Interview: Ted Nugent is a Smart, Reasonable, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nut-Job

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Ted Nugent (Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Ted Nugent (Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

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“I didn’t invent ‘adorable,’ but I think I perfected it, right here in front of you.”

If you can’t laugh at the above Ted Nugent quote, you might have a hard time dealing with an interview with Ted Nugent. In fact, you might have a hard time dealing with it anyway, depending on where you stand politically, and how much tolerance you have for his Gonzo brand of political grandstanding in this interview. Though, he denies that there’s any kind of theatricality to his oft-repeated and retweeted incendiary comments.

My diet is nothing like the Nuge’s, I’m not a gun owner and my ballot probably doesn’t resemble his on Election Day. But I share his love for Chuck Berry and the founders of rock and roll, I know he loves his dogs, and I figured that’s enough common ground to at least be able to have a conversation. That’s what I tried to do: not demonize the guy (too easy). Not toss him interview-chum in the form of questions about the President (he’ll go there anyway, for no reason at all). But to actually speak to him as a person, albeit one who is always on stage, as long as a mic or camera is in his vicinity. It turns out that he’s a bit crazy. At others, he makes sense.

And surprisingly, he’s a bit more open-minded than you’d expect. So you might want to be on the lookout of a Ted Nugent/Tom Morello co-hosted radio show in the future, which may not be as far-fetched as you would think.

Below is the entire transcript of the interview, unabridged.

~

Radio.com: Your new album is called Shutup&Jam!
Ted Nugent: Shutup&Jam, what a concept! You know, as soon as I wrap up my “daily obligations,” making sure that my elected employees are accountable to that whimsical oath [they took] to the U.S. Constitution, I grab my guitar and cleanse my soul, and I’ve been known to shut up and jam… temporarily. It’s a reflex to the heartbreaking culture war that we’re in, where there is a division in America that is so unnecessary, but it is what it is. I don’t really have many “opinions,” but I understand self-evident truth, and I understand logic and I understand common sense. I don’t really care what you believe in. I mean, I do care because I’d like you to believe in the right thing, but I’m a public performer so I can’t frisk the spirit of everybody who comes to my concerts. So we don’t have to agree on anything except the music when the curtain goes up, you know what I mean? I’ve got a lot of friends that are liberals, and I’m slowly but surely fixing that. But in the meantime, we can shut up and jam and have a good musical get-down. And we do, every night.

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