During a recent episode of “The Nightly Nuge,” a news-style segment where Ted Nugent shares his thoughts on current events, the iconic rock musician was asked about his perspective on the state of music in America. He expressed his gratitude for being born in 1948, as it allowed him to witness the inspirational figures like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, and the Motown Funk Brothers who influenced the best music that continues to be cherished today.
Nugent acknowledged his privileged position, having experienced the whirlwind of energy and intense work ethic that characterized the music scene during his formative years.
He went on to emphasize the incredible dedication and practice that artists like AEROSMITH, AC/DC, ZZ TOP, HEART, JOURNEY, CHEAP TRICK, FOREIGNER, and others put into their craft.
Nugent attributed their success to the profound influence of artists like James Brown, Chuck Berry, the Motown Funk Brothers, Wilson Pickett, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Mose Allison, and Lightnin’ Hopkins, from whom they sought to capture the soulfulness that resonated with them. The relentless work ethic of those artists became a driving force for Nugent and his contemporaries.
Nugent acknowledged that some bands today, such as GRETA VAN FLEET and the FOO FIGHTERS led by the talented Dave Grohl, still embody the fire-breathing, soulful energy of their predecessors. However, Nugent expressed concern that the music industry will never witness the same level of greatness achieved by iconic acts like THE ROLLING STONES, THE BEATLES, THE WHO, THE KINKS, LED ZEPPELIN, VAN HALEN, and his own band, along with musicians like Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar. While acknowledging that there are exceptional artists today, Nugent lamented that the music lacks the organic, instinctive, sexy, uninhibited, genuine, and believable qualities that characterized the experimental era of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.
Nugent also commented on popular artists like Taylor Swift, whom he referred to as “the gal with the long legs.” He compared their music to cartoon music, claiming it to be formulaic and lacking the rawness and primal energy that captivated him during his early years. However, he acknowledged that there are still moments of brilliance in modern music, citing his experiences playing with bands like Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Tim Montana, and Ira Dean, as well as recognizing the talent of various artists creating wonderful music today. Nonetheless, Nugent remained steadfast in his belief that the music industry has become more predictable and filled with cookie-cutter content compared to the golden era of his musical inspirations.
In August of the previous year, Nugent criticized Taylor Swift for her “hypocrisy” after she topped a list of celebrities whose private jets produced high amounts of carbon dioxide in 2022.
In July, Nugent will embark on his final tour named “Adios Mofo ’23.”
Throughout his illustrious career spanning five decades, Nugent achieved remarkable success with his music. His self-titled debut album in 1975 was certified double platinum in the United States, and subsequent albums like “Free-for-All,” “Cat Scratch Fever,” “Weekend Warriors,” and “State Of Shock” reached the Top 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. Nugent has reportedly sold over 40 million albums and was voted as Detroit’s greatest guitar player of all time by MLive readers.
Despite his musical accomplishments, Nugent’s political outbursts have increasingly overshadowed his music in recent years. As a conservative rocker, he has been eligible for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist since 2000.
In April 2022, Nugent released his latest album, “Detroit Muscle,” through Pavement Music. Recorded with his most recent band, including bassist Greg Smith and drummer Jason Hartless, it serves as a follow-up to his 2018 album, “The Music Made Me Do It.”
Last month, Greg Smith, who had been Nugent’s bassist for the past 16 years, announced his departure from the rock legend’s touring band.