On this date in history, 5/27/1977, two of my buddies and I got a ride from my dad to Market Square Arena in Indianapolis to see Ted Nugent, The Climax Blues Band, and The Michael Stanley Band.
I was 15 years old and this was my second concert. The guys who went with me had been at the first show, too. We felt like veterans this time…the sights, smells, and magic of the arena concert experience had already infiltrated our collective consciousness. Michael Stanley Band were from Ohio and were a minor regional success at that time. They had released a couple of studio albums and were currently touring on their double live album. I bought it after seeing this show and it was full of great Midwest rock ‘n’ roll.
As I fondly recall, the cover featured an extreme closeup of a pair of ample female breasts in a bathing suit top. Ah, the teenage memories! Next up was The Climax Blues Band. They had a song on the radio at the time and played well enough, but they honestly seemed out of place at this show.
The Michael Stanley Band had more fire and passion and we all knew what was coming, so these guys were expendable.
I forgot to mention, but this was a general admission show with no seats on the main floor. My friends and I managed to be in the front row up against the barricade, so when Mr. Nugent hit the stage, we were up close and personal to the wild man in his natural habitat.
Ted was a blizzard of hair, beard, and flying fingers on his Gibson Byrdland guitar. To coin the title of one of his songs, it was “Just What The Doctor Ordered.” The gonzo man hit us with “Motor City Madhouse”, “Stormtroopin'”, and of course, his self-proclaimed sexiest riff know to mankind, “Stranglehold.”
Once again, I must remind everyone that I don’t endorse Ted’s politics or his hunting activities. Those things are part of who the man is and open to debate in other forums. This forum, however, is about music, and I love Ted’s guitar playing, end of story.
On this night, he played his ass off and I was close enough to see the manic look in his eyes. He wasn’t phoning it in. Ted was in the moment and he was on fire.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic