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Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Theodore Anthony "Ted" Nugent (/t?d 'nu?d??nt/; born December 13, 1948) is an American rock musician from Detroit, Michigan. Nugent initially gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes before embarking on a solo career. His hits, mostly coming in the 1970s, such as "Stranglehold", "Cat Scratch Fever", "Wango Tango", and "Great White Buffalo", as well as his 1960s Amboy Dukes hit "Journey to the Center of the Mind", remain popular today, and are played on classic rock and less frequently, active rock radio stations.Nugent is also noted for his staunch conservative political views and his strong advocacy of hunting and gun ownership rights. He is a board member of the National Rifle Association and a strong supporter of the Republican Party.Reality programmingNugent starred in his own outdoors television show named after his popular song "Spirit of the Wild". The song was the theme music to the TV series in which Nugent took viewers on a variety of wild game hunts using his bow. In the series he teaches and advises hunters and "hands-on" conservationists around the world on the different aspects of hunting and politics, and informs the public on the importance of getting children away from the TV and video games and getting them out beyond the pavement in order to better their lives.In 2003, he was host of the VH1 reality television program Surviving Nugent in which city dwellers such as model Tila Tequila moved to Nugent's Michigan ranch in order to survive such "backwoods" activities as building an outhouse and skinning a boar. The success of the two-hour show spawned a four-part miniseries in 2004 entitled Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments. This time it was filmed on Nugent's ranch in China Spring, Texas. During filming, Nugent injured himself with a chainsaw, requiring 44 stitches and a leg brace.In 2003, Nugent also guested on the VH1 program Forever Wild, hosted by Sebastian Bach (former lead vocalist for the band Skid Row). They shot some firearms and walked around Nugent's cabin in the woods. Two years later he hosted a reality-type show, Wanted: Ted or Alive on OLN (now the NBC Sports Network) where contestants competed for money as well as for opportunities to go hunting with "Uncle Ted." The contestants had to kill and clean their own food to survive.In 2006, he appeared on VH1's reality show SuperGroup, with Scott Ian (Anthrax, guitar), Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard, bass), Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row, vocals) and Jason Bonham (Bonham, UFO, Foreigner, drums). The name of the supergroup was originally FIST but later was changed to Damnocracy. Bach had lobbied for the name Savage Animal. Captured on film by VH1 was a rare Nugent duet with guitarist Joe Bonamassa at the Sand Dollar Blues Room for a 45-minute blues jam. He starred in another reality show for CMT in August 2009. The show, entitled Runnin' Wild ... From Ted Nugent, featured Nugent instructing competitors in the art of survival; the competitors had to use those skills in challenges in which they were hunted down by Nugent.In 2008, Ted Nugent was on the episode Southwest Road Trip Special of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, where he spoke against obesity and public health care.Also in 2009, he played guitar at The Alamo for a Tax Day Tea Party hosted by Glenn Beck and Fox News. Most notable in his set was a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in which he used alternate picking and whammy bar effects. The clip and sound bite of this is played extensively on Fox News as well as on The Glenn Beck Program.


In 1976 Nugent was in the documentary Demon Lover Diary, about the making of the John Dods' horror/comedy movie My Demon Lover. He is shown supplying real guns for the making of My Demon Lover, as the crew films at Nugent's house.In 1986, he guest starred in an episode of the hit television show Miami Vice entitled "Definitely Miami". Nugent played a villain. His song "Angry Young Man" was featured in the episode. His song "Little Miss Dangerous" was also featured on a Miami Vice episode of the same name, although he did not appear in the episode.In 2001, Nugent appeared as himself in a third season episode of That '70s Show entitled "Backstage Pass". Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), who works for radio station WFPP, obtains tickets to the upcoming Ted Nugent concert for the entire gang. Following the concert, her boss Max (Howard Hesseman) gives Donna a backstage pass to meet Nugent, where he volunteers to sit for an interview. Meanwhile, Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson) and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) try to sell unauthorized concert t-shirts accidentally spelled Tad Nugent.Also in 2001, Nugent appeared as himself in the second episode of the short-lived university campus FOX comedy series, Undeclared. In the episode "Full Bluntal Nugety", Nugent is a guest at the university, there to speak on his favorite topics, mainly hunting and gun control. This is where new student Steven Karp (Jay Baruchel) takes his love interest Lizzie (Carla Gallo) on their first date. Karp tries to heckle Nugent during his speech in an attempt to impress Lizzie, with disastrous results. FOX didn't like the idea of Nugent and his political views appearing on this show, so the episode was re-shot and re-edited as "Oh, So You Have a Boyfriend?" which aired without any Ted Nugent content whatsoever. The complete "Full Bluntal Nugety (Director's Cut)" episode is available in its entirety, in the Undeclared DVD box set, including some extra Ted Nugent scenes that had been deleted.He made a guest appearance on the cult television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force, in the episode "Gee Whiz", on Adult Swim. Locals believe to have seen the face of Jesus in a billboard, and they mention how it looks like Ted Nugent. Throughout the episode they think it's Jesus' face, but at the end they discover it was in fact Nugent's. He proceeds to shoot a flaming explosive arrow at Carl (mistaking him for a "varmint"). Ted also appeared on Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy when he kills the Ghost of Christmas Past and serves him to guests for dinner.In 2007, Nugent appeared in the music video for Nickelback's "Rockstar", and in 2008 he played a key role in the Toby Keith movie Beer For My Horses as the quiet deputy named Skunk.In 2007, Nugent debated The Simpsons producer Sam Simon on the Howard Stern Show about the ethics of hunting animals. Coincidentally, Nugent would later lend his voice to an over-the-phone appearance in the season 19 episode of The Simpsons, "I Don't Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", where, in a humorous jab at his political stance, inmate Dwight picks up his call for voting no to the fictional Proposition 87, which bans crossbows in public schools. As part of his pre-recorded message, Nugent asks "If we outlaw crossbows in our public schools, who's going to protect our children from charging elk?".In 2012, Nugent again appeared as himself on The Simpsons, on the January 8th Episode "Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson," where he is nominated as a Presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

Other media appearances

Attracting attention for his outspoken statements on issues ranging from guns to biodiversity, Nugent has been a regular guest on such programs as Larry King Live, The Howard Stern Show, and Politically Incorrect.In 1978 Ted Nugent appeared on the Midnight Special as host and a performer. Season 7, Episode 8, Aired Nov 24, 1978In 1980 Ted Nugent appeared on Fridays as the musical guest. He performed "Paralyzed" and "Scream Dream"' Oct. 24, 1980.He also appeared on Chicago Radio personality, Jonathon Brandmeir's, short lived talk show, "Johnny B. on the Loose".In 1991, he guest-starred on the PBS science show Newton's Apple in a short comedic feature called Science of the Rich and Famous in which he demonstrates and explains the phenomenon of electric guitar feedback. On March 13, 2007, Nugent was interviewed on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! and performed the songs "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Rawdogs and Warhogs".On April 15, 2009, Nugent appeared onstage with his guitar in San Antonio as part of Glenn Beck's coverage of the Tax Day Tea Party protests on the Fox News Channel. He hosted the show with Glenn Beck, and played music for the protestors at the Alamo. He made an appearance in Guitar Hero: World Tour As part of the solo guitar career, the player engages in a guitar duel with Nugent, after which the song "Stranglehold" is unlocked and Dirty Nuge becomes available as a playable character.Nugent was interviewed on the The Alex Jones Show July 30, 2008 about his new book "Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto" (2008). On July 9, 2010 Ted was again interviewed by Alex Jones and he criticized the latest policies issued by the Obama Administration and the Supreme Court concerning gun policy. He claimed that rejecting the idea of the right to self-defense being expressed in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which Nugent called "gun control" policies, are most likely to destroy the American society. Nugent also claimed similar policies were the cause of the downfall of every society in human history.Nugent appeared on Penn and Teller's BS episode on P.E.T.ANugent was portrayed on the January 8, 2012 episode of The Simpsons entitled Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson.Drugs and alcohol stancesSince the early 1990s Nugent has become both popular and criticized for his conservative beliefs and his anti-drug and anti-alcohol stances. He is a national spokesman for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, advocating the "natural highs" to be found in an outdoor lifestyle.

Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) law

Nugent is a strong advocate of the right to bear arms. When interviewed by Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith in season 5 of TexasMonthlyTalks he said, "I would rather that [a victim of violent crime\] in Massachusetts last month who was taking her daughter to soccer when they were carjacked by a recidivist maggot, who had been in the prison system all his life but was let out again because we feel sorry for him, maybe he had a bad childhood. Instead of her being hijacked and murdered, I'd rather she just shot the bastard dead... But in Massachusetts, somebody decided she can't do that. So she's dead. I would rather she was alive and the carjacker was dead."Nugent currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Conflicts with animal rights groups

Nugent once said in an interview, "I'm stymied to come up with anything funnier than people who think animals have rights. Just stick an arrow through their lungs." In 2000, Bhaskar Sinha was jailed briefly following an incident outside a department store in San Francisco in which he threatened and physically assaulted Nugent, who in turn took Sinha into custody until San Francisco Police arrived and arrested the protester. However, protesters claim that Nugent started the altercation by spitting in one of the protester's faces when he was offered an anti-fur flyer.Nugent has reported receiving death threats against him and his family from animal rights activists. On the Penn & Teller's Bullshit! episode about People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Nugent claimed, "We've got reports and files with law enforcement across America where the animal rights extremists are on record threatening to kill my children on the way to school because we eat pheasant." In 2006 he stated in an interview that "anyone who thinks hunting is terrible can kiss my ass."In a 1992 radio interview, Nugent referred to Heidi Prescott of the Fund for Animals as a "worthless whore" and a "shallow slut," asking "who needs to club a seal, when you can club Heidi?" He was ordered by a court to pay Prescott $75,000.Nugent owns a hunting ranch near Jackson, Michigan, called Sunrize Acres. Anti-hunters claim this fenced facility offers "canned" hunts. Nugent has said, "I understand the criticism from those who say canned hunting violates the ethic of fair chase," though he still operates the facility, and refers to it as "high fence hunting". Nugent was interviewed in October 2011 by Field & Stream magazine regarding "canned" hunts. At Sunrize Acres he personally guides customers on a hunt for trophy bull bison ($5,000), Russian boar, or white-tailed deer ($1,000 each).

Illegal hunting charges

In September 2009, Nugent embarked on a hunt near Somerset, El Dorado County, California. He was accompanied by a guide and a cameraman, filming for his Outdoor Channel show "Spirit of the Wild." The video taken appeared in an episode of the show first broadcast on February 9, 2010. California Fish and Game wardens who watched the broadcast noticed that it showed Nugent killing a very young buck which had been attracted by commercial bait. Both the killing of such a young deer and the use of bait are crimes under California state law. On August 13, 2010, he pled no contest in Yuba County to two misdemeanors: illegally baiting a deer, and failing to have a deer tag signed by a government official after a kill. He was fined USD $1,750 by the court and was banned from hunting in California until June 2012. In April 2012 Nugent signed a plea bargaining agreement to plead guilty to two misdemeanors for illegally taking a bear after shooting one earlier at a bait station. He will be fined $10,000, banned from hunting in Alaska and on Federal land for one year and must complete two years on federal probation.


Nugent is a strong and vocal supporter of the U.S. Republican Party and various associated conservative causes, particularly gun rights and hunter's rights. He is known for his outspoken, often outrageous political statements: in 2007 and 2008, during a period of years when he publicly speculated about running for governor of Michigan, Nugent singled out prominent Democratic Party politicians with violent or vulgar rhetoric or gestures. At a concert on August 21, 2007, Nugent made controversial comments about Democratic Party presidential aspirants Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and California's senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. He complained, "Obama's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun." Referring to Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm (in office 2003-11), during performances he would frequently interject "Jennifer Granholm, kiss my ass" into his songs, and shoot an arrow at her likeness. In a 2007 interview, in discussing running for governor of Michigan, he stated that Granholm "is not doing an ugly job, but as the perfect woman, she is scrotumless".Although Nugent has never run for government office, in the 2000s, he publicly speculated about doing so on several occasions. In May 2005, he announced he was "getting real close to deciding to run" for governor of Michigan in 2006, while in 2007, he talked about running for that office in 2010. During the latter period, he stated, "Michigan was once a great state. Michigan was a state that rewarded the entrepreneur and the most productive, work-ethic families of the state. Now the pimps and the whores and the welfare brats are basically the state's babies." Earlier, Nugent had been rumored to be under consideration by the Illinois Republican Party as its candidate in that state's 2004 Senate race, given his roots in Palatine, Illinois.In May 2007 Nugent criticized rap metal band Rage Against the Machine after singer Zach de la Rocha's onstage proclamation at the 2007 Coachella festival that the "current administration . . . should be hung and tried and shot." Nugent appeared on the Hannity & Colmes program on Fox News and said "We've disagreed with a lot of administrations in the past, but none of our rhetoric included threatening lives, these guys are over the top, but they're the lunatic fringe that even your average Democrat and liberal doesn't agree with. But unfortunately, nobody is silencing these guys — or not necessarily silencing, but condemning this outrageous violence that they're recommending." Critics cited this as hypocritical given his many aggressive and controversial political statements and described him as a conservative extremist.In July 2008, Nugent declared "I was serious when I threatened to run for office in the past if I cannot find a candidate who respects the U.S. Constitution and our sacred Bill of Rights." When asked by Imagineer magazine in a 2010 interview about what he would do if elected to political office, he responded: "Slash the living hell out of the waste and corruption and the outrageous army of do-nothing bureaucrats. I would fire every government worker whose job I would deem to be redundant and wasteful. No able-bodied human being would ever get a handout again."On July 17, 2008, during the presidential election season and shortly before the Republican presidential nominating convention, Nugent expressed his skepticism about presumptive GOP Presidential nominee John McCain stating that McCain was "catering to a growing segment of soulless Americans who care less what they can do for their country, but whine louder and louder about what their country must do for them. That is both un-American and pathetic." He was a weekly contributor to the newspaper, the Waco Tribune-Herald until 2009. He has been a special deputy sheriff in Lake County, Michigan since 1982 and he also has been a reserve deputy constable in McLennan County, Texas.At a 2009 West Virginia rally sponsored in part by Massey Energy, Nugent "defended mountaintop removal mining," according to reporters on the scene. "On behalf of the Nugent family, I say, start up the bulldozers and get me some more coal, Massey," Nugent was recorded as saying.During an interview with Piers Morgan, Nugent denied that he considered himself homophobic, saying "I’m repulsed at the concept of man-on-man sex, I think it’s against nature. I think it’s strange as hell, but if that’s what you are I love you. I’m not going to judge another’s morals. I say live and let live. I have friends that are gay." As a reward for entertaining U.S. troops in Iraq in 2004, he visited Saddam Hussein's war room. "It was a glorious moment. It looked like something out of Star Wars. I saw his gold toilet. I shat in his bidet." Nugent also said: "Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them."Nugent was initially scheduled to speak at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on August 28, 2010, but subsequently cancelled because of a scheduling conflict.At a Republican event in February 2012, Nugent said, "The whole world sucks, but America still sucks less," followed by, "But with this administration, we are catching up."On March 2, 2012, Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney for president.On April 17, 2012 in a Romney stump speech at the 2012 NRA Convention in St. Louis, Nugent said, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year." He also compared the Obama administration to coyotes who needed to be shot, and encouraged voters to "chop Democrats' heads off in November." Nugent received a visit from the Secret Service for these remarks. Following these comments, commanders at Fort Knox opted not to allow him to perform at a previously scheduled event with REO Speedwagon and Styx.Following the reelection of President Obama on November 6, 2012, Nugent posted several angry tweets on Twitter:
  • "Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav a president to destroy America" (Posted November 7, 2012 10:36 am)
  • "What subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity booze cellphones birthcontrol abortions & lives" (Posted November 7, 2012 11:30 am)
  • "Goodluk America u just voted for economic & spiritual suicide. Soulless fools" (Posted November 7, 2012 11:34 am)
On February 12, 2013, Nugent attended the State of the Union address given by President Obama. He was the guest of U.S. Representative Steve Stockman of Texas's 36th congressional district.A year later, Stockman challenged U.S. Senator John Cornyn in the Texas Republican primary.In a July 2013 interview with The Washington Post Nugent expressed interest in possibly running for President of the United States as a Republican in the 2016 election.In a January 2014 interview at a Las Vegas hunting and outdoor trade show, recorded by, Nugent was recorded stating, "I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America". After being chastised by Rand Paul, Nugent apologized for his "subhuman mongrel" statement.In February 2014, Nugent endorsed Greg Abbott, the Attorney General of Texas, in the March 4 Republican primary election to succeed retiring Texas Governor Rick Perry. Abbott defended the outspoken remarks made by the musician, whom he termed a "fighter for freedom".

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