More Than 10 Questions with Ted Nugent. The Man, His Views, His Music & The New Album ShutUp & Jam
by Mark Capuano
Based on an exclusive interview transcribed from a phone call on July 14th, 2014 with the Motor City Madman Guitar God Ted Nugent.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect that of the company or author. #Shutup&Jam #TedNugent #MotorCityMadman @TedNugent Shut Up & Jam
I don’t know if anyone didn’t have enough guts to take on this interview and transcribe this interview or if I was the only one stupid enough to take it. But I will say this, growing up a fan of Ted Nugent’s songs and all his various hit music, I knew I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
I truly believe in many ways he is completely misunderstood. I was warned by countless numbers of people not to take this interview, not to talk to him, he was crazy, he was out of control, he was an extremist, he would bite my head off and spit me out, he would tear me a new ass, and so on….
Nothing could have ever been further from the truth. Though he is very out spoken and married to his convictions, there isn’t actually anything that should truly be criticized with the exception of a few personal views here and there. To paraphrase Ted:
- He loves America and supports America.
- He has a family, loves his family, supports his family, and wants the best for his family, friends, and neighbors.
- He is a very hard working American.
- He supports the United States military, thanks them for their service, and appreciates what they have done and continue to do to establish and secure the freedom we enjoy in America and take for granted every day.
- He is against evil.
- He supports love, happiness, and freedom.
- He is a hunter who believes in the food chain with humans on the top rung and who has been eating organic, free ranged meat long before it became popular.
- He is in support of guns, gun ownership, and the right to bear arms.
Mark Capuano: You now have your first album coming out after 7 years.
TED NUGENT: Yeah why not? Have you heard the whole thing yet?
Mark Capuano: I have heard the whole thing. I have heard every song more than once.
TED NUGENT: Yeah it is a MF isn’t it?
Mark Capuano: Yeah I like a lot of these songs. I like Never Stop Believing how you did the rock version and the ballad version.
TED NUGENT: Isn’t that great? It’s a different touch! But what you really have to focus on is my team. I have been the luckiest guitar player ever in the history of noise in that going all the way back to Detroit when I was a kid with the Lourds and the Amboy Dukes, every Ted Nugent outfit and the Damn Yankees, everything I have ever done I have always been surrounded by world-class virtuosos and not just incredibly gifted musicians Mark, but gentlemen, hardworking dedicated gentlemen fortunately and I think this is always going to be the case. The best musicians in the world were raised on the same kind of music I was raised on and that is black, soulful, authoritative, ultra-tight, ferocious, uppity, defiant music that from the Howlin’ Wolf, the Muddy Waters, the Lightnin’ Hopkins, the Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard, are you kidding me Little Richard I want to be Little Richard when I grow up and Jerry Lee Lewis and I know I am naming black guys but I will let you tell Jerry Lee Lewis he’s not black, LOL… and right into James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding and certainly the Motown Funk Brothers, so everybody on this record and all my records, again going back to my beginning. We were all possessed and motivated and aspiring to, in our best attempt, to reproduce the authority of those black original founding fathers of the best music in the world. And on this record it is even more passionate and focused because even Michael Lutz who coproduced with me from Brownsville Station, Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room, Andy and Tim Battalion, Alyssa Simmons who sang that incredible Gospel in the Blues version of Never Stop Believing, with the new Drummer Jon Kutz from Wako and certainly Greg Smith on Bass Guitar (God Almighty), and Johnny B Binary from Mitch Ryder playing with Me and Sammy and Greg on She’s Gone with what Derek St.Holmes did on Everything Matters, and it is just the greatest team and the musical freedom of American rhythm and blues orgy that erupted every day as we were turning sacred flesh on the grill and laughing and thinking about the early days.
Mark Capuano: I can’t imagine you and Sammy in the same room together.
TED NUGENT: Oh, we have known each other forever. We get along great!
Mark Capuano: So you guys are good friends? Is that how you got together on the song She’s Gone?
TED NUGENT: Oh Yeah, Montrose opened up for us a lot in 1974, ‘75, ’76, and they were raised on that same black music. You can tell by the Montrose Music, you can tell by Sammy’s heart and soul, it’s more Wilson Pickett and James Brown than anyone else. So we always had a musical connection plus he’s a hard working guy, he’s a dedicated guy, he’s passionate about the music, so he deserves me :-). We have always jammed on stage together, hell dozens of times with Van Halen, the Sammy Hagar Band and others. So we have always shared a musical connection and I think a hard working American family man connection. I have always just yelled at him that we have to do more than just jam, we have to make music together and I new that She’s Gone was a perfect vehicle for Sammy’s talents, so I sent it to him, he loved it and here we go.
TED NUGENT: Well, you know, I’m a lucky MF and I don’t plan anything. I have been so lucky that my dreams and my musical visions they are a force to be reckoned with and just like making Shutup & Jam it had to happen. I had written most of these songs or at least half of these songs in the last 7 years. Hell Do Rags and A .45 is 10 years old. I Still Believe is 6 or 7 years old. I Love My BBQ is 5 or 6 years old. But it was time and it was just shit luck that the planets aligned because I had both of my knees replaced in February so I was immobilized, literally immobilized and my life is anything but immobile, I am very mobile. So I was forced to sit down, thank God, literally thank God all this incredible team was available. They brought all of this state-of-the-art equipment into my little neighborhood outside my ranch near Wako Texas and we all got together, barbequed, shot machine guns, and just raised hell and celebrated the music that we love and you can hear that energy and positive spirit I think in every song.
Mark Capuano: So a lot of time in my life I get to a point where it is just enough talking, let’s shut up and get this done. Is that what Shutup & Jam was all about? Enough talking, time for action?
TED NUGENT: Yeah, I think anyone with any brain whatsoever can admit that the greatest philosopher of all times was Dirty Hairy. When he said, “A good man has to know his limitations.” You know I am a political animal, because for God’s sakes I think “We The People” is a job. I think experienced self government demands on all levels intellectual, moral, historical, and spiritual levels. That we are supposed to be engaged and give directions to our elected employees, but are you kidding me? I’m an extremist? I don’t think so. I think people that call me an extremist are extremely brain dead and soulless.
Mark Capuano: We all need to pay attention.
TED NUGENT: I have a job to pay attention. It is my number one duty as a human being. To earn an experiment in self government every day by spotlighting cockroaches who violate their oath to the US constitution and wipe their ass with the US Constitution; gun running attorney General Eric Holder and gun running liar raciest Barack Obama. You got to be kidding me. Oh yeah, let’s get one thing straight right now let’s make sure everybody knows Mark, that when a guy that is a member of the Hamas and Al Qaeda on his computer has an official business card that has, “Soldier of Allah” on it and his name is Hasan and he shoots soldiers at Fort Hood yelling, “Al Akhbar” well of course that is the definition of a workplace violence episode. Everybody knows that and I’m a gay pirate. You got to be F’in kidding me. This government is so out of control, it is one of the worst crimes in the history of the world and I’m not taking it!This government is so out of control, it is one of the worst crimes in the history of the world and I’m not taking it!
So sometimes after I am done spotlighting cockroaches and making evil people hate me by spotlighting their violations, I get my Guitar and I Shutup & Jam and everyone can say, “Thank You Uncle Ted”.
Mark Capuano: Now let me ask you this question, talking about Barbeque, I love the song “I Love My BBQ”, I think it is great and of course I love to have a beer when I BBQ too. I have actually suffered a loss of four barbeques in the last ten years because my backyard has so much wind it literally picks them up and smashes them, okay?
TED NUGENT: (LOL) That is why you have to get one like mine. Mine ways about 200 lbs. It is a giant cast iron unit.
Mark Capuano: (LOL) Yeah I have to get one of those ones you bolt down to the ground right?
TED NUGENT: Yeah you don’t have to bolt mine because mine is so f’in heavy.
Mark Capuano: (LOL) So what was this song about. I mean obviously we all love BBQ so what inspired you to make the song “I Love My BBQ” happen?
TED NUGENT: Well again my life is a tsunami of inspirations. You know number one, I really do just love my BBQ. I mean it’s the sustenance of mankind. You know, the animal rights people, if they had their way, 99% of the human race would parish because we sustain ourselves with dead stuff on the grill.
Mark Capuano: *In the song “I Love My BBQ” there is a line that says, “Tofu Might Just Kill You”
(LOL) You know what’s funny? Your thing about Tofu in the song, my wife is actually trying to get me to eat Tofu and I tell her you’re trying to kill me and then I heard the song and I said this is hilarious because this is what I tell my wife every day. (LOL)
TED NUGENT: So I have fun with what is one of the most ridiculous, mindless, and soulless so called arguments in the world that Paul McCartney will fire you if you eat human food, and I mean the food that humanity eats. I mean you gotta be kidding me.
Mark Capuano: You mean the food of cavemen, the ones that have been around forever since the beginning?
TED NUGENT: So I make it a point to have fun with it you know that “Tofu might just kill you”, “A tossed salad will make you week”, “We like to killem’ and grillem’ its protein that we seek”, shits going to die I Love My Barbeque. Who’s going to argue with that except somebody on acid?
Mark Capuano: Hey, I’m only 60 miles from Canada and I know they love their BBQ’s too.
TED NUGENT: Hell yeah, I actually said that in the song too. It’s what Americans do, it’s what Canadians do, and it’s what the Pollock’s do.
Mark Capuano: LOL, I know you did
TED NUGENT: Name me a society that doesn’t love barbeque? It doesn’t exist. Mankind is barbeque celebration.
Mark Capuano: They even have Korean BBQ. Did you ever have Korean BBQ?
TED NUGENT: Wow! Sure you gotta be careful though, because if you go to Korea you will eat pooch.
Mark Capuano: Yeah cat too right?
TED NUGENT: Yeah and cat and dog too. Have a nice day. The French eat horses. Live it up.
Mark Capuano: Alright so I am wondering, obviously you have been rocking’ forever. Do you have a favorite Rock Station in America? Do you have any favorite Rock and Roll Stations?
TED NUGENT: Well I gotta tell you I love everybody that plays my music because if a Rock Radio Station plays a lot of Ted Nugent Music obviously they are real Rock and Roll. There are actually Rock Radio Stations in the country that refuse to play my music because I am on the Board of Directors of the NRA. But those are usually Tofu munching freaks with no brain left because of their LCD experiments. It’s more of a Timothy Leary shrine. The point being, the vast majority stations across this country play my songs, they still play Stranglehold, Fred Bear and Motor City Madhouse, Hey Baby and Wango Tango that’s always on the air. The greatest stations and I’m not just saying this because I love my beloved birth state of Michigan, but across the state of Michigan are the best Rock stations in the world. They play deeper cuts; they don’t follow such a constricted list of authorized songs, and their more experimental. So I guess the greatest stations in the world are run by people who are not strangled by the status quo and are actually playing songs off of Shutup & Jam. Those are the best stations!
TED NUGENT: Well it is really important, you got a guy on the phone, the only guy Mark available that hangs out with working hard, playing hard Americans every day. Last night, like every night, we did a military charity the Semper Fi fund and we raised money for the heroes of the military and their families and I get to hang with really generous, hard working Americans from every imaginable walk of life and because they are at Ted Nugent event obviously they love killer rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The real music and soul music and I hear it every day Mark, every F*in’ day, they tell me, “Ted, what happened to radio?” I don’t even listen to Rock Radio anymore because I don’t need to hear Stairway to Heaven or Tom Sawyer, I hear the same shit over and over and over and sometimes I’ll turn it on and I will hear Stranglehold and I turn it up. I’m not saying that my music is the saving grace of Rock Radio, but it is getting real constricted, it’s getting real predictable and the beauty of Rock and Roll radio when it started in 1967 was that they played music that they loved. The disc jockey, the program director, the station owner, the station manager, everybody, they were serious music fans they loved real music. That’s why you heard Moby Grape and that’s why you heard Amboy Dukes and you heard Blue Cheer and you heard fun, out-of-the-box music and it just doesn’t happen much anymore. So those that do, and I guess because it is mine it is a good indicator, but when they play new Ted Nugent Shutup & Jam music it proves that they are not narrow minded, they are not status quo, and they’re not constricted in their musical celebration. Come on let her rip, play some new people’s music, people will love it.
Mark Capuano: So Semper Fi that’s a military marine term right? Like Always Loyal?
TED NUGENT: Yeah, you’ll always be there for your brother, you will never leave your brother behind. I get to hang with these guys all the time. I was given a commemorative knife last night and I get to hang with these marines. I’ve been training with the US marine heroes since the sixties. You know they heard my interviews and they loved my music back in 1967, 68 during the Vietnam cluster F**k and they just loved the attitude and the fact that I am clean and sober, not that all of the marines are, but they love a guy that stands up for what he believes in and salutes that there is need for war because good has to destroy bad and evil and they have always aligned themselves with me and I have been humbled and privileged to train with these guys and its really one of the greatest joys and satisfying experiences a guy could ever dream of.
Mark Capuano: Yeah I was kind of getting that in the song Screaming Eagles that’s a division of the military too isn’t it? The Screaming Eagles?
TED NUGENT: Screaming Eagles was originally motorcycle cops. Motorcycle cops and I have always gotten along really well too. I have been a sheriff deputy since 1982 or thereabouts and I am a captain on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department under the great Sheriff Joe Arpaio, so I’ve always aligned myself with warriors, I’ve always admired the warriors, I know that war IS the answer when the Japanese Empire and the Nazis want to KILL you and so I have always saluted that incredible courage and their a superior humanity. They’re just better then you and I. They’re just a different animal. A warrior is something special which proves that equality is for sheep because some of us quite possibly couldn’t be a marine, we couldn’t be a Navy Seal. I mean Marcus Luttrell is a dear friend of mine, we talk often and I’ve actually been humbled beyond your wildest dreams when Marcus Luttrell has introduced me as his hero. I mean you gotta be kidding me, because these guys see that I fight the evil here at home that their not even allowed to. As military members their not allowed to say the things that I say but they thank me for saying it. Continued on Part 2 Next Click Here>>