The motor city madman rolled into the White Oak Amphitheater in Greensboro, NC on Friday 16 Aug. 2019 for his "The music made me do it again" tour.
This is the latest tour in consummate guitarist Ted Nugents multi-generational history. Selling more than forty million albums worldwide, Nugent has had hits and fronted with the Amboy Dukes in the 60s, in the 90s with Damn Yankees and his solo career. Nugent's tunes have almost all been hard-driving numbers that will grab hold of the front of your shirt and shake the snot out of you. Songs such as "Stranglehold," "Cat-scratch Fever," "Great White Buffalo," "Paralyzed," and His only love song "Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang." Many of Nugents powerhouse hits are regularly played on local radio stations.
This show featured Greg Smith on bass and a very young drummer named Jason Hartless. Smith was also the lead singer. Ted at age 70, has had problems with his hearing, I also believe his voice isn't as powerful as it used to be. Throughout the numbers I was there for, "Uncle Ted" interjected commentary and backup vocals. He regularly had a one-sided conversation with those in attendance. Speaking highly of his custom Black Byrdland (named Blackie) which appears to have been played as long as Ted has. While his hearing and voice seemed to have suffered the fate of age, one thing that hasn't changed is his mastery of the six-string. Listening to the opening number "Stranglehold" brought
back memories of cruising around Buffalo, NY with friends in high school. After stranglehold, they launched into "Gonzo" then "Paralyzed" and then his "love song" "Wang dang sweet poon tang." 23-year young drummer Jason Hartless appears to be as much of an impresario as the "Nuge" is. With Justin Beiber looks, this kid is someone to watch in the coming years. Unfortunately, and sadly for me, I had to leave after "Wang dang" as I still had other shows to shoot. The crowd was filled with middle-aged and the well-seasoned remembering their high school days. There were also High schoolers attending to see a legendary guitarist. They were not disappointed by this performance. The band "Michael Austin" opened the show on a day that saw the release of their debut CD “Neon Halo." Austin, a veteran of the Air Force and San Bernadino Sheriffs department, had the crowd warmed up and received a considerable standing applause at the conclusion of their set.
One thing that Nugent has rarely given into is the "dreaded" slow ballad. The only song that I've heard is probably "Fred Bear." His tribute to his longtime friend, fellow archer, and outdoorsman of the same name.
If you've never paid any attention, "Uncle Ted" is a prolific hunter / outdoorsman. A staunch conservative and NRA board member, he has become an author, actor and radio commentator. An ardent supporter of the First and Second Amendments. He often appears at rallies in support of Veterans, gun rights, and hunting. Nugent has been buying land in Michigan since the seventies and has accumulated 340 acres that he calls Sunrise Acres, and a property in Texas named SpiritWild Ranch. Both facilities are stocked with deer and a variety of exotic game that people can hunt with or without Ted. Sunrize acres has been the center of much controversy with whiny anti-hunting groups calling it "Canned hunting" due to the property being fenced. Nugent has been the center of controversy the past couple of decades and he has fired many verbal arrows and a couple of real ones at (images) leftist politicians, and various animal right activist groups including PETA.
Ted Nugent has also become a philanthropist. He has been on USO tours entertaining troops at home and abroad. He is an * "Ambassador for Exodus Place, advancing the goal of “zero veteran homelessness in Michigan” and works with Operation Finally Home to provide quality, mortgage-free housing for our wounded and disabled vets."*1. Nugent also has given thousands of tickets for his shows to veterans and also hosts summer camps for inner-city children. As a Veteran, I say thank you, Ted, both for the years of music and your support of my Brothers and Sisters. You can never imagine how much it means to a kid thousands of miles away from home. You and the others bring a little bit of that home, even for a short time, to them.
You may disagree with his politics, you may not like him because he's a hunter. But you can't disagree with the fact that the 'Nuge still can wail on that Gibson.
© CERBERUSPHOTOS.COM by Douglas White