I came across this Martin Popoff book about the Nuge on one of my recent Used Record Store jaunts where their were a few of Martin’ s books for $5 a pop!
Say what you want about Ted Nugent. Lot of people dig em while lots of people loathe him. I get the loathe part as Ted is very outspoken to the point of nausea! at times! I get that but for me as a rock fan I like Nugent’s musical output which goes back 50 years when Ted was playing guitar in the Amboy Dukes.
Nugent was the first concert I had ever seen here in Thunder Bay back in the summer of 1981 when Nuge showed up with his commando looking band and made my ears ring for days after! Ted that summer was plugging his current release Intensities in 10 Cities which to this day is still my Fav output of his…
Perhaps that has something to do with it…
Five years later in 1986 Ted once again came through T-Bay and literally played a 2 hour Guitar Extravaganza which once again demolished my hearing as he was plugging the iffy at best Little Miss Dangerous record which I will say had the fabulous Painkiller tune on it…
Anyways even so my Nugent record collection is scattered at best. Have some of his 70’s output( Cat Scratch Fever/Double Live Gonzo). Some of Ted’s 80’s out put(Intensities in 10 Cities/Little Miss Dangerous) 90’s output consisted of the two pretty decent Damn Yankees records along with Spirit of the Wild another solo opus from Uncle Ted back in 1995!
After that I didn’t buy any Nuge until his Shut Up and Jam Record from a few years back which was pretty good. Then Ted as he always does goes off on something politically yada yada and I’m like aaaargh…
I do like Popoffs books as he interviews all parties involved. The Good/Bad and Crap is detailed in this book.
Martin as he always does goes about doing his homework brilliantly interviewing all former members some at great length like the late drummer Cliff Davies and of course Martin’s interviews with the Nuge himself!
Cliff provides a ton of wicked detail about the inner workings of the Nugent band which for me is a real seller. Not so much about dirty laundry being aired publicly but real life stuff that always boils down to Money/Drama/Ego/Control!
Martin as he always does goes from the beginnings of Ted’s start as a musician in Detroit with the Amboy Dukes right up to his solo career in 2012!
The best part of the book begins when Ted releases his self titled debut in 1975 to his early 90’s stuff with Damn Yankees!
It’s amazing from the start of when Nugent released his album in 1975 that he had troubles with co lead singer/guitarist Derek St Holmes and to a lesser extent drummer Cliff Davies and bassist Rob Grange. Amazing this lineup lasted 3-4 years before officially combusting..
The first sign of trouble is when Stranglehold is released as a single with St Holmes singing so when the Nugent band went on tour and they played this song as it was gaining momentum on radio and everyone thought the singer St Holmes was Nugent! So all the focus was on Derek not Ted.
There were issues by the second album Free For All when St Holmes quit after half of the album was finished and a young fella named Meat Loaf (Yup that Guy) was hired to finish the other half of the songs and as soon as the record company found out they freaked out.
Cue the return of St Holmes!
This kind of pattern of joining leaving(repeat many times over) is a big problem within the Nugent band during the 70’s. But success can kinda take away that problem which leads to another problem that being money. Ted getting more than anyone else while the other fella’s are contributing but not getting near enough in either payment or credit with songwriting.
Ted himself is a funny guy. Likes to take all the credit in which at times he shouldn’t and his pattern of letting a guy’s like St Holmes sing half an album only by the next record Ted would want to sing all the songs himself as he didn’t want the other guy like St Holmes getting noticed!
For myself I was kinda keen to read about Intensities in 10 Cities as that was really my discovery of Nugent as well of course the year I seen him live. Martin asks Charlie Huhn at point -blank who was the guitar player and vocalist on that record if indeed it was live.
Charlie seems to think it was kept live and in that answer Charlie has nothing to gain or lose as he hasn’t been in the Nugent band since 81! So when I picked up this book I also picked up the ‘Intensities’ album for $5 as it was sitting in the bins!
Another decent add to my Popoff Book Collection….