ASHBURN, VA-Ted Nugent, the raving 58-year old maniac of hard rock, blew up a guitar while performing “Cat Scratch Fever” and celebrating America and the spirit of the wild before a roaring crowd of thousands here Sunday night.
Thousands?-hell, a hundred thousand, if you stretch it a bit, turned out to see the Beast with the guitar for the final show in the Loudoun Summer Concert Series
“Uncle Ted,” as he refers to himself, rose to fame in the 60s playing guitar with the Amboy Dukes, who put out the hit “Journey to the Center of the Mind,” and has sold more than 30 million albums and is currently on a 51-show tour.
The “Motor City Madman,” as he is also known, performed a resounding heavy metal version of the “Star Spangled Banner” in his tribute to freedom in America and the spirit of the wild. Nugent put in plugs for the National Rifle Association and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, two of his favorite causes.
“Nuge,” who recently returned from a European tour, where he “scared the hell out of them,” was interviewed by a French reporter who asked the guitar legend: “What do you think the last thought is in the head of a deer before you shoot it? Is it? ‘Are you my friend?’ or maybe ‘Are you the one who killed my brother?'”
The guitar legend responded: “They aren’t capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is, What am I going to eat next? Who am I going to screw next? And, can I run fast enough to get away? They are very much like the French in that way.”
Nugent also refers to himself as a “big black man” who grew up on the streets of Detroit, identifying himself with James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles to mention a few.
Perhaps Uncle Ted would appreciate the fact that I’m listening to ABBA’s “I Have a Dream,” as I write this. I want to get into the idea that Ted Nugent dodged Vietnam, but who the hell blames him? I’m a Viet Vet, and I don’t blame him. Great show Ted.
Right now I’m addicted to “Super Trouper,” or the stage lights, which light this part of my whacked out brain. Confusion reigns. I think I took some nice shots of Ted Nugent playing guitar while his fans had their hands raised in the air giving the “pussy” sign.
“Super Trouper lights are gonna find me shining like the sun
Smiling, having fun, feeling like a number one
Super Trouper beams are gonna find me but I won’t be blue
Because somewhere in the crowd there’s you”
Which reminds me of a little story about Ted Nugent when I was teaching English at Pitt Community College in North Carolina in 1980. I had a class of freshmen and I played Jimi Hendrix’ “Third Stone from the Sun,” and I asked the class to write a paper about the song, and when the song finished playing, I asked a rhetorical questions: “Who can play a guitar like that?” And one of my students piped up and said: “Ted Nugent can.”
And then there’s the question as to whether Abba will ever get back together. No one seems to know. Some have suggested a union between the Beatles and Abba. However, two of the Beatles are dead while the members of Abba are very much alive.
Perhaps I’m in a frame of being whereby I connect everything to Abba.because they wrote such super music in spite of the rifts in their relationships. “Super Trouper” is such an upbeat sound that it makes you literally feel good.
I don’t see why the Beatles wouldn’t be easily adaptable to the theatre, but certainly Abba’s sound fits like a T. Though they be rock and roll, many of Abba’s songs are show tunes. Everybody join in the singing of “I Have a Dream.” “I have a dream/A fantasy/To help me through reality/And my destination makes it worth the while/Pushing through the darkness. . . . ” yea, yea, yea.
“I have a dream/I cross the stream”-O.k., whatever happened to climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea-Is this New Age stuff? The winner takes it all, but that’s not New Age, because according to New Age everybody is the winner. But if the winner doesn’t take it all, who gets it? “Money, money, money must be funny/In the rich man’s world.”
Summer’s coming to an end next month here in Leesburg, Virginia, as I’m sure it will in the rest of the country, as it has for the past 3.5 billion years. Rock and roll can lead you all the way back to the Big Bang, but I’m not going there right now.
Perhaps the Hubble Telescope can give us some idea of our place in the universe and show us the back of Ted Nugent’s head and reveal his cranium, cerebrum, and cerebellum as we listen to Abba sing “Voulez-vous” and onward to “Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight).”
Dogs and warthogs are what it’s all about. “Every dog is a hunter deep inside,” says Ted Nugent. Can you believe Wikipedia? It says Ted Nugent is “a recipient of numerous commendations from state police, sheriff departments, FBI, DEA, U.S. Army and police agencies nationwide. Nugent has been a sworn Michigan Deputy Sheriff since 1980, and was a guest speaker at International Law Enforcement Convention by invitation from Director of FBI William Webster, Attorney General Edwin Meese and President Ronald Reagan.”
Unfortunately, I’ve never seen Abba in concert: “One of us is cryin’/One of us is lyin’, but what are you going to do? And it looks like I never will. But I’ll keep on listening to that positive beat, writing articles and poetry. Now leave me alone-I’m going off into a corner all by myself and have a heart attack.