Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
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Ted Nugent For President
I saw Ted Nugent in concert last night. And I can honestly say, I'm officially burned out on him.
I saw Nuge when I was 20. Loved it. Saw him with the Damn Yankees a few years later. Loved that. Hearing him play Stranglehold with Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades -- Most excellent. There was one point where he fell down, and the band members dragged him off stage while he continued playing that famous riff.
I saw him solo in my 30s, and loved that show as well. He took a crossbow, lit an arrow on fire and shot a blow-up of Saddam that was 500 feet away. The crowd went nuts.
But after the two hour show last night, I just felt, well, old. Not old in the sense that I wish the volume wasn't as loud. Turn it up! Even with those sirens blaring.
But, he'd fling picks out to the crowd, and I'd think...Someone is going to lose an eye.
Before the show I heard someone talk about how she had to do three pounds of his laundry. There were some camoflauge shirts and tees, and she made sure the colors didn't bleed.
I saw a UPS truck pull up, and some Gibson Guitar boxes were unloaded. That was odd. Doesn't Uncle Ted already have his Gibsons locked and loaded, ready to go?
I went in and watched the Lakers finally when a game as I was having dinner, and missed the opening act. I made it in just after 9 p.m.
Nugent came out to the Stones Streetfighting Man, right after the sweet harmonica of Blackfoot.
The crowd was pumped.
When he started with Snakeskin Cowboys, I knew I was in trouble. The bald Marine next to me went nuts. He wanted to let everyone around him know, that he knew the songs. So, when he'd hear that opening riff...whether it was Stormtroopin', Dog Eat Dog, or Weekend Warrior, he'd yell. Then, he'd sing the lyrics at the top of his lungs.
Nugent did his usual NRA rants. And, he also talked a lot about Motown. About five times, he called himself a black guy, and once used the "n word". Two times, he mentioned the late Bo Diddley, one time even doing a two minute version of "Hey Bo Diddley" and insisting on the crowd singing the chorus. That was sweet.
It was no surprise when he did the cover he's been doing since his days with the Amboy Dukes in the 60s, made famous by Van Morrison...Baby Please Don't Go. It smoked.
When he did Soul Man, he of course, talked about how he was black, and the original soul man from Detroit. And how Detroit was called "town" until he got there, and then they added the "mo".
My girlfriend said, "Look at all the weird hair here." There were a lot in the crowd that could pass for Ted. A lot also, that didn't realize mullets are no longer in.
The bass player sang a few tunes, including "Hey Baby." That reminded me, when my friend Mike saw Nugent at 4th & B a few years back, Nugents singer from the 70s, Derek St. Holmes, showed up and sang that and a few others.
The show ended with his most famous songs, Cat Scratch Fever and Stranglehold. I didn't think there'd be an encore.
But, he came out in Indian headdress. I figured he's now gone from being a black man, to a Native American. He had been wearing his trademark racoon tail the entire show.
He did a song called Fred Bear, which was corny. He did Great White Buffalo, which I've always loved. And, so did this crazy drunk guy nearby. He took his shirt off. And, he started lifting up some of the metal things around us, immitating what Ted was doing with his hollow-body guitar. Everyone was worried they'd be hit in the head, and we gave him a clear path.
I drove home with my ears buzzing. And wondering why my friend was going to see Mick Fleetwood Thursday.