Thirty-five years ago, Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever clawed its way to #17 on the Billboard album chart, becoming his third consecutive multi-million seller. Nugent would take Cat Scratch Fever‘s instant success and transform it through the remainder of 1977 into the top-grossing rock concert act that year. But it hadn’t always been that way. Far from it. Ted and I still reminisce about playing the tiny Findlay (Ohio) College gym with the Amboy Dukes in Fall 1971 to an audience of about 100. Or the following Summer 1972 playing in a cornfield outside North Baltimore Ohio, where someone in that crowd had tossed a tomato at Ted’s head during a guitar solo. Even though blinded by the glaring stage lights, Nugent miraculously caught the incoming red missile one-handed while never missing a note on the guitar neck with his left. When the song ended, Ted stopped the show, calling out the cowardly perpetrator in the inky blackness of the crowd while holding the tomato in his fist and shouting,” Is this what you wanted to see?” Nugent suddenly smashed the tomato on his face, then launched into a blistering song while the audience absolutely erupted!
There is no denying that Ted’s Motor City motormouth got his rump in hot water recently with the Secret Service, and his celebrity was unable to overcome either a lapse in good judgment or an inability to count to “two” while black bear hunting in Alaska in 2009 ( the $10,000 fine he paid is probably only half of what it cost him in losing a U.S. Army gig at Ft.Knox KY then). But love him or loathe him, it’s truly remarkable…even admirable…that after 40+ years, Ted Nugent is not only ” workin’ hard and playin’ hard”, but working at all. – Redbeard
( At Nugent’s Central Texas ranch , l to r, my brother Rob ,Ted , Redbeard )