Most people these days think of Ted Nugent as that right wing gun nut who’s always shooting off his mouth. We tend to forget the guy has a hell of a track record for making kick ass rock and roll and was one of the biggest rock stars of the 1970s.
Ted bounced around the local Detroit music scene in the early ’60s before forming The Amboy Dukes in 1967 and getting down and dirty with some garage inspired proto-metal and even psychedelic sounds. They had a huge hit with Journey To The Center Of The Mind:
Ted has always been anti-drug and alcohol and claims he didn’t realize the lyrics were about drug use. Not sure if I buy that but that’s a hell of a guitar solo.
The Amboy Dukes split for good in 1975 and Ted assembled a new band for his solo career. He quickly gained a reputation as one of the top live acts in the country but it wasn’t until 1977s Cat Scratch Fever that he had a Top 30 single with the title track. The album also features Wang Dang Sweet Poontang, maybe the greatest title of all time. This was the album that put Ted over the top; at one point he was so big he even had AC/DC opening for him.
Here’s Ted rocking Cat Scratch Fever on The Midnight Special:
Ted may be in his 60s now but don’t think for a second that he’s lost anything. Here he is tearing it up at the 2009 Amboy Dukes reunion: