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Ted Nugent Biography

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Theodore "Ted" Nugent (born December 13, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan) (aka "The Nuge", "Uncle Ted", "Terrible Ted","Sweaty Teddy", "Ted the Almighty", "Theodocious Atrocious" and "The Motor City Madman") is a hard rock guitarist from Detroit, Michigan, originally gaining fame as a member of the Amboy Dukes, and recently noted for his support for hunting and conservative political views. Some of his best known songs include "Stranglehold," "Free For All," "Dog Eat Dog," "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang," "Cat Scratch Fever," "Motor City Madhouse," "Great White Buffalo," and "Wango Tango." Nugent gained acclaim for his raucous, intense live music, and still tours frequently today.

The Amboy Dukes' second single was "Journey to the Center of the Mind", which Nugent, an ardent anti-drug campaigner, claimed he didn't know 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 in a ranch in Michigan, in 1973 he signed a record deal with Frank Zappa's new record label DiscReet 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. Though the group's studio recordings rarely sold well (and Nugent was upset he did not earn fair royalties with Frank Zappa), the band managed to keep a large following.

Ted Nugent dropped the band name and signed to Epic Records in 1975, with Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Rob Grange began to mount.

During the 1980s, Nugent released a series of generally ignored albums. Near the end of the decade, however, Nugent formed a 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 "High Enough" video featured Nugent in a priest's collar and later in a zebra-striped cape during the guitar solo.

Damn Yankees toured on the heels of the first Persian Gulf War, which Nugent endorsed by shooting flaming arrows at Saddam Hussein in effigy. Several police complaints and at least one arrest resulted from Nugent's actions. Nevertheless, they were a top concert attraction in the early '90s. However, another Damn Yankees release, 1992's Don't Tread, was unable to sustain similar momentum.

Returning to his 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 and currently hosts an outdoors television show called 'Wanted: Ted or Alive', on The Outdoor Life Network.

Since 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 DARE program, advocating the "natural highs" to be found in an outdoor lifestyle. He has also hosted the Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, which combines a curriculum of hands-on hunting, conservation, archery and a strong anti-drug message aimed mainly at underprivileged inner-city children. He is also a spokesman for the National Field Archers Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Although he holds libertarian beliefs on issues such as Second Amendment rights, Nugent has been outspoken in his contempt for drug abuse and drug abusers, stating that his "level of awareness" is what compelled him to "turn down the drooling, puking, dying punks with their drugs and their alcohol and tobacco," claiming to "have busted more hippies' noses than all the narcs in the free world. I hate drug abuse."

An avid hunter, Ted Nugent was a frequent visitor to Canada until the government of Ontario cancelled the spring black bear hunt in 1999. Upset that he could not participate in the hunt, Nugent vowed to never return to Canada. An outspoken advocate of hunting and gun ownership rights and the owner of 350 guns himself, Nugent has served since 1995 on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Nugent was a speaker at the NRA's 2005 National Convention in Houston. He received an enthusiastic reception from the delegates, telling them: "Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."

Nugent and the animal rights movement have long had an adversarial relationship. In 2000, Jerry Heikella was jailed briefly following an incident with Nugent outside a department store in San Francisco in which he allegedly threatened and physically assaulted Nugent, who in turn took Heikella into custody until San Francisco Police arrived and arrested the protester. Nugent has reported receiving death threats against himself and his family from animal rights activists. In Penn & Teller's Bullshit! episode about PETA, Nugent claims, "We've got reports and files with law enforcement across America where animal rights extremists are on record threatening to kill my children on the way to school because we eat pheasant".

Nugent's views translate to his politics, and according to an interview in Independent the "law and order fanatic" "thinks homosexuality is an abomination" and is an outspoken supporter of the Republican Party and the United States military. 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 lives near President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas and said he caught Bush's attention at his private inauguration party in 2000. "When he noticed me, he was surrounded by these huge bankrollers from his campaign. He literally swept past all of them and said, 'Laura! Look who's here! 'It's Ted! Then he hugged me and took me by the shoulders. He said, 'Just keep doing what you're doing. Don't think that we don't know what you're up to out here. Stay on course.'" Yet Nugent does not find Bush conservative enough, thinking the president should take more forceful action on Iraq. "Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them," he said.

Nugent fathered a child out of wedlock in 1995, with a Dover, New Hampshire woman, Karen Gutowski, with whom he had a "brief relationship" during his second marriage to Shemane Nugent. He and Gutowski came to an agreement on child support and visitation in late June. The newspaper reported that Nugent will pay Gutowski $3,500 monthly in child support, and she will have sole custody of their son, now 10. Terms of Nugent's visitation were not disclosed.

Gutowski later sued Nugent for more money. He was served with the lawsuit September 5, 2004 when he played at the Meadowbrook Amphitheater in Gilford, N.H. with ZZ Top.

'Uncle Ted' also had a well-known predilection for underage girls, even going so far as becoming the legal guardian to a 17 year old Hawaiian girl in 1978, so he could continue to 'date' her with impunity.

In the December 15, 1990 issue of the Detroit Free Press Magazine, Nugent was quoted as saying that 30 days before his draft board physical, he stopped all forms of personal hygiene. The last 10 days, he ingested nothing but Vienna sausages and Pepsi; and a week before his physical, he stopped using bathrooms altogether, virtually living inside pants caked with his own excrement, stained by his urine. That spectacle won Nugent a deferment, he says. "... but if I would have gone over there, I'd have been killed, or I'd have killed, or I'd killed all the hippies in the foxholes...I would have killed everybody." In a 2006 interview published in the Online Independent UK, Nugent denies ever saying (or doing) that. According to Nugent, he enrolled at Oakland Community College and took a student deferment. [1]

Ted Nugent is famous for playing the semi-hollow Gibson Byrdland. Gibson has even developed a model named for him.
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