year, at the ripe old age of 52, an age when many rock musicians
are six feet under from chemical abuse, AARP-eligible Ted Nugent
toured with KISS through a hundred dates. He was again on the year's
most lucrative rock 'n' roll concert tour, repeating his 1977, '78
and '79 seasons as the world's top-grossing rock act. This year,
he went out to blast 'em again on his own. He brought his standard
arsenal of lightning-fast guitar riffs and outrageous lyrics, and
added some stage theatrics that included shooting flaming arrows
at replicas of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
In l953, Ted Nugent began shooting archery. He launched his career
as a rock musician in l958. Today, when he isn't hunting or singing,
he is a one-man dynamo. Nugent averages five to ten interviews in
print or electronic media per week. These are squeezed in between
his other gigs: radio show host, deputy sheriff, owner of Sunrize
Acres hunting preserve, star of Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild
Television on the Outdoor Life Channel, director of Kamp for
Kids, national DARE anti-drug campaign spokesman, safari leader,
spokesman for the National Archery Association, editor of Ted
Nugent Adventure Outdoors magazine, and NRA Board member (just
re-elected for his third term).
Nugent recently added another credential to his resume book
author. Last fall, his autobiography God, Guns, & Rock 'n'
Roll (Regnery) was on the New York Times top-30 best-seller
list. This is probably the first time since Teddy Roosevelt's African
Game Trails that a book with a pro-hunting message has become
As Nugent ceases musical touring in hunting season, I was able
to track him down in Texas, where he is currently leading a band
of "blood brothers" on an expedition for horned and antlered
creatures. With a little coaxing, I got him down from his tree stand
to chat about these troubling times.
Since September 11, Nugent has been in direct contact with congressmen
Bob Barr and Jim Barcia, as well as Health & Human Services
Secretary Tommy Thompson, linking up donations of all kinds from
members of his conservation organization, Ted
Nugent United Sportsmen of America. As a hunter and gun advocate,
Nugent was more than ready for life post-9/11.
"To my mind, it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world
incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death,"
Nugent said. "Only a coward would want fewer good guys with
guns on the streets. The militia and the honorable hunting families
of this great land have always been best prepared for life's danger,
now more than ever. Self-sufficiency is not supposed to be a recreational
consideration, and woe to those who have embraced dependency because
of its convenience."
Nugent's take on terrorism in the world today is that it is ultimately
the result of bad attitudes translated into policies. He expounds:
When Allah's gangbusters destroyed our Marine barracks and actually
murdered our American warriors, we did nothing. When the known
terrorists destroyed our African embassies, we sat around like
a bunch of whining women. When our brave soldiers were surrounded
in the streets of Mogadishu, we abandoned them to die in the hands
of the weasel-a** crips and bloods of Somalia. What the hell were
we doing there playing Meals on Wheels with U.S. military in direct
defiance of our U.S. Constitution in the first place, I will never
I am convinced [the present state of affairs] is a direct result
of apathy and the subsequent embarrassment of political correctness.
By failing to be directly involved in our experiment in self-government,
"feel-good" policy has removed many Americans from the
lessons of daily cause and effect, best understood in a truly
independent lifestyle. And of course, the ultimate independent,
reality-based cause-and-effect touch is indeed the hunting lifestyle.
Therefore, I can only pity the poor souls who leave security and
the procurement of sustenance to the myth that strangers will
somehow cover us with care and quality control. I believe a self-righteous
liberal Democrat with a cause is more dangerous than a Hell's
Angel with an attitude.
With the afternoon hunt approaching, Nugent's instinctual juices
began to rise. He advised, "I own a gun, you can own a gun,
and every red-blooded American should be allowed to own a gun. But
if you use it in a crime, then you will serve the time."
With that gun, Nugent said one should defend his family and fill
his freezer with healthy wild game. "The hunt is truly a spiritual
workout," said Nugent, "with the flesh its ultimate reward.
I come away a better man following every walk on the wild side,
soul to soul with the good Mother Earth and her season of harvest
For more of Nugent's rock 'em and sock 'em lingo, I enthusiastically
direct you to God,
Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll. My suggestion is not to just
buy a copy of this book, but to buy three copies: one for yourself,
a second to donate to the local library, and a third for the local
school library. If the librarian questions the book's merits, you
can tell her that this month Nugent received the prestigious James
Fenimore Cooper Award from the Appalachian Literary Council for
"his writing and his enormous contributions to the promotion
of our American hunting and outdoor heritage."
Nugent's next book, due in 2002, will be Kill It and Grill It:
Spiritual BBQ, also published by Regnery. Wolfgang Puck and
Julia Child will turn green with envy.
Before he climbed back into his tree stand, Nugent asked me to mention
that while his home base is in Michigan, he will be returning to
Texas for his annual "YO Ranch Huntbash," December 12-13,
which benefits his Kamp for Kids program. If you'd like to spend
a campfire or two with the Nuge, contact: Ted Nugent United Sportsmen
of America, P.O. Box 220, Concord, Michigan 49270-0220. 1-800-343-HUNT.