to the wall, rock and roll.
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CLASSIC TED MAN... MOTOR CITY MADMAN!! SAW HIM AFTER DOUBLE LIVE GONZO CAME OUT DOWN HERE IN TAMPA. I WAS 16 OR SO....
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tcmel4
F**k
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Muhammad is butthurt. Lets all cater to his emotions.
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jsk4042
Sweaty Teddy will shoot your a** skin you and serve you with a side dish of greens and not think twice. Rock on Ted!!!
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Unlce Ted has banged more chicks than you p**sies have jerked your girkin. Now he's happily married to a hotty for years. You wish you were Ted.
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Uncle Ted is the best and way smarter than anyone calling him worthless.
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I first saw Ted in 1977 in Buffalo N Y. What a concert. In all 17 times he always has put on a great show. Wish he would play scream dream album songs more.
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Sweaty Teddy the Nuge!! Listen to his song, Got to Live it Up! It's a bad a** upbeat song that rarely gets enough Airplay....
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lgaudet65
Best driving song there is! !
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not sure why you call him a draft dodger, no where did he dodge anything, he had a deferment. I'm glad to have him in my state, and he is proud to be here... vote for Hillary, sure, only for jail time, never for president
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I agree 100% Kevin Middleton.. Nugents a dirtbag... I'm a Michigander too am ashamed his from out state, daft Dogger dirt bag.. I'm voting for Hillary too!!
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devonbutler5 3
jesus haohmaruofth e w i n d , do you have nothing to do with your life other than being a complete cockholster on the comment section of pandora? get a life you f**king weeaboo piece of garbage.
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cool lisa
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Uncle Ted can SHRED. Saw him in the 70's...... No one like him. Love his political stance!! Im right there with him... If Guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. One of those outlaws would be ME carrying my 45........
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wild man
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ed8473
Uncle Ted poached my eggs.
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Just a great bad jam!
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Yur All Stoned...Unc l e Ted Is The Best..The Best is Dead..Long live The Best..LOL..
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ed8473
Uncle Ted likes to play the skin-flute.
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I've said for years that Double Live Gonzo is the most ballsinest to the wallsinest, flat out 90 to nothing live rock and roll ever!
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Hay Ed ted rocks you eat a snow cone double dog sh--- dip
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The dude sure can play! F@#k all the other shite!
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Uncle Ted likes a warm salty facial
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Calling him Uncle Ted shows how stupid he really is. I'm from Michigan and I think he is a complete a**. Stranglehold is a f**king jam though.
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ed8473
Uncle Ted likes a warm salty facial.
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Notice how only conservative artists are controversia l ? How does that work?
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Teds awesome people don't like what he saying because they know it's the truth.
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Stranglehold this rocked when it 1st came out in the late 70s and it still rocks in 2015
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How rock stars you know of that never did drugs or drink gotta love him
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Love Uncle Ted for his music and his political stance! ����
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lanceak6260
Jammin the Nuge in1983 live in the Motor City on King Biscuit . Busted for 83mph in a 55. Cop let me go with a warning.. He heard my radio.
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I have seen Uncle Ted 25 times and enjoy each time as if it was the first, he is great artist and performer. Being that I am a recovering addict, I love that he remains to be drug and alcohol free, proving that you don't need that nonsense to have a good time. May you be blessed with many years of ROCKIN' Uncle Ted.
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Ted is a bad mama jama this is great stuff!
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jimlap107
Ed... I saw uncle Ted swing across the stage on a rope 20 ft in the air.. in a tarzan suit in the late 70's...and he has gotten better with time.. he stands for freedom...an d still rocks. Like the great white buffalo !!!! Btw wtf.. is this facebook lmfao
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@Ed you assbutt nobody needs your words
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Wow I thought this was Pandora, where we're to comment on music and artists not political views.
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cw077
mmmm. great music, morals and standards.
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stranglehold HAWKS WIN HAWKS WIN 3 IN 6 YRS
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Seen Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the 70s in Hawaii at the shell in Waikiki bring back some memories
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Wango Tango Tour in Providence RI. My GF at the time got the tickets sine I lived in NH. I was the only Nuge fanatic in HS. I didn't even know about his politics, just loved his threshing the chords. The politics were just a bene ;)

Saw him much later at Club Casino in NH. Still loved to jam. He stopped mid-song and said F' it. I want to play my fav song. My buddies knew that Great White Buffalo was my fav Nuge song. So, guess what his was? We went ballistic!
Report as inappropriate
Saw him in Lakeland Fla. back in the 70's. I was 15 and hitchhiked to see him... MEMORIES!!
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Uncle Ted will save us all! At least he'll save us some venison for later...
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