TED NUGENT Says He Doesn't Take His Exclusion From ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME Personally: 'I Don't Need It'
January 16, 2022
Ted Nugent says that he doesn't take his exclusion from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame personally.
The conservative rocker, who been eligible for the honor as a solo artist since 2000, has enjoyed a remarkably successful and eventful musical career over the past five decades, but his music is increasingly overshadowed by his political outbursts.
Asked in a recent interview with The Real Music Observer about the validity of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame considering that a number of rappers and non-rock artists have been inducted while other deserving acts have been overlooked, Nugent said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When I criticize the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… Let's take me out of the equation. Let's say I don't qualify — which is ridiculous — but let's pretend I don't qualify. But why ABBA before STYX? Why Patti Smith before TRIUMPH? Why Grandmaster Flash or Jay-Z at all? I mean, to think that they would qualify before the artists I just mentioned, and myself included, it's just dishonest and it's literally disrespectful to the gods of this music — Chuck [Berry] and Bo [Diddley] and all the gods that created this incredible soundtrack. But I don't take it personally because I don't need it. And quite honestly, the authenticity of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has been so tainted by the inclusion of not just non-rockers but anti-rockers. Madonna? Really? So I find it offensive on that level.
"I go back to the people thinking I hated Grandmaster Flash," he continued. "I don't hate anybody… I don't take this stuff personally but I find it offensive to real rockers, to real rock artists and to real rock and roll fans. Because Grandmaster Flash in the Rock And Roll… And I hope he's happy, I hope he's healthy and successful. But Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Why don't we just go down to Chuck Berry's grave and take a shit on it? That's what that represents to me. And it's unforgivable."
Ted has railed against the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame a number of times in the past, including in a 2017 interview with the Q103 radio station in Albany. At the time, he stated about his exclusion from the institution: "Jan Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone [magazine] and the boss hog at Rock And Roll Of Fame, he hates freedom, he hates the Second Amendment, he hates me, because I'm on the board of directors — quite proudly — of the National Rifle Association for, like, twenty-six years with some of the highest votes except for Charlton Heston [NRA's president]. And I couldn't be more proud of that, 'cause the NRA is the ultimate family, grassroots organization that fights for the right to defend ourselves. What kind of numbnut would be against that? And so I'm on the board of directors of the NRA, Jan Wenner hates the Second Amendment, so that's the only reason I'm not in the Rock And Roll Of Fame. And until they get their heads out of their ass, I'm more than happy to do what I do and do it with all the vim and vigor that I do it every night."
Nugent added: "Hey, write this down. My name is Ted Nugent. I am the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Eat me!"
Asked if he would show up for his Rock Hall induction if he eventually got the nod, Nugent said: "Oh, hell yes! And you know what I would do? I would lead… I've seen a lot of the ceremonies, and they're so moving. All of us that love music, how do you not just shed a tear of joy when you see Bob Seger and certainly ZZ TOP and Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and James Brown… Are you kidding me? These are the gods of the soundtrack of our quality of life. But you know what I will do? And I will do it. I will lead the most important moment in the history of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, because I will get on bended knee and I will say a prayer for Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and THE VENTURES and James Brown and Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding and the Motown Funk Brothers and THE BEATLES and THE [ROLLING] STONES and THE KINKS and Howlin' Wolf and Buddy Guy and B.B. King and Freddie King and Albert King… you know what I'm saying? Because Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is paying tribute and homage to geniuses who gave us the ultimate soundtrack for our American Dream. I'm all in, man, I'm genuinely moved, and I'm glad there is a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame."
Last July, Nugent resigned from the board of the NRA after 26 years, saying he was stepping down "due to constant scheduling conflicts."