The reports of Ted Nugent’s death are greatly exaggerated, perhaps even exacerbated. Nugent is the veteran “gonzo” rocker, a reality-show sportsman and a controversial member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors. His canon includes Cat Scratch Fever and Death By Misadventure, and his arsenal includes far-right rhetoric and a high-powered crossbow. This week, a fake online news story triggered the speculation of his demise. In an e-mail interview with The Globe and Mail, the rumours were strongly and colourfully refuted.
You were the victim of an Internet-based death hoax this week. Can we assume you are alive and well?
I hadn’t heard. I was nostril-deep in a Texas duck marsh making two very excitable Labrador retrievers very, very happy. If I were any more alive, I would stain your newspaper.
Let’s say you were dying, though, perhaps from a terminal case of cat scratch fever. Any death-bed regrets? Would you take back any of your inflammatory remarks?
Seriously? Though I have many wonderful Canadian friends, we must admit that the embarrassing sheeping of America is much like the pathetic sheeping of many Canadians, so what sheep consider to be “inflammatory” is in reality nothing more than bold, honest, righteous condemnation of the self-inflicted soullessness of looking the other way while power abuse and government corruption runs amok.
You’ve just signed an endorsement deal with the Outdoor Channel. Sarah Palin has done the same with rival network The Sportsman Channel. What’s your take on her?
I have been the official ambassador for the wonderful Outdoor Channel for many years. Even in Toronto I bet you know about the perfect, glorious celebration of real, honest-to-God, hands-on hunting, fishing and trapping conservation that all the best Canadians believe and participate in. As far as my good hunting buddy Sarah Palin goes, history will show that this gorgeous, intelligent, take-no-crap lady has always been on the correct side of every issue she espouses. She is a great woman, a great American, a great mother, a great wife, a killer debater and a fine hunter and marksman. I happen to love Sarah and her family.
Do you agree with Bill Maher (host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher) that a lot of far-right loathing of President Obama is based on race and not his administration’s policies?
Not even close. Maybe if I gobbled as much mind altering chemicals as ol‘ Billy, I would live in a goofy fantasy world too. Bill can’t cite any evidence to backup his nasty, last-ditch effort to avoid the real issues by playing the numbnut race card. Every criticism of President Obama that I am aware of is supported by irrefutable evidence that the guy is hellbent on destroying America and turning us into a suburb of Canada. Or is that Cuba? The depth of Obama’s evil has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, but wholly with the content of his character. Know that.
Let’s say I like your music, and was a fan back in your Wango Tango and Double Live Gonzo! days. But perhaps I disagree with your politics, and maybe I don’t think shooting feral hogs from helicopters is particularly “sporting.” Would I still be welcome at your concerts? Of course. And who the hell could possibly think slamming destructive pigs with a machine gun from a helicopter has anything to do with sport, when we are simply saving the environment, halting the indiscriminate poisoning campaign they were planning, saving family farms, saving wildlife, creating an exciting new fun industry, feeding the homeless and hungry massive tonnage of pure organic pork and eating unlimited barbecue. How could anyone possibly not get that?
The maximization of one’s quality of life and energies to accomplish one’s ultimate dreams. Much like killing as many hogs from a helicopter as possible.
And are you, at age 65, still double-live gonzo or have you toned it down to single-live gonzo now? Still wango tango, or just tango these days?
I improvise, adapt and overcome based on conditions, needs, desires and whims. According to Mrs. Nugent, I am currently triple-live gonzo these days. You should do an interview with her. Now that would be precious. She puts gonzo wango in my gonzo tango. Is that legal up there?
This interview has been condensed and edited.