It's been a strange summer. (That's not a complaint.) And last week, I met a couple buddies up at the Brown County Fair to see Ted Nugent for ten..lousy..dollars.
I can live without Cat Scratch Fever. Wango Tango doesn't impress me. And I can barely think of too many of Nugent's other songs to list here.
Fred Bear. A nearly eight-minute celebration of the great outdoors and the thrill of the hunt.
Thing is...I'm not a hunter. Nor a fisherman. But that is one fantastic song. I expected to have to wait through the entire concert to hear Fred Bear, but I was up to the task. I was going to hear it live.
I've seen Nugent in TV interviews and features, and while he may be a bit off kilter, he's a very intelligent human being, and I have no qualms with his...or anybody else's..."Kill It and Grill It" motto. I've been fortunate to enjoy meals of venison more than a handful of times, and...how should I put this?...them's good eatin'!
For those of you who don't know Nugent's background, he's a huge proponent of the NRA, fills his freezers many times over with the wild game he hunts, and in his 60 years on the planet...many of those living the rock-star lifestyle...he's never fallen prey to drugs or alcohol.
Earlier this summer, he performed his 6,000th career concert.
He and his bandmates came onstage with little fanfare...just a drummer, a bassist, and (pardon me) one crazy fucker named Uncle Teddy on lead guitar and vocals.
He revved up the pro-hunting crowd by screaming power words like, "Celebrate!!" and "Freeeedom!!" and referenced The Hunt over and over (and over), bonding with all of his "blood brothers" (if I had a nickel...) in the crowd of maybe 4,500, offering to share backstraps with everyone. (anyone? anyone? Buuueller?........the backstrap is the loin of a deer, the best cut of meat.)
He paid tribute to all the members of the Armed Forces, thanking them for going around the world and killing assholes, saying, "That's exactly what this world needs, is more dead assholes!" (insert wild cheers from the audience here.)
It doesn't take a front-row seat to see that the Nuge clearly loves himself. A lot. But he put a lot of that cocky energy to good use, and for two hours, put on a surprisingly entertaining show. I didn't get bored waiting for the song I went to hear.
He mentioned Fred Bear in between the second or third song, so I knew he knew it was on everybody's minds. And then brought it up again another time or two throughout the show. And yes...it was his last song.
I don't want to tear it down too much, because it was pretty well done, and it was a rush to be in the crowd for it. But parts of it were almost too spoken-wordy for me. I wish he would have belted it out a little more like on the disc.
There. I'll stop complaining. I saw two hours of live music for ten dollars, led by one Motor City Madman.
And I'd go again...for another ten. But probably not twenty-five.
I'm a few days away from another live show, more situated in my wheelhouse......the Crowwwws. (with Maroon 5. I just might ignore them...but it adds to my eclectic summer.)
"I hump the wild to take it all in,
there is no bag limit on happiness."