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The Amboy Dukes
The Amboy Dukes was an American rock music band of the late 1960s and early 1970s from Detroit, Michigan, best remembered for their one hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind." The band's name comes from the title of a novel by Irving Shulman about a Jewish street gang of the same name in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn during the 1940s.
In the UK the group's records were released under the name of The American Amboy Dukes owing to the existence of a homonymous British group.The band went through a number of personnel changes during its active years, the only constant being lead guitarist and composer Ted Nugent.
The group contributed to the foundations of heavy metal and progressive rock.OriginsTed Nugent, the nucleus of The Amboy Dukes, was born and raised in Detroit and started performing in 1958 at age 10.
He played in a group called The Royal High Boys from 1960 to 1962 and later in group named The Lourds, where he first met future Amboy Dukes lead vocalist John Drake.
Nugent played with The Lourds until his family moved to Illinois, where he founded The Amboy Dukes in the Chicago area in 1964, playing at The Cellar, in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, among other venues.
They later relocated to Nugent's hometown of Detroit.
The members included the following:Ted Nugent (lead guitar)Bob Lehnert (vocalist)Gary Hicks (guitar, vocals)Dick Treat (bass, vocals)Gail Uptadale (drums)The members above did not release any recordings.
Nugent's early guitar playing style with his signature Gibson Byrdland positioned high on his chest became an iconic playing style that visually differentiated him from other players.
He combined this with his natural virtuosity and frenzied playing style on lead, adding a sonic differentiation to his unusual visual approach.
This gave him an edge as a performance artist.
Nugent's appreciation for his guitar inspired his self composed song titled "Flight of the Byrd" which was released as a single and as part of their most popular album "Journey to the Center of the Mind".Band line-upsThe following are lists of band member line-ups that received credits on officially released studio albums.
Members who may have played with the band at live dates between albums are not included:Later happeningsNugent went on to have a successful solo career in the 1970s and joined the Damn Yankees supergroup in the late 1980s.
Since the 2000s, Nugent (although continuing his rock career) has been a prominent activist, both for hunting and for conservative politics.Bassist Rob Grange gelled with Nugent on the last two Dukes albums and went forward with him to help create the first four platinum albums of Nugent's solo career.Bassist Greg Arama died in 1979.
Vocalist Rusty Day died in 1982.Steve Farmer currently teaches in Redford Township, Michigan.
He also performs with backing bands at various venues in and around the Detroit area.Rick Lober is a classically trained composer best known in the greater Detroit metro area for his frenetic style of keyboard playing.
Since the early 1990s, he has been in and out of the studio, appearing as performer/songwriter on the Steve Farmer CD Journey to the Darkside of the Mind (Saint Thomas Records, STP0069) completed in 2000.
He is currently working in the studio and performing live with local Detroit rock legend Jeffrey Faust and his band "The Woodsman", which performs throughout Michigan and Canada.2009 ReunionThe original Amboy Dukes (featuring Nugent, Drake, Farmer, Lober, Soloman and White) performed April 17, 2009 at the Detroit Music Awards at The Fillmore Detroit.
Their performance began with the song "Baby Please Don't Go", from their 1967 debut single.
Followed by "Journey to the Center of the Mind", and ending with Mitch Ryder's "Jenny Take A Ride" (featuring original Ryder drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek).
In recognition of the band's contribution to rock music history, they received a Distinguished Achievement award.
As the band left the stage, Nugent thanked all his fellow band members and told the crowd "And everyone knows that The Amboy Dukes are the ultimate garage band on planet earth".