Legendary rocker Ted Nugent discussed his lifelong anti-drugs and -drink stance during a Facebook Live with his son Rocco on Tuesday (February 2). Speaking about why some people begin to abuse drugs while others don't, Ted said: "My mom and dad were alcoholics. I didn't know they were alcoholics. I thought they just had a Tom Collins [cocktail] every night — whatever the hell that is — or a martini with olives… So my mom and dad were smoking, drinking alcoholics. And I was surrounded, in the rock and roll world, by smoking, drinking, drugged idiots.
"So what's the difference between a person that falls for that versus a person who defies that? I haven't the faintest idea," he admitted. "Because I think God gave all of us everything we need.
"Some people look for an easy way out, and some people don't. I didn't. I think it was just shit luck. 'Cause my brothers and sisters smoked and drank, and they didn't even surround themselves with goofball rock and roll dirtbags. I did."
After Rocco suggested that Ted was selective about his musical influences and only mirrored himself after artists who were clean, sharp and articulate, Ted said: "I'm gonna throw a grenade in that theory. Keith Richards [of THE ROLLING STONES] — one of the most powerful influences in my life, and if that's the mirror, I failed miserably. Because he's a walking chemical dump — always stoned. But he is so deep. I was gonna use the word 'spiritual' — I don't know; that's up to him. But he's so grinding in emotion and authoritative in his musicality…
"Most of my influences got high — right in front of me," he continued. "And I admired the living shit out of 'em. The MC5, they were all stumbling, puking, stupid drunk and stoned, and I admired them beyond description. But then it caught up with them, and I said, 'Oh.' Thank God I didn't go, 'Hey, they're smoking a lot of hashish, and they're just kicking out the jams. Maybe I'll try the hashish.' And luckily, I didn't. Luckily, I watched them blow up. I watched the drugs and alcohol destroy the energy that I admired, destroy the groove that I admired. And to this day, Wayne Kramer is a dear friend of mine. Wayne, I love you, buddy. And he knows I love him. And we have great conversations. And he's probably polar opposite of my ideologies. But not really, because he has a work ethic, and he's a family guy, he's a loving guy, he's a productive guy, he's a conscientious guy, he's a caring guy. But I think to this day, he thinks that dope is essential… I don't wanna presume — I had a conversation with him not that long ago where we disagreed on the use of marijuana and other intoxicants, or whatever category you wanna put 'em in.
"The point is that lucky me, I could differentiate between the delivery of the things I admired versus the occasional and, more often than not, conduct of those that I admired," Ted added.
"Jimi Hendrix offered me his drugs, and I said no. John Belushi offered me his drugs; I said no. Keith Moon offered me his drugs and alcohol, and I said no. Bon Scott offered me his drugs and alcohol, and I said no. I said no to everybody."
Back in 2018, Nugent said that Canada was "absolutely crazy" for its decision to legalize marijuana, explaining that he has "never seen one moment of positive outcome from someone getting high." He said: "I'm all for medical marijuana, I'm all for medical anything, as long as it's really beneficial to people suffering from health issues, but to legalize recreational comfortably numb is a guaranteed script for ruined lives."
Nugent has served on the boards of more than two dozen political and charitable associations, including the National Rifle Association (NRA),Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.),and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) law enforcement program.