TED NUGENT: 'To Think That I Don't Qualify In The Top One Hundred Of Guitar Players In America Is Just A Stupid Lie'

July 4, 2019

In a recent interview with "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon", legendary rocker Ted Nugent was asked why he thinks he hasn't gotten the recognition that he deserves as a guitar player. He responded (hear audio below): "This isn't ego. I have an ego, because I have self-esteem, because I put my heart and soul into being the best that I can be. If you run a race and your chest breaks the ribbon and you've won the race, I think you can look in the camera and go, 'Man, I'm fast. Man, I ran good.' I think that should be celebrated. Excellence should always be celebrated. But remember, those people in the musical [sic] industry who make those decisions about who's best and who is in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, they hate me because I'm against dope. And I am against dope. I don't think it's good. I don't want my sons and daughters, I don't want my grandkids, I don't want my pilots, I don't want my band, I don't want my crew stoned. I don't want them comfortably numb. I don't wanna have to wake 'em up three times to get to the gig. I don't wanna have to remind 'em how the song goes. I've had this all my life. And these people in charge of deciding this, they don't like me because I'm on the board of directors with the highest votes for 25 years on the National Rifle Association. They somehow blame inanimate tools on crime."

He continued: "I know that Jimi Hendrix was a god, and Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and Joe Perry and Joe Bonamassa and Rickey Medlocke and Billy Gibbons and Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Of course they're the best. Steve Vai. Joe Satriani. Hell, Vic [Johnson] in Sammy Hagar's band is an unbelievable guitar player. Derek St. Holmes is an unbelievable guitar player. Brad Whitford… I could go on and on and on — unlimited. But to think that I don't qualify in the top one hundred of guitar players in America is just a stupid lie. Case closed."

Nugent also reiterated his lifelong anti-drugs and -drink stance, telling host Mitch Lafon: "I'm against comfortably numb. I'm against being stoned, because you can't be an asset to your family if you're stoned. And people listening right now to us, they just attack me for saying that, but those people that don't know that you're in the liability column when you're stoned, it's because they're stoned. I've had to step over all these wonderful people's bodies and these great virtuosos in all my life, since the 1960s, because they tried to convince me that getting stoned was a victimless crime. And I would like to bring them on to make the point, but they're all dead — they're all dead, because they were the victim of losing touch with their surroundings. And it's not good for you. Now, I'm one hundred percent for medical drugs, medical marijuana, whatever you need to feel better when you're sick. Everybody knows that."

Last November, Nugent said that "Canada is 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 is continuing to promote his latest album, "The Music Made Me Do It", which was released last November via Round Hill Records. Ted's first studio album in four years features Greg Smith (BILLY JOEL, ALICE COOPER, RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW) on bass, Jason Hartless (JOE LYNN TURNER, MITCH RYDER) on drums, and the Motor City Madman himself on lead guitar and vocals.

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