Po­lar­iz­ing rocker Ted Nu­gent com­ing red-hot to Rams Head

Cecil Whig - - JUMPSTART - By JOE ANTOSHAK jan­toshak@ches­pub.com

Ted Nu­gent has never been a man to mince his words. The 67-year-old rock icon has based much of his mu­si­cal ca­reer on a free-wheel­ing, of­ten boy­ish en­ergy that seems hell-bent on do­ing things how­ever it wants. Part of its pri­mal ap­peal is that Nu­gent him­self may also be un­able to con­trol it.

That un­guarded youth­ful­ness has car­ried into the Michi­gan na­tive’s pub­lic po­lit­i­cal pres­ence for years now, and this elec­tion sea­son has been no dif­fer­ent. He main­tains an ac­tive Face­book page, where he shares ar­ti­cles about his cur­rent con­cert tour, Sonic Bap­tizm, as well as about na­tional news sto­ries and his con­ser­va­tive view­points. In March, he posted a list of rea­sons why peo­ple should sup­port Donald Trump, the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent. More than 170,000 Face­book users liked it. Many oth­ers, how­ever, have in­ter­preted his re­marks as in­sen­si­tive or as those of a bigot.

The Whig is not in­ter­ested in mak­ing a judg­ment call on this one; we’ll leave that up to you. On Satur­day, the Sonic Bap­tizm tour will bring Nu­gent to Bal­ti­more, where he’ll play Rams Head Live with Cin­der Road, a rock band that formed in Lutherville, Md., in 2007. Tick­ets cost $35 in ad­vance or $37.50 at the venue, and doors open at 7 p.m.

The Nuge was kind enough to an­swer some of our ques­tions via email. Here’s a con­densed ver­sion of that Q&A se­quence, with the spell­ing and ty­pog­ra­phy of Nu­gent’s an­swers left as they were sent.

CE­CIL WHIG: You’ve been tour­ing for decades. Why do you still do it?

TED NU­GENT: From the very be­gin­ning in my early youth, it has al­ways been about THE MU­SIC! I love this mu­sic! I crave this mu­sic!

CW: What ex­actly does mu­sic mean to you, and has that mean­ing changed over the years?

TN: Mu­sic is the au­di­ble sound­track to life. The spirit, fla­vor, drive, groove, sex­u­al­ity and at­ti­tude of killer mu­sic has al­ways turned me on and does so more to­day than ever.

CW: Any fond mem­o­ries of tour­ing through Bal­ti­more in the past?

TN: Cer­tainly the in­ten­sity of Bal­ti­more and MD au­di­ences has al­ways in­spired us to give it all we got. And then there are those spir­i­tual mem­o­ries of all those stun­ning, bril­liant, sexy MD girls. Oh the hu­man­ity!

CW: You’ve been dealt quite a bit of both crit­i­cism and sup­port for your po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism. Why do you think peo­ple have such strong re­sponses to your opin­ions?

TN: Clearly I stand and con­nect with smart, hon­est peo­ple and drive dis­hon­est weirdos crazy. So be it. In this di­vi­sive cul­ture war, I could not be more proud of that dis­tinc­tion. I am un­able to back off crit­i­cal is­sues and play braindead po­lit­i­cally cor­rect games so that fools can con­tinue their em­bar­rass­ing de­nial of his­tor­i­cal and cur­rent truth and ev­i­dence. Good peo­ple know the truth, goof­balls live a lie. I’m good with that.

CW: Thoughts on why venues have can­celed your shows in re­cent years? TN: See above. CW: Your per­sonal per­spec­tive on where this country is headed?

TN: It is not pretty. That 100 mil­lion Amer­i­cans have given up look­ing for work or have a list they are not will­ing to do is as unAmer­i­can as any­one can be. The dumb­ing down of Amer­ica has ob­vi­ously gut­ted nearly 1/2 of us. Those of us who have not fallen for it pray to God we re­verse this em­bar­rass­ing cul­tural sui­cide. We the peo­ple who are fed up with the run­away abuse of power, corruption and sheer crim­i­nal­ity in our gov­ern­ment to­day will de­ter­mine if ac­tual up­grade oc­curs based on how ded­i­cated how many of us are to hold­ing our elected ermploy­ees’ [sic] feet to the fire de­mand­ing ac­count­abil­ity and a di­rect re­turn to the US Con­sti­tu­tion. As usual, we the peo­ple hold all the cards and time will tell if we can fix the mess we cre­ated by the em­bar­rass­ing self­in­flicted scourge of ap­a­thy and dis­con­nect. My friends and I fight on harder than ever and we pray more will join in.

CW: What prob­lems do you have with news­pa­pers and the press in gen­eral right now?

TN: The depth of in­ep­ti­tude & en­gi­neered dis­hon­esty in SO much of the me- dia is stun­ning & tragic.

CW: How can mem­bers of the me­dia do their jobs more ef­fec­tively and/or truth­fully?

TN: Noth­ing I can say will help fools who choose to lie and shovel so much bias. They will have to look in the mir­ror at some point and come to grips with their un­pro­fes­sion­al­ism, in­ep­ti­tude and dis­hon­esty. I wish them well.

CW: And how many more years down the road do you ex­pect to be tour­ing?

TN: At 68 years clean and sober, I am very healthy and have a youth­ful an­i­mal en­ergy and pas­sion for life and the mu­sic. I don’t know the mean­ing of quit…

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF JAMES AND MARYLN BROWN

Ted Nu­gent rocks out dur­ing a show on his 2014 Shut Up & Jam Tour. On Satur­day, he’ll play at Rams Head Live in Bal­ti­more.

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