Drug Policy

The Nuge in Winter: Motor City Madman Still Mad, Though Living in Texas


Over at Human Events, Lisa De Pasquale interviews Ted and Shemane Nugent. Is the ultra-conservative Motor City Madman who gave us all Scream Dreams while recovering from Cat Scratch Fever after indulging in Wang Dang Sweet Poontang and learning that If You Can't Lick 'em…Lick 'em still mad? You decide based on these selective snippets:

4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?

TED: A photo of me with Truman Capote & Andy Warhol….

9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2010 what would they be?

TED: They could both share the Beatles' "I'm A Loser"…

10. What's the coolest thing you've been able to do because of your role in the political arena?

TED: There is absolutely nothing cool about politics….

11. What one thing would you do as President "just because you could"?

TED: Unlike so many power-abusing Fedzillacrats of yore, I wouldn't do anything simply due to the power of position, but I would do a hell of a lot of good, positive, sensible stuff by cleaning house of the corrupt bastards.

There appears to be some real difference of opinion in the Nugent household. When asked about the coolest political arena thing, Shemane countered Ted's declarative statement above with "Appear on C-Span, Hannity, and be invited to speak at the Heritage Foundation."

 Whole interview here.

I enjoyed the Nuge when he used to swing on to stages in Tarzan garb and when he was on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations a while back. His views on many issues are retarded, especially related to the drug war. Witness:

"The drug cartels are extremely well financed and armed. They are as evil an adversary as the voodoo terrorist Taliban our soldiers face in Afghanistan."

Yeah, not quite, Ted. Black markets create the violence, not the devil weed that is the single-biggest "illicit" drug in use in these United States. But even here, you gotta kind like the Nuge as he asks Obama to appoint him drug czar:

Call me, President Obama. Hippies, dope heads, corrupt politicos and various other human debris hate me, which makes me the perfect man for the job.

Bonus De Pasquale interview: Lisa D talked to me in late August. A snippet:

11. What books were on your summer reading list?

GILLESPIE: I spent a chunk of time reading Steig Larsson's trilogy—you know, Girl With Mike Tyson Tattoo, Girl With Urinary Tract Infection, and Girl Who Eats Breakfast at Anne Frank's International House of Pancakes. I enjoyed them immensely because they were about a political magazine editor who had enormous amounts of random sex while fighting off serial killers and eating like 5,000 sandwiches. Which apart from the sex and the serial killers, pretty much is totally right on when it comes to describing my experiences. Steig Larsson gets it, though I'm afraid that he's written himself out.

Bonus video: Ted Nugent, scourge of all things mellow during the late 1970s, with Bourdain, shooting machine guns.

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  1. When Anthony Bourdain (the Travel Channel’s traveling cook/chef) visited Ted Nuggent’s ranch in Texas, he had a jolly good time shooting guns, drinking beer and having a grand BBQ.

    At the end, Anthony says: “While I am against guns, I would allow [emphasis mine] Ted to have them, because he is such a fun fellow.” (Or words to that effect, I don’t recall the exact quote.

    I turned to my wife and said: Isn’t that so gracious of him, to “allow” guns to a guy HE happens to like, but clearly, not anybody else?

    I prefer Ted’s “leave me alone, you motherfucker!” style of politics than Bourdain’s “I know what’s best so shut up!” kind.

    1. I still like No Reservations. I just mute it and play some 70’s porno music for the background.

    2. Bourdain would be the first to admit that hates political issues and anything you hear him say that sounds political should be ignored. He really only cares about food and art and travel.

  2. Cat scratch fev-ah!

  3. Ted didn’t seem to mind selling concert tickets to dope smokers. I attended one of his shows in Wheeling, WV during the 70s. That was when you could go to a show, light up the chronic, and no one hassled you.

    1. the 70s. That was when you could go to a show, light up the chronic, and no one hassled you.

      Just like the 90s.

  4. The guitar solo at the beginning of “Journey to the Center of the Mind” is TERRIBLE.

    1. If by TERRIBLE you mean unfuckingbelievablyawesome.

      1. I suspect your mind was blown away by the clever use of stereo. “Whoa, it sounds like he’s over on my left… wait, he’s rocking to my right!”

        1. Yes. Headphones. But for that experience, nothing approaches side one of Axis Bold as Love.

    2. That first extended note of the solo alone kicks more ass than a back pocketful of ass kickers.

      1. You know how if you journey to the center of your mind, you might not come back?

        That’s you, that is.

        I’m not claiming that Nuge doesn’t rock or is incapable of ass-kickery. But that is one god-awful piece of work and don’t get me wrong I like the song anyway.

  5. I don’t see anything controversial about that drug war quote. I’m completely opposed to the War on Drugs, but that doesn’t mean I think much of the drug cartels who murder thousands every year.

    1. Entertainer talks politics with another entertainer. Prepare to be underwhelmed.

      1. So, you did not get a “spiritual erection”?

    2. I don’t see where in the quote Nugent claims weed is the cause. Cartels are well financed (because of blackmarket prices), check. Cartels are well armed (because of said financing), check. And finally, they’re evil, check.

      If anything, He seems to have all the arguments against prohibition down-pat. Is there some context to the quote we’re missing? “And all those things are because weed is a devil drug”, something like that?

      1. He said “Hippies, dope heads, corrupt politicos and various other human debris hate me” – which strongly suggests it’s because he would like to throw them in prison.

        And the people who sold alcohol from 1928-1933 were violent scumbags, too. Had nothing specifically to do with alcohol. Fucking Nugent needs to get a clue.

    3. The problem is that he thinks they are an enemy to be fought with violence, not defunded by eliminating stupid policy.

  6. Having seen the Amboy Dukes 4 or 5 times, and then the Nuge himself one time, I have to say that I am a huge Nuge fans. He more than makes up for his peccadillos by his outrageous lifestyle. He is almost always right about the dangers of big government. His anti-drug stand is understandable, if you take into account that many of the people in the music business have had their lives ruined by drugs. And that is the world he knew. And I don’t just mean Hendrix and Joplin, etc. I think a good discussion with him about the evils of prohibition is in order.

    1. Hendrix may well have died after taking legal sleeping pills (barbituates) with wine. (It’s still an open question). Jim Morrison died of a heart attack brought on by excessive alcohol consumption.

      1. Using any drug in excess is bad for you. That doesn’t mean we should spend billions of dollars in a vain attempt to stop people from using drugs. But I’m all for helping people in their extremely diffcult efforts to quit using them. All I’m saying about the Nuge is that when you see lives being ruined by drugs, it has an effect on you. I’ve seen it in my family and I’m sure you have seen it, at least with friends.

        1. Of course. But I have to believe the vast majority of people with substance abuse problems are hurt, rather than helped, by contact with the legal system. And those who merely use illegal drugs – a much larger group – are always hurt, rather than helped, by any contact with the legal system.

  7. Anyone with a zebra-striped Ford Bronco and automatic weapons has got something going for him.

  8. Lots of places to disagree with the Nuge, but I would give a lot to spend an afternoon shooting machine guns with him on his ranch.

  9. So what you are saying is Ted is still a douche, got it.

    1. Please elaborate.

      As far as I can tell, this is the closest I’ve heard an entertainer come to promoting a libertarian view.

      If he agrees with the drug war, he has one flawed position. That is infinitely better than most entertainers.

      1. Drew Carey has been mentioned a few times here. Penn and Teller as well. Adam Carolla, just recently.

  10. Canned hunting, yeah, that’s being a real man, ted.

  11. ” “The drug cartels are extremely well financed and armed. They are as evil an adversary as the voodoo terrorist Taliban our soldiers face in Afghanistan.”

    Yeah, not quite, Ted. Black markets create the violence, not the devil weed..”

    Not quite? – It’s the exact same thing he said.

    The thing that irritates me about other libertarians is their knee jerk disagreement with everyone else, regardless of what they say. Even when agreeing with someone, they need to pretend they don’t or add an obligatory: “but they still suck in some other way.

    No wonder the movement is marginalized, even though most people probably agree with the libertarian philosophy. They just find libertarians intolerable panty wads. They remind people of evangelicals without the compassion.

    1. If that statement was all we knew about Nuge’s position on the drugwar, then you would be right, but I am pretty sure he is all for the war approach in dealing with the cartels (and drug users).

    2. Libertarians can be some of the most intolerant SOBs.

      Even if he’s not the perfect libertarian, is there any doubt that Ted Nugent would be better than 99% of the politicians out there? That doesn’t seem to matter. He implied that the WOD wasn’t a travesty to all humanity, therefore he’s a statist scumbag on the same level as Barney Frank.

    3. +100

      I’ve been lurking here for a long time, because I enjoy the intelligence and wit I find here in the Reason comments section. I agree with a lot of the views expressed and enjoy the banter. However, I have learned to completely avoid some articles simply because the discussion becomes a free-for-all of pure meanness.

      Maybe it’s because I have kids, but I don’t have a problem with cops keeping druggies off the streets – because they will try to sell my son drugs on his quarter-mile walk home from school each day. The standard answer here will be, “go with him” but I’m a single mom – at work – trying to keep him in food and electricity while avoiding the welfare wagon.

      The libertarian ideology is great in theory, but breaks down when we want to teach our kids to be independent and self-sufficient…there are many pitfalls to be avoided until they get the hang of it.

      First of all, the cops fuck up on occasion… they still do more good than harm.

      Secondly, the mind-altering set can do whatever the hell they want to their own brains and I won’t say a word until my taxes are paying for their rehab programs. My problem is that they don’t keep it to themselves. They are, in a sense, the ultimate libertarians – they don’t give a fuck who they may be destroying in the vicinity, as long as they get what they want.

      I don’t think this is the image that will get the libertarian party into the mainstream in the real world. Just sayin’….

  12. Human Events should have asked Ted what he was thinking when he used bait to kill an illegal young spike buck. It’s hilarious because California game wardens discovered his poach when they saw it all happen on an episode of his “Spirit of the Wild” show.

  13. That picture of the Cowardly Lion cracked me up. Perfect!

    Ted was never more than a pedestrian guitarist. He used to pull this stunt where he’d have his roadie secret wheel his amp onstage during the opening act’s set, and then Ted would challenge the opener’s guitarist to a “duel.” He did that exactly once with Frank Marino, who absolutely blew him off the stage. It pisses me off that a true artist like Marino struggled, while a hype-driven mediocrity like Ted became a big star.

    1. Music is all about image and marketing. Ted isn’t an artist, and he’s barely a musician – he’s an entertainer. He does that pretty well I guess.

      I hang around enough musicians to know that talent without luck and image(and attitude, but that’s image) will get you jack shit in the music business. You’ve got to suck it up and entertain – give people what they want… ‘dance for me, monkey’.. if you want to get ahead.

    2. Yea, poor Ted. I’m sure he’s all broke up about that. He looks really depressed. You might even get the idea that HE DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT WHAT PEOPLE THINK, especially those who hate him while secretly wishing they could be him.

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