Ted Nugent makes Michigan's summer concert season complete

Shut Up & Jam Tour
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LEXINGTON (WJRT) - (08/25/2016) - "I am the thumb, a lot of people think I'm the middle finger, but I'm actually the thumb," Ted Nugent says with a laugh.
And he has a couple chances to prove his point, and maybe change the minds of some of the others he referenced, this month when he plays at Freedom Hill Amphitheater in Sterling Heights Friday, then his second show of the month in the thumb at the Lexington Village Theatre Sunday before a pair of shows at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo Tuesday and Wednesday. The Nuge says even after more than 50 years playing gigs in Michigan, getting on stage in front of his fellow Michiganiacs still gets him riled up.
"When I do come home it really does kick it up a few notches. So it's a battle for me to control myself and try to maintain some element of composure when I'm performing back in Michigan."
Ted says he also can't help but get a bit nostalgic when he's back home, thinking back to the days when The Amboy Dukes would play any and every gig they could get.
"I remember when the Amboy Dukes opened up for The Who at the Southfield High School, and we opened up for Vanilla Fudge and Jimi Hendrix and we opened up for the Young Rascals. And later on of course everybody opened up for me and we played in front of millions and millions of people just in the state of Michigan. So yeah, I remember all the gigs, the Davison gigs up there, and Silver Bell and all the Hideouts and the Crowes Nest, Grande Ballroom and Eastown and Cobo Hall and Olympia."
The Motor City Madman says, while a lot has changed since those early days, the feeling he gets when he picks up his Gibson Byrdland hasn't.
"The electric guitar still has an unbelievable allure to just turn it up and play the Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard music that I do. So it's still fresh and every night is the most important concert, every song is the most important song, and people love that kind of passion. So my music owns me whenever I pickup the guitar, it's kind of out of body. I share a craving for this high energy, intense, groovin' central rock n roll music that we all love, I'm a fan of the music way before I'm a musician. My musicality and my musicianship allows me to express my rock n roll dreams as an individual, but it really is a universal communication."
The outspoken Nugent is also famously passionate about many other issues, be it politics or hunting. But he also does a lot of charity work that doesn't make many headlines. Organizers for various fundraisers for Detroit musicians, such as the annual Dick Wagner Memorial Concert, say Ted is almost always the first to respond with donations of autographed memorabilia to be auctioned. And a few years ago, Nugent set a world record by signing 2,600 guitars in one day. But he says he's not the one who should get recognition for the feat.
"Did I sign all those guitars? Was that a pretty good gesture? Yes it was. But the people who bought those guitars at auctions, they're the ones who made the difference. They dug deep and have raised millions of dollars over the years for all the stuff that I've autographed. Hey, how hard is it to autograph stuff? Give me a break. We also donate a lot of huntin' trips and fishing trips to terminally ill kids, special needs people around the country. And again, I'm not braggin' on behalf of the Nugents, I'm braggin' on behalf of Americans who dig deep and buy these hunts with me. Some guys pay giant wads of money to hunt with the old goofy Motor City Madman, and all that money goes to a terminally ill child's last wish in life, or a US Marine who needs a motorized wheelchair. So that kind of generosity is alive and well, and I'm just a tiny, tiny spoke in the wheel of American generosity. And we're proud to be shoulder to shoulder with people that give and give and give and really care."



 
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