- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2001

No stranger to Washington, the long, lean and very vocal rock legend Ted Nugent appears tomorrow at Nissan Pavilion, opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd. It will probably not be the last time this 52-year-old guitar showman travels through this area.
Since he began a life of almost nonstop touring in 1967, earning nicknames like the Motor City Madman, the Wild Man of Rock and the Great Gonzo, Mr. Nugent has been one of the more unusual characters in the world of rock 'n' roll.
On this outing, he celebrates the release of his 30th album, "Full Bluntal Nugity," recorded live on New Year's Eve last year.
"I love this album because it's about the fire that comes out when I play," Mr. Nugent says by phone from his Michigan farm. "Also, it was recorded in my hometown, Detroit, where they know and understand the real activism and rebelliousness that I represent. We all celebrated the insanity of the music and the raps to create an outstanding recording."
Still living in his hometown, he constantly speaks through articles, a radio show and a television show on the importance of hunting and protecting wildlife habitats.
In addition to composing and performing music, Mr. Nugent also writes for almost 50 publications. He is a best-selling author ("God, Guns & Rock 'n' Roll"), a father of four, the founder and the active force at the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, the Ted Nugent Bowhunting School and Sunrize Safaris.
He can often be heard as a featured guest on television and radio shows including G. Gordon Liddy's syndicated show. The two share a brother-in-arms camaraderie based on a love of America, the right to bear arms and a dozen or so other conservative issues.
"I was raised with what I call self-evident truth to have the discipline my father gave me, along with respect for the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments," Mr. Nugent says.
"The presumption has always been that rock 'n' roll is the voice of the rebel youth, but now we are learning that it has long legs, that it is a timeless art form and means of expression."
Back in the day, Ted Nugent was the quintessential rebel youth. His career began in Chicago with his band, the Amboy Dukes. Mr. Nugent found widespread success when, in the late 1970s, he signed a solo contract with Epic Records and released his third album, "Cat Scratch Fever."
Appearing in stage dress and undress ranging from fringed white jumpsuits to "barely there" loin cloths, the 6-foot-3 guitar virtuoso ripped through blistering riffs while satisfying thousands of fans with songs such as "Home Bound" and "Stranglehold." He has been performing for more than three decades.
"I perform at more than 100 concerts and guide more than 200 people on hunting trips every year, in addition to everything else that I do," Mr. Nugent says. "It may appear exhausting, but for me it's all fuel. I live the American dream. I don't just love my music. I don't just look forward to opening day of hunting season. I crave all of it."
Making Ted Nugent unique to his genre of rock 'n' roll stars is a life-long abstinence from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, a lifestyle he promotes to fans from the very young to those of his own generation.
"Rock legends like Kiss do not take me out with them because I am cute. It's because of the way I do business and communicate with my fans," Mr. Nugent says.
"For instance, I am sitting here responding to my mail, and I have one here that goes 'Hi, Mr. Nugent, my name is Wyatt and I am 10 years old. I have been playing guitar since January, and you are my favorite guitar player. I like to play your songs.'
"That is such a great thing for me."

Also known for his long legs, but with a curled-brim cowboy hat and pointed-toed boots, is country artist Dwight Yoakam. He appears Sunday at Wolf Trap.
Over the last 15 years, Mr. Yoakam's career has taken him from the streets of Nashville, where his stepped-back style was spurned, to the punk rock alleyways of Los Angeles. Releasing his debut album, "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.," to critical acclaim in 1986, he quickly got cross-over industry attention with top-five hits, including "Honky Tonk Man" and "Guitars, Cadillacs," as well as platinum sales.
Later albums, including 1987's "Hillbilly Deluxe" and 1988's "Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room" contained more top-10 hits, including the No. 1 single, "Streets of Bakersfield," written by and performed with country and western legend Buck Owens.
Mr. Yoakam is touring this year in support of his 20th release, "Tomorrow's Sounds Today" (2000), in which he again teams up with Mr. Owens. The two have created a collection of honky-tonk country with a bit of Tex-Mex shuffle and heartstring-pulling sentimentality thrown in for good measure.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide