Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Walk With Me...Down The Trail, My Friend

If somebody would have told me at the end of spring as the weather was turning warmer that in the coming months I'd see the Dalai Lama, Poison, a Skid Row-less Sebastian Bach, and...Ted Nugent...all by the end of the summer, I would have turned and offered to buy them another shot of whatever it was they were downing.

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.

Except one.

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."
—Ted Nugent


  1. I concur, "Uncle Ted" puts on a good show...a great show for $10 (and only $2.50 for a can of beer...forget about it).

    And while i too am on the "ball sports" side of things (keeping in mind a puck is not a ball and as the late George Carlin explained, if you can't use your hands it's not a sport either...yes, looking at you soccer guy) versus hunting/fishing, I agree...Fred Bear is where it's at.

    I never heard Great White Buffalo and that was good. Strangle Hold of course was good. And while the titles are interesting, i can't quite say the same for Snakeskin Cowboys, Wango Tango or Wang Dang Sweet Poontang (but i can feel an underground swell brewing for Love Grenade).

    Maybe it's just me cuz i have zero musical talent (I quit the trumpet in 9th grade) but i was impressed with the fact that he WAS the guitar and yet was running around all over the stage singing with his wireless mike and it all sounded good.

    Now be honest though, the highlight of the night was on the way out and you attempting to defeat that ever popular carnie game of "tip the beer bottle upright 10 times in a row from it's rested angled position with the broken plastic fork only having the outer two tines remaining." Right? Yeah, I thought so.

    I'd love to be able to help you continue your "year of bands i didn't think i was going to see" but unfortunately my ban of Chicago is still in place and Y&T is playing in Schaumburg November 15th...

  2. SBW...I'm not sure if that's your actual reaction to this entire post about Nugent, or if you're just trying to make me happy.

    (I have a feeling it's the former. And that you probably wouldn't accept if Uncle Ted invited you over for an elk burger. Sorry. But thanks for reading.)

    TheKid...I think I'd enjoy hunting if I invested a little time in it. But I'd probably get so caught up in the communing with nature part of it that I'd forget to, you know...hunt.

    There's no denying that the Nuge has got talent and is a good showman. And yes...he did sound good.

    The highlight of the night was Fred Bear, followed closely by that stupid game with the really long name that I thought I could beat. I should be applauded for only throwing ten bucks at it. (and I should be snickered at for even attempting it in the first place.)

    Dude...Nov. 15 is a Saturday!! We gotta go, we gotta go.

  3. Well...does my ban really hold true if i'm not the one who's driving?...debatable.

    The Vols do have an opening in the schedule that Saturday...

    And how far is The Natti from Chicago? The Eagles are at the Bengals the very next day...

    And you've never ridden the T.A.N.K* across the river to Covington, KY and drank German wheat bier out of mugs bigger than your head?


    *(Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky...you'd think Chris Henry would've been aware of it....six or seven times...)

  4. I do believe you should conclude your crazy fun summer of listening to live music and the one and only Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw Festival --- we have some great bands this year and they're only five bucks :o) And, you could sling some poo - I know you're tempted!!

  5. I'm actually very tempted, Rebecca...but I've got a weekend filled with other plans this year.

    But seriously...a cow chip festival, and slingin' poo? That just screams column and blog entry, doesn't it? Yep.

    Some year.
    Hope it goes well!