Ted Nugent says that he hasn't been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because the people that run the organization are "dishonest" and "rotten."
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 Ruben Mosqueda of KNAC.COM why we have yet to see him in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Nugent responded: "Why am I not in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? That has a lot to do with the fact that you can't always explain why people are rotten. Why do some people violate other people and commit vicious crimes and lie?
"I would like to think about what is going on with the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame… I don't take it personal," he continued. "I think I'm in the ultimate Hall Of Fame. I went on stage a couple days in Abilene [Texas] with a great man Tim Montana. The Tim Montana band opened up for ZZ TOP to a packed house in Abilene. Tim Montana says, 'We learned 'Cat Scratch Fever'. Come up and play it with us.' I asked Billy Gibbons if that was okay to do, and he said, 'Oh yeah. I'd love to hear that.' They introduced me and the audience went berserk. So don't tell me what my Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is. I'm in the ultimate Hall Of Fame with real and true lovers of my music! There's nothing more important than that.
"I'm not offended that I'm not there. But not because of me, but for the fans. Why isn't a band like TRIUMPH in there, but Grandmaster Flash is?! That's just dishonest. Why are Patti Smith, ABBA and Madonna in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, but not STYX?! Are you kidding me?! You can only explain that is that the people who made those decisions are just plain rotten people. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should genuflect to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, the Motown Funk Brothers. Are you kidding me?! How dare you put Grandmaster Flash, ABBA and Madonna in that?!
"I'm not angry that I'm not in there because I'm having so much fun that it's stupid," Nugent added. "I have a new album called 'Detroit Muscle' which is another authoritative, rhythm and blues rock and roll from the Motor City. I'm surrounded by guitars and amps and I play with a bunch of killer musicians. My music is a flamethrower of fun, positive energy and piss and vinegar. That's the 'real' Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, since the people who run the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame have been dishonest.
"It would be an honor to be part of an institution that celebrates the founding fathers of rock and roll, like Chuck, Bo, Little Richard, James Brown and going back to Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters and SAM & DAVE and Wilson Pickett. I would be honored to share that. What a middle finger to the 'real' heroes of rock and roll and rhythm and blues to put in those other people. Grandmaster Flash?! Really?! Why don't we go down to Chuck Berry's grave and piss on it!!! Are you kidding me?! That's not a Ted Nugent presumption; that's not an opinion… The evidence is overwhelming.
"You wanna know how to get into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? You get 'high' with the board," Ted said. "I don't get high with anybody because I have campfires and I have the healing power of nature. I get high on high without poisoning my sacred temple. I call on God. I call on the good earth to help cleanse my soul and to help stimulate my very spirit.
"I know people say, 'Nugent is a radical and he dodged the draft.' That's a lie. They say, 'Oh, well, Nugent is a racist.' That's a lie. They say, 'Oh, Nugent adopted a nine-year old-girl.' That's a lie. They say, 'Nugent disrespected Native Americans.' That's a lie. Are you kidding me?! Around my campfires, we laugh till we cry about the attacks on me. They are just so stupid. Those people that say that are strangled by hate."
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."
Nugent went on to reiterate his belief that that rappers and non-rock artists like Madonna don't belong in the Hall Of Fame. "I mean, why don't you just piss on Chuck Berry's grave, you know what I mean?" he said.
According to Ted, the fact that both Patti Smith and Grandmaster Flash have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is the result of "political correctness," which he calls "a self-inflicted and embarrassing scourge." He added in a mocking tone: "Yeah, Grandmaster Flash is rock and roll. And I'm a gay pirate."
This past July, Nugent resigned from the board of the NRA after 26 years, saying he was stepping down "due to constant scheduling conflicts."