Betsy Newmark comments on an interview of intense, insanely-talented guitarist and Second Amendment supporter Ted Nugent. The exchanges between Ted and the writer are classic Nuge vs. pacifist, served up like fresh killed-n-grilled meat. Some of the choice cuts:
We sit down to coffee, eggs and grits. Ted is 6ft 3in; to get a sense of his general demeanour you could do worse than imagine the body of John Wayne possessed by the spirit of Ian Paisley in one of his less conciliatory moods. He launches into a fevered monologue about how much safer Britain would be with more guns on its streets.
“Never has there been such an upsurge in crime since they confiscated all your weapons. Why don’t you arm yourselves? You Limeys have a zipper that’s locked in the closed position, because you don’t have a constitution. You’re rewarded for shutting the f**k up.”
British police who don’t want to carry firearms are, Nugent says, “out of their minds. I say if somebody robs you, shoot ’em. I’d like all thieves killed. And all rapists. And carjackers. No more graffiti. No more…” – this next phrase is a Spoonerism, rather than some Texan term for gross indecency – “snatch-pursing.”
“For an unarmed force,” I suggest, “the British police have shot quite a few people. Did you hear about Jean Charles de Menezes?”
“That was horrible. An American cop would have just beat the s**t out of him.”
“This would be a far safer country without weapons, and you know it.” “And there’d be fewer drownings if we got rid of lakes. There will be accidents! Leave me alone!”
Oooooh, do we see some temptation here?
He teaches me how to shoot an AK-47, and I have to admit that firing a fully automatic machine gun at a target is fun.
On deer hunting:
“What do these deer think when they see you coming?” I ask him. “Here comes the nice guy who puts out our dinner? Or, there’s the man that shot my brother?”
“I don’t think they’re capable of either of those thoughts, you Limey a**hole. They’re only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French.”
Describing a compliment on Ted’s playing after appearing on stage with the Lourdes to support the Supremes at Detroit’s Cobo Hall:
This was the night, Nugent recalls, when he received “the pivotal confirmation of my musical touch and my life overall. The mighty funk brother God of Thunder [Benny Benjamin, drummer for Motown house band The Funk Brothers] told me: ‘Boy, keep playing like that and you’z gonna be a n*****r when ya grows up.'”
Back to the writer, who makes this interesting observation:
I’m not sure that I’ve ever met anybody whose opinions and instincts are more directly opposed to my own. And yet, in some odd way, I find Ted Nugent impossible to dislike: I think because I consider him to be a psychotic – by the classic definition that he does not perceive the world as others do.
This is why I’ve found the Nuge to be so fascinating; especially since I made the switch from liberal to conservative. He has his own worldview built on uncompromising principles that horrify elitist liberals. Such a spectacle is always entertaining for me.