I know this one will attract some haters, but I am offering a disclaimer right up front. This post is strictly about Ted Nugent’s music, particularly the music contained on this amazing live album released in 1978. This post is NOT about Ted’s politics, his hunting, or his treatment of women. I’m not here to defend the man’s character, but I will take a stand and defend his guitar playing, which inspired me tremendously as a budding rocker. Live, the man was a force of nature, and tracks like Hibernation, Great White Buffalo, Motor City Madhouse, Stormtroopin’, and the immortal Stranglehold are simply massive jolts of hard rock dominance. He even included a pair of new songs recorded live for this record. The intro stage rap for Wang Dang Sweet Poontang is legendary (and to the dj’s on my high school radio station who played it while a majority of the student body was in the lunchroom to hear it and subsequently were suspended for a few days…I salute you!). So, hate all you want, I even agree with a good chunk of it. Just be fair and give credit where credit is due. Nugent rocked the stage like few others in the ’70’s…Gonzo indeed!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

On this date in history, 6/29/2001, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deep Purple, and Ted Nugent teamed up to play a show at Deer Creek that I was looking forward to enjoying every minute of. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

Traffic going into the venue was stalled for an unbearable amount of time due to an accident, so by the time my party arrived, we entirely missed Nugent’s set, and made it to the lawn just in time to hear Deep Purple play their final song, “Smoke On The Water.”

I had really wanted to hear the amazing Steve Morse play guitar with Purple, and while we were finally getting inside the gates, I could faintly hear him playing his showcase guitar solo. Oh well, maybe I will get to see him later this summer when Purple comes around with Alice Cooper.

Lynyrd Skynyrd rocked and I have to say they turned a big disappointment into an enjoyable end to the night. I was really bummed because I was mainly going to see Ted and Deep Purple, but every time I see Skynyrd I realize just how deep their catalogue is and how good they are even now with all the replacement parts. Hats off the Gary Rossington and his efforts to keep the Skynyrd flag flying high and proud.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

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

On This Date in History

c42c6f39eddbfae4e41f97ef8c22284dOn this date in history, 5/17/2003, I went to Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville, which at that time was called Verizon Wireless Music Center, but will forever be referred to by its original name in my memory, which was Deer

Creek Music Center, or Deer Creek for short!

Now that we have that detail out of the way, the show featured ZZ 470277728Top, Ted Nugent, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble…yes, THAT Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s backing band.

 

 

Due to a chronically late person that I went to the concert with, we didn’t arrive until after they finished their set. This put me in a foul mood, but Ted Nugent quickly made things better by playing a great set of Ted Nugent music!

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The headliners, the bearded wonders from Texas, ZZ Top closed the show in all their bluesy glory. Billy Gibbons is the epitome of cool, a sharp dressed man playing a razor sharp array of cool guitars, matched in all his patented stage moves by his bass playing twin named Dusty Hill.

The beardless Frank Beard pounded out the beats to all those MTV hits and the even better stuff like “La Grange”, “Tush”, and “Jesus Just Left Chicago”.

I have seen both ZZ Top and Ted Nugent play better shows, but any time I can see them together is a pretty solid day.

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Sure wish I could have seen Kenny and Double Trouble, though. I bet that was amazing. Sound off if you were there and let me know what I missed!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 5/17/1986, a bunch of my friends and I went to a concert that sparked a debate that went on for years among us.

The argument concerned who was more awesome between Aerosmith and Ted Nugent, who shared the bill on this night at our favorite venue of that time, Market Square Arena.

Getty621Images-97205036Ted took the stage first in his inimitable wild man from Borneo trademark style, all high intensity, ear shredding lead guitar and gonzo stage raps, like an auctioneer on meth. All the classics from “Free For All” to “Stranglehold” were delivered at maximum intensity and volume.

TED NUGENT – Stranglehold

Half of my crowd were convinced that nothing could top this…and then Aerosmith appeared.

Aerosmith2This was my first (of many) times to see the bad boys from Boston, and what a first impression it was.

Hard times had been the rule as opposed to the exception for the past several years in the Aerosmith camp. Joe Perry and Brad Whitford had both left the band and tested the waters as solo acts, while Steven Tyler enlisted a couple of hired hands and released an album that still sounded great but failed to yield any hits.

Fast forward to the time of this show and the wayward guitar tag team had returned and the reunited original five recorded and released Done With Mirrors, a solid record, but once again no singles were lighting the charts on fire.

However, on this night, apparently the Nuge brought out the best in Aerosmith, and they came out swinging.

A few songs from the new album were played, but all the magic was in the classics. “Walk This Way”, “Sweet Emotion”, “Last Child”, and the ultimate power ballad, “Dream On”, were infused with stellar performances.

Aerosmith – Dream On

Tyler matched Nugent’s energy, but in a more focused way. My vote was on the Aerosmith side of the coin, as I argued that they played better as a band, whereas Ted was all about, well…Ted!

Ultimately, we all had to concede that this was one rock solid slab of kick ass American music.

A year later and Aerosmith came out with Permanent Vacation and the hit machine was back in a big way.

This show was a preview of a band that was finding its purpose once again and it remains a thrilling memory.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History