Growing up in the Midwest in the late seventies and being a fan of loud, heavy, guitar-driven rock, naturally I took a liking to the music of one Ted Nugent – thus, there’s about a half-dozen of his CD’s and cassettes in my collection. While Ted wasn’t ever an overwhelming commercial success, he had a loyal fan base that was mostly based in the midsection of the country and you’ll find that “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold” are staples at virtually any classic rock station.
But as the “Motor City Madman” approaches the big six-oh this year, his focus in life has changed. Certainly he still does some touring and the occasional new release (the last studio CD being 2007’s “Love Grenade”) but he may well be better known now as reality show host and outdoors spokesman with his own line of bowhunting equipment which he’s developed as a business over the better part of the last two decades.
And now he’s entered the world of writing – well, to a larger and longer form than, say, “Wango Tango.” While putting words to paper isn’t necessarily new for him, the Human Events website recently added Nugent to its roster of commentators, with his latest effort called “Let The Energy Buffalo Run Free.”
For the most part, Ted has another hit on his hands with the piece, calling for more oil drilling, a renewed emphasis on nuclear power, and less interference from the federal government. He’s even come up with a new word I’ll have to allocate for my lexicon in describing those inside the Beltway, that word being “fedzilla.” It’s quite apt, if you ask me (and even if you don’t.) Another William F. Buckley he’s not, but Ted gets the point across well enough. Most interesting to me was his turnaround on nuclear power – I seem to recall reading an interview years ago where he spoke out against building more plants. Being pro-nuclear power is a stance that may seem somewhat contrary to Nugent’s reputation as a conservationist but apparently the issue of what to do with the spent fuel roads has been solved to Ted’s satisfaction enough to place him on the side of nuclear energy. He brings up France as an example and the French do have a pretty good track record of safety in their plants, as opposed to the Russians.
In many respects, Nugent’s branching out into the world of political commentary reminds me of another celebrity who parlayed his fame into fortune and political activism, Chuck Norris. I discussed Chuck’s political dealings about a month ago, and wondered if this signaled a future political run. Similarly, there was some talk in Michigan political circles about adding Nugent to the 2006 GOP ticket as lieutenant governor and I don’t think Nugent has ever ruled out the idea of political office entirely. It would certainly bring a dose of Hollywood to a staid group of politicians.
Meanwhile, Ted can deliver more red meat to conservative followers, assuming that his commentary continues to hit the target. Something tells me the “whackmaster” has pretty good aim.