Ted Nugent Before He Was An Asshole

Well, he probably always was, we just didn’t know it yet.

Anyway, I’ve had notions of adding some vintage Ted Nugent to my CD collection for some time now. My friends and I were big into Ted back in the vinyl days, from about the time he abandoned the psychedelic for straight-up hard rock (Call Of The Wild) to the time he started doing all the vocals himself and shaved off his beard (post-Cat Scratch Fever). We used to joke that his beard held all his musical powers and, once it was gone, so was Ted.

Finally ordered up what was my favorite, Ted Nugent – his first album without the Amboy Dukes. Having not heard this album for probably 30 years, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it holds up. I will be playing it again and maybe adding to my early Nugent collection.

Observations, now that I’m much older and wiser:

1) There are no slow songs or noodlers, surely much of what appealed to a pre-punk Steve Moyer back in the day. One can argue Stranglehold is a noodler, but, if so, it’s a damn good one.

2) The militia man beginnings are here, though I didn’t realize it way back when. Get a load of these lyrics (and subject matter) of the otherwise excellent Stormtroopin’:

“Comin’ up that street, jackboots steppin’ high, got to make a stand,
Lookin’ in your windows, listenin’ to your phone, keep a gun in your hand”

3) The best Ted Nugent band was this incarnation, with Derek St. Holmes handling most of the vocals. In retrospect, St. Holmes is quite Steve Marriott (not a bad thing at all – I didn’t know Humble Pie yet as a kid) and some of this album has a very Humble Pie feel to it.

4) Wiki doesn’t say why St. Holmes wasn’t in the band, at least for a while, after Cat Scratch Fever. Wiki also tells me St. Holmes did a bunch of other stuff, including joining Nugent again later. All I remember was the Whitford/St. Holmes album he did with the Aerosmith guy, which I thought about buying many times but never did. You Spinal Tap fans (I am not one) will be interested in knowing that David St. Hubbins’ moniker was inspired by St. Holmes.

5) Finally, the song I’m posting has a very early Alice Cooper beginning yet lyrically seems to be taking a poke at Alice and his lot. I’ve read a good bit of Detroit rock history and don’t remember any feud between the two, so maybe the lyrics are aimed elsewhere.

7 thoughts on “Ted Nugent Before He Was An Asshole

  1. Journey to the Center of the Mind is a good song, music by Nugent but not the lyrics. Ted never understood that “across the streams of hopes and dreams where things are really not” stuff. Me neither but I dig it the most. He was drug-free in 1968, there’s your tipoff.

  2. You’re assholes……..We’re all assholes……and your point?….I don’t think Nugent stands alone in the music world, plenty of asshole to go around there!

  3. I remember this quote or something like it from Derek St Holmes:

    “We’d hit the stage, lights are flashing the crowd is going wild, Ted is out there in a loincloth swinging from a vine or something, the crowd is going absolutely nuts, then the lights dim down and the spotlight pans over to me as I start singing Just What the Doctor Ordered…”

    I saw Nuge at Cal Jam II and Derek St Holmes was on FIRE during that set. I suppose it was just coming to a breaking point. I remember Ted lying about it and saying the split was about ‘complacency’ lol…

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