Ted Nugent, archetypical chickenhawk

Ted Nugent’s making some news this week for saying he wanted Obama beheaded and implying he might just try to do it if the President wins a second term. For you younger whippersnappers, Nugent was a great guitar player in the 70s and, like most people in his generation, he did not want to be drafted and killed in Vietnam (Nor does any sane person blame him for that in the least). Back then he used to brag about his novel solution to stay clear of military service:

(Schlussel) — But Nugent wanted no part of Vietnam. He claims that 30 days before his draft board physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days, he ingested nothing but Vienna sausages and Pepsi; and a week before his physical, he stopped using bathrooms altogether, virtually living inside pants caked with his own excrement, stained by his urine.

Now, whether he actually shit and pissed himself for days to get out of the draft is unknown. He was in the entertainment business after all and at the time it made a great story, it played great with Nugent’s hippie-stoner fanbase, representing not just contempt for the ancestral movement of todays authoritarian right-wing, but actually forcing their hated draft board surrogates to deal with excrement in your fascists faces! Power to the People! Make love not war!

Nugent is still in the entertainment business, but he plays to a very different crowd now, and a much smaller one at that: the far right. That requires a whole different spiel of course, and he has one at the ready: to listen to middle-aged, senior-citizen Ted Nugent, he is and always has been tough manly warrior, a man’s man, ready to fight his nation’s battles over there or stand his ground and fire over here. He never addresses his shit-myself-draft-dodging scheme or any of the other hippie-ass things he did, nowadays he just rants about wanting to shoot anything that moves including democrats.

I’m not sure who Nugent’s near miraculous ideological makeover is a bigger knock on, the shameless self promoter himself or the rabid crowds he so easily seduces. And it’s too bad, because he could have done so much good.


  1. wholething says

    Remember, kids, in those days, there were no personal computers and no internet to surf so he was living on Vienna sausages and Pepsi IRL.

  2. says

    Nugent said that in the case of Obama’s re-election, he [Nugent] would be “either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” Both of those conditions are acceptable to me.

  3. sithrazer says

    Nugent’s radical right-wingism is old news to most people in the Metro Detroit area, I think. Used to be he was just a bit right-of-center gun nut, but 10 years or so back he jumped into the deep end of the wingnut pool and has been sinking fast ever since.

  4. Alverant says

    I sense a martyr/persecution complex with this. If he does die (of natural causes or from a misadventure), his death will be blamed on Obama. And if he commits a crime (like threatening the President) and goes to jail Obama will be accused of trying to silence him. And if he’s alive and free after Obama wins, then it’s because Obama is afraid of him. Either way, he wins.

  5. jimmiraybob says

    …Nugent was a great guitar player in the 70s …

    Having dabbled in the Rock and Roll arts in the 70s and 80s I’d say that he was more of an interesting, decent guitar player with a mastery of some power chords, feedback and creditable lead licks. I thought he was pretty good with the Amboy Dukes but when he went solo there didn’t seem to be a lot of creativity. A lot of the guitar players that I knew/know were not overly impressed. In an era of so many truly great musicians and bands he was a B- to C-list opener at best.

    Though he certainly earned the nickname “madman” with his stage presence. Good entertainer. So, I’ll give him that.

    He’s still doing the same stage show for his new political fans, sans loincloth.

  6. docsarvis says

    The worst concert I ever attended was Ted Nugent in Kansas City, KS in the early 1970s. I saw a lot of great bands at the same venue (Quicksilver Messenger Service comes to mind) and have been a staff photographer at several music festivals in the decades since. Nugent was an average guitar player at best. His greatest asset was his ego, and I do not mean that as a compliment.

  7. Didaktylos says

    Didn’t Nugent have the reputation of having the loudest PA system of any live act?

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    Nugent has made some bow hunting videos, where his strategy has been described as “whack ’em and stack ’em.”

  9. sunsangnim says

    Stranglehold is one of the most boring rock songs ever. As a bass player, I’d hate to play that cliche bass riff for 8 minutes straight.

  10. A Hermit says

    I once slept through a Ted Nugent concert…possibly the dullest, most boring guitarist of all time. He does the same thing musically that he’s doing politically; trying to make up for a lack of real talent with sheer volume.

  11. Damian Crudden says

    ‘Stranglehold’ is one of very few rock songs I never tire of, and the name of a TN tribute band, btw.

    Sleeping through a Nugent concert is some achievement, though there have been louder acts on the US concert circuit: online research suggests people have suffered tinnitus from Frank Marino / Mahogany Rush shows (some claim only Rush played louder) .

    As for most boring rock guitarist, my vote ties Mark Knopfler with Rory Gallagher, with Stevie Ray Vaughan in 3rd place. One man’s meat…

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