Theodore "Ted" Nugent (born December 13, 1948) (a.k.a. The Nuge and The Motor City Madman) is an American hard rock guitarist and vocalist from Detroit, Michigan. He originally gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes. He is noted for his conservative political views and his vocal pro-hunting, pro-conservation, and Second Amendment activism.
To date, Nugent has released more than 31 albums, which have sold more than 20 million copies. He was known throughout his early career in the '70s for using Fender amps, a large part of his signature sound, and is now also famous for playing the semi-hollow Gibson Byrdland. Gibson Guitar Corporation has developed a model named for him.
Performing professionally since 1958, Nugent has been touring annually since 1967, averaging more than 300 shows per year (1967–73), 200 per year (1974–80), 150 (1981–89), 127 concerts in 1990, 162 concerts in 1991, 150 concerts in 1993, 180 in 1994, 166 in 1995, 81 in 1996, Summer Blitz '97, '98, Rock Never Stops '99, 133 concerts with KISS 2K. Nugent's 2005 plans involved a tour with country music singer-songwriter Toby Keith, whom Nugent met in Iraq while they were both performing in USO-sponsored shows for the coalition troops.
On July 4, 2008 at the DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan (right outside of Detroit), Ted Nugent played his 6,000th concert. Amboy Dukes His first iteration of The Amboy Dukes played at The Cellar, a teen dance club outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, Illinois, starting in late 1965. The Cellar's "house band" at the time had been the Shadows of Knight, although the Amboy Dukes eventually became a staple until the club's closing. The Amboy Dukes' second single was "Journey to the Center of the Mind", which Nugent, an ardent anti-drug campaigner, claims to this day he did not realize was about drug use. The Amboy Dukes (1967), Journey to the Center of the Mind (1968) and Migration (1969) — all recorded on the Mainstream label — sold moderately well.
After settling down on a ranch in Michigan, in 1973 he signed a record deal with Frank Zappa's record label DiscReet Records and recorded Call of the Wild. The following year, Tooth Fang & Claw (which contained the song "Great White Buffalo"), established a fan base for Nugent and the other Amboy Dukes. Personnel changes nearly wrecked the band, which became known as Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes. Solo career Nugent dropped the band name and signed to Epic Records in 1975, with Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Rob Grange (bass), and Clifford Davies (drums).
This workforce was the backing band for many of his classic 1970s albums. Nugent's solo career was most successful when he released hits such as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Stranglehold." This band toured extensively until its breakup in 1978 when St. Holmes and Grange departed. St. Holmes was replaced by Charlie Huhn and Grange by Dave Kiswiney. Davies finally left around 1982. During this era, Nugent was notable for his frequent declarations that he did not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke tobacco or marijuana. This was an unusual stance for a major rock performer of the '70s, and Nugent has been cited as an important early influence on the straight edge movement that similarly disavows drinking and recreational drug use.
Singer Henry Rollins has cited Nugent in the track It's Kiss! (Part 2) from the Talk Is Cheap Vol. 2 spoken word album. Despite being a huge fan of Nugent's music, Rollins is highly critical of many of Nugent's political views. Damn Yankees Ted Nugent During the 1980s, Nugent released a series of albums. Near the end of the decade, Nugent formed the supergroup Damn Yankees, with Jack Blades (bass, vocals, formerly of Night Ranger), Tommy Shaw (guitar, vocals, formerly of Styx) and Michael Cartellone (drums). Damn Yankees (1990) was a hit, selling 5 million albums, thanks in no small part to the smash-hit power ballad High Enough, the video for which featured Nugent in a priest's collar and later in a zebra-striped cape during the guitar solo. It also saw the first appearance of the famous 'WhackMaster' hat. Back to solo Returning to a solo career, Nugent released Spirit of the Wild, his best-reviewed album in quite some time.
A series of archival releases came out in the 1990s, keeping Nugent's name in the national consciousness. He also began hosting a radio show in Detroit and owns several hunting-related businesses. He also created several TV shows for several networks; Wanted: Ted or Alive on Versus, Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild on The Outdoor Channel and Surviving Nugent on VH1. Ted Nugent appears on David Crowder Band's 2007 release, Remedy, playing guitar on the song "We Won't Be Quiet".