Graham Reid | | 1 min read
While I would never defend the man and his music in any serious way, I think every home should have a Ted Nugent album. (Cat Scratch Fever from '77 would be my guess but I will let fans correct me, my vinyl does sound very thin these days).
I would recoil at the thought of TWO Nugent albums however, but I am going to make an exception: one album and one DVD. This is the one DVD.
It is hilarious and awful in equal measure, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Nugent -- or "Uncle Ted" as he styles himself for his hometown crowd -- is here celebrating his 6,000th concert in Detroit on Independence Day '08 and so naturally he opens with his version of Star Spangled Banner which Hendrix deconstructed for a different, and shall we say less patriotic/more questioning, audience at Woodstock.
Ted -- with some out-of-shape guys in camoflage gear behind him, roadies not miltary, surely? -- takes apart the tune too in wails of feedback and so on: but when the blonde in the bikini pops out of the cake and shakes her things (rather hesitantly, the"cake" looks pretty fragile) you suspect you are in for a rather different concert experience.
After that it is heads-down rock'n'boogie and although my oldest son had mastered most of this guitarwork by the time he was 15 there is something rather uplifting about seeing a man who, after 40 years on the road, still enjoys making a noise, saying rude words quite a lot and seems to think the essence of democracy is about his right to raise a middle-finger at the world and make exactly the kind of music he is making.
And you know what? Try as I might to think of a more simple or even more subtle definition of democracy, when I'm watching this with the volume way up that one seems about as good as any.
He's an unthinking patriot prone to yelping knee-yerk cliches about "America" -- and so it seems is his beer-chugging Pavlovain audience -- and I don't respect him a bit for his constant references to Motown as if that had something to do with him.
But he rocks in a primal and lunk-headed way and I can live with that. At least he isn't Charlie Daniels.
And anyway, would you want to argue with a man who kills his own meat with a bow and arrow?
Rubbish, but fun rubbish.