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 has gotten 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 has agreed to pay is probably only half of what it has cost him in losing a U.S. Army gig at Ft.Knox KY ). 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 )