Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Ted Nugent was my first. Concert. I was 13 and my ears are still bleeding. In the spirit of rock though, I meant that in a good way. No matter how vocal he is now politically, give him credit: the dude could always play guitar. As you grow up though, you find out things about your heroes, be they athletes, musicians or whatever. The Tarzan outfits he wore on stage while swinging from ropes made sense only when you discovered years later how much of an outdoorsman he was. Hunting, fishing, shooting and so on. As someone who grew up around guns myself, I felt a special bond with Uncle Ted.
Rock and ammo united us as kindred spirits.
Then Ted started speaking out beyond his Kill It and Grill It lifestyle on things like personal freedoms and big government. And now, his latest rant? An almost outright call to arms:
“Barack Hussein Obama did not sneak into power. An army of clueless, disconnected, ignorant Americans invited him to bring his Marxist, glaringly anti-American jihad into our lives.”
Read the rest here, but I *think* you know were Uncle Ted’s netting out here. (Credit for him working in *Stranglehold* into the rant.) I actually tend to agree with him on certain things, in particular, the part that says nobody just sneaks up on us—we vote them in. While candidates appear on the radar fairly quickly before we know much about them (Obama, Palin, Clinton, etc.), it’s still up to us to vet them.
You get the candidates you deserve—or the ones you vote in.
Some might call him a drugged-out nutter. Except, he’s not insane. I have no doubt he wants what’s best for his family and his country. He’s not on drugs either. In a music industry where rampant drug use was the norm, he was always clean. I don’t know what to chalk it up to here though. He represents a type of pro-Fox News performer you see more and more of, like Dennis Miller and Charlie Daniels, who speak out about their conservative politics in ways they never did.
The long-haired musicians your parents once hated now wave American flags and spit on Democrats. Irony kicks ass again.
His claims of being an industry watchdog aside, I don’t once recall Nugent ever saying anything political on stage, on his records or in interviews—until 20 years down the line. Dennis Miller’s snark brilliantly nailed the hypocrisy of idiots, first on SNL and then later on his own HBO show.
He was on our side, us vs. The Man.
Now, it’s you against him if you disagree. Whereas he never once bit the liberal entertainment hand that fed—he has no problem doing it now on his radio show. Charlie Daniels, (another dude I saw once—shhh) played a mean fiddle, and still does, but left politics out of it—until 20+ years into his career.
I’m all for free speech, red meat and rock—search this blog—I just wish celebs wouldn’t wait to express conservative views only when it’s expedient to do so. (At least Bono and U2 were singing about political and societal issues early on, as well as the Police—when Sting wasn’t busy knocking candles over of course.)
As a teen, you’re not tuned into political activism or social issues the way you are as an adult, so deep messages tend to go over your head. Understandable, since music is about freedom of expression and good times, not politics. Least that’s what my uncle told me once.