What was wrong with his music when you were a teen?
The same thing that was wrong with a lot of music that was around when I was a teen, and which is still around today: it's nursery-rhyme simple being treated as if it's literature. When it's angry adolescent driven, it's boring and ugly. Kind of like rap. Sorry if that offends you -- it's just always the way I've felt about mindless guitar-grinding three-chord "rock" where volume must serve as the major value.
Sorry, and I am a music snob -- complex music is something I admire and respect. The stuff that Nugent did, as I remember it, was the musical equivalent of making chocolate chip cookies. Not a lot of skill required or admiration earned other than general kudos for playing. On the other hand, the stuff that Santana, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, to mention a few, were doing, was more like the musical equivalent of preparing a five-course meal. A lot more interesting, a lot more skill involved, and a lot more admiration from me, musically speaking.
I admire the heck out of Nugent and value him. In spite of the very bad 70s, and they were worse than we remember, if you want to know the truth! That's what his "success" as a rock musician indicates to me now, is that it was his ability to lead. Nugent is a born, inspiring leader with a message of God-fearing and just rebellion that I embrace and my family's traditions have embraced for as long as I can see back. It doesn't get much smarter, wiser, or better than advising open-eyed:
Be prepared to defy stupid laws and regulations wherever you find them.
Music snob me -- for all those seemingly long hours where I had to put up with his sh*t music blasting in late workhours because the guys I worked with thought he was so great, all those long minutes I cursed him under my breath when we could have been listening to something inspiring and cool ... well, with four words that follow he has COMPLETELY REDEEMED himself. I could kiss him:
Raise hell. Vote smart
That is our battle cry! God bless Ted Nugent and thanks God for blessing us with him. See my new tagline.
posted on 06/06/2008 8:57:58 AM PDT
("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
Rock music and Republicans is not a very natural mix -- Woody Allen make a joke of it in Annie Hall. Just as rock music and Christians are not a natural mix, either. Rock music and Liberal & Democrats is more of a natural mix. The numbers of this last mix is huge. Very broadly, rock music is about change and rebellion against the status quo -- conservatives want to preserve the status quo. Rock is about feeling first and foremost (not complex intellectual music) and feelings against some perceived injustice (Vietnam war = folk rock protest music, girlfriend leaving you = blues & country music, against parental authority = heavy metal music, against the establishment & G W Bush = punk rock and/or psychedelic music, etc.) Rock is the call for liberation but the liberation preached in the 60s was mostly informed by a subtle strain of Marxism (Frankfurt School) out to destroy the capitalist system. It culminated in hedonism. And yet, ironically enough, rock's Jethro Tull, ELP, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc., were inspired and informed by classical music, a tradition that didn't seek outright rebellion and which wanted to conserve older music and values from the past. But most rock music thrives on novelty and Ted Nugent is a dinosaur playing dinosaur music -- he probably shoots pterodactyls with a bow and arrow for breakfast. He is a caveman of the past. He sends a mixed message to young musicians: embrace good traditional family values but be a rebel, which for many young people may mean adopting a pro gay position, save the planet against capitalism (eco crusades), denigrate Christianity, etc. Rebellion is important if one knows why one is rebelling and not just something "cool" to do and attractive if you're a teen who wants to be "different" or have an identity separate from his parents. Rebellion can be sold by media and Hollywood and it would be great if Ted addressed that issue for aspiring rock stars. The real rebel would actually rebel against Hollywood and the countless musicians who conform by buying into being a "rebel."
Ted is a good guitar player -- good phrasing, passionate, good tone, etc. -- for the music he does. I heard him last year in concert in the park and I was impressed.
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