"I crave dead predators"
Ed. Note: Just in case we need to point this out, Uncle Ted's opinions and his methods of expressing them are entirely his own.
The Houston area has been graced by the wildly opinionated Waco resident Ted Nugent and his grindingly satisfying rock and roll revue twice in the past year alone, in Pasadena last summer and in April at Nutty Jerry's in Winnie, where Rocks Off and the Nuge spent a few minutes together discussing Twitter and guns.
Thursday at House of Blues, though, is the Nuge's first Inner Loop gig in quite some time, and this current run features a reunion with Nugent's late-'70s vocalist/rhythm guitarist Derek St. Holmes. No doubt this stop will bring out the self-professed patriots from all corners of the Bayou City to hear hits like "Stormtroopin'" and "Wango Tango," plus the smattering of soul and rock covers the Nuge has been trotting out live.
Uncle Ted's live shows and his conservative ideals are a package deal and have been for some time, so if you are at all squeamish about anti-Obama rhetoric, you should probably stay home. If you just want to rock out, then you will be justly rewarded - he plays all the hits you want to hear, and then some.
The rocker is, of course, better-known in some circles for his politics and social stances, with his appearances on TV and radio the perfect lightning rod for controversy. But as we found covering Nugent for Rocks Off lo these past few years, he's just Uncle Ted, and you either ignore his points of view or buckle up and take the ride.
History is made up of loudmouths such as Hunter S. Thompson (especially), whose public personas thankfully go all the way to 11, and it's those characters who propel the story of the modern American forward. Nugent also functions as a sort of extreme to judge your own ideals. For every Ed Schultz, there has to be a Bill O'Reilly, just as you need a Glenn Beck to compliment a Rachel Maddow.
Rocks Off: What are your favorite new bands? Is there any one new artist that you feel has touched the abandon in your own work?
Ted Nugent: I love Kid Rock and everything that Dave Grohl does, but I haven't heard anybody that goes for the jugular like me and my boys do. Thank God for us, huh?
RO: How much fun is it to have Derek St. Holmes back in the fold and working with you after all these years?
TN: Fun is the key operative here. My music is so intense and driving, that is creates a tsunami of positive energy that is just plain fun. Ultra fun to be exact. Derek and I come from the same Motown Funk Brother school of soul music, so the fun factor is downright dangerous.
RO: All of your albums from the Amboy Dukes days to now have that distinctive Ted feel. What goes into making a Nugent record?
TN: I am an animal. I live life to the extreme every day in everything I do. I was and remain inspired by the ultimate uppity, defiant black R&B masters, and the spirit of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Little Richard. So many other maniac, black animals continue to drive me and my band and my music wild. It's the only way to rock as far as we're concerned.
RO: You've been in Houston area twice this past year. The Pasadena gig last summer was for veterans' housing, and the Nutty Jerry's gig in April was a pure rock workout. What do you have in store for the House of Blues crowd?
TN: Clear and present danger. This is the most intense, fiery rock-out tour of my life, so nobody gets out alive. We dance on skulls nightly. We are the tightest, most passionate American R&B&R&R band on Earth. Texans love that, and I'm a Texan. God help us all.
RO: At that Pasadena show you spoke about the President Obama and gun rights. How important are guns rights to you as a Texan?
TN: My God-given individual right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms is the lifeblood of freedom. To be unarmed and helpless is a pathetic and irresponsible condition. Evil predators crave unarmed and helpless victims. I crave dead predators.
RO: When we spoke back in April at Nutty Jerry's in Winnie, we talked about Twitter, amongst other things. How important is that avenue of reaching out to fans, without having a filter?
TN: I had all my filters removed when I was eight. It is just another system of communication that is vital to galvanizing like-minded positive forces. I like it all. But I never refer to those I connect with as fans, but rather as Blood Brothers. American Blood Brothers who are willing to put their hearts and souls into fighting for a better America. I just happen to play the soundtrack for such a spirited and rugged individualism en masse.
RO: Pick a person for each activity, and tell us why. Someone to hunt with.
TN: Special needs kids and hero warriors of the U.S. military, because their attitude and spirit force me to be a better man.
RO: Someone to dine with.
TN: Mrs. Nugent, because she is so damn fine.
RO: Someone to jam with.
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TN: My band, Chris Duarte, Bugs Henderson, Billy Gibbons, and Sammy Hagar. So many killers out there!