07.14.10

Best Preview of the Nuge’s Third Tier Tour

Posted in Extremism, Rock 'n' Roll, Ted Nugent at 8:12 am by George Smith

Ted Nugent is in Nashville today. The local altie weekly can’t stand him and explains why.

From the Nashville scene:

If you disagree with Ted Nugent’s politics, it’s tough to like him. That said, he’s by no means a stupid guy, and his charitable work for military veterans is without a doubt admirable. His opinions are generally well-articulated even if they do often include threats of violence against his critics. But therein lies the rub: Dude’s a fucking prick, and not in that likable-asshole kind of way. No, his general dickishness comes in the way of suggesting Iraq should have been nuked and his frequent suggestions that those occupying the opposite end of the political spectrum should “suck on my machine gun.” Sure, there are plenty of attendees at a Ted Nugent concert who can’t wait for his inevitable mid-set tirade wherein me might fantasize murdering Hillary Clinton or threaten to shoot that commie Obama in his non-American face, but some of us just want to hear “Stranglehold.”

Such previews are proof it’s impossible to defame Nugent. He may complain loudly in columns that he’s been dubbed a race-baiter unjustly and that people better get their facts straight. But his own persona has created a substantial body of opinion that he is precisely what he says he is not.

In mid 2003 Nugent had a big gig lined up at the Muskegon Summer Celebration in Michigan. He then went on a radio show in Denver to do his inimitably Ted thing. The radio hosts pulled the plug on him.

The result — Nugent summarily dropped by the concert. Billboard, at the time:

“Derogatory racial remarks made by veteran rocker Ted Nugent have cost him a gig at the Muskegon Summer Celebration. Festival officials cancelled his concert following an interview last week with two Denver disc jockeys in which the DJs said he used slurs for Asians and blacks.”

Three months later Nugent sued the Muskegon concert officials for defamation. In his complaint, it was linked to a tortured argument about violation of his 14th Amendment rights and breach of contract, which had deprived him of an $80,000 guarantee.

The Billboard image/article is here in a parcel of articles and comes from the case files entered by Nugent’s legal team. (DD has more and may get to them in a future post.)

The lawsuit became a celebrity trial in Michigan during the course of which Nugent’s defamation claim was tossed out. Nugent eventually took the stand, saying the DJs had misinterpreted his use of the n-word in a conversation. Nugent said he had related a story about how an African American had told him, after watching him in performance: “If you keep playing … like that, you’re going to be an ‘n word’ when you grow up.”

Whether this was all Nugent said during the course of the radio appearance was not determined. No tape of it existed, apparently.

“Unmentioned at the trial were news accounts of Nugent’s use of the other words,” reported the Muskegon Chronicle in 2005.

Continued the newspaper:

Asked about it later by a Chronicle reporter, Nugent said he referred to “Jap guitars” in the context of a conversation about how some guitars are soulful, others not. Nugent said one of the disc jockeys then said the word “Jap” is offensive — a point Nugent disagrees with — and that he jokingly responded something to the effect of, “That’s not offensive. g—–‘ is offensive. [Apparently gooks.]

I didn’t call anybody a g—,” Nugent added.

Nugent claimed a subsequent Rocky Mountain News story about the radio interview — which generated a wire story that ran in The Muskegon Chronicle, launching the Muskegon uproar — was biased and false, although his own account of his on-air words resembled that given in the newspaper story.

By today’s Nuge-standard, it all reads rather mildly.

While the defamation part of the case was dismissed, Nugent was successful in his breach of contract suit. He was eventually paid his guarantee although Muskegon Summer Celebration lawyers had to prod him into admitting it had been settled.

What had and has been determined is that Nugent was a highly divisive character — and not in any good way, to paraphrase the Nashville Scene — someone always accompanied by maximum ugly controversy.

In a newspaper article after the trial’s conclusion, one read:

Shoppers at The Lakes Mall who had been following the case of rock star Ted Nugent and his lawsuit with the Muskegon Summer Celebration committee weren’t surprised by the outcome. A jury Thursday afternoon returned a quick verdict awarding Nugent … his breach-of-contract suit against the summer festival.

“I love Ted Nugent’s music. I understand Nugent has to be taken in context. Everybody don’t see it that way,” said Mike Elijah, 49, who is African-American and a fan of the festival.

“Most people see things as black and white,” Elijah said.

Elijah said he agreed with Summer Celebration’s decision not to allow Nugent to appear at the festival after allegations he made racial slurs during a live Denver radio show.

“Several teenagers asked for comment about the Nugent case were unable to do so without first receiving a briefing that Nugent was once a rock star,” added the newspaper.

2 Comments

  1. Dick Destiny » Creampuff Music Journalism said,

    August 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

    […] evidence is here. DD posted it […]

  2. Dick Destiny » Ted Plays Detroit — Where he hates the middle class said,

    September 3, 2010 at 8:30 am

    […] The show was an $80,000 gig and while Nugent was eventually paid in a breach of contract suit, the fallout from it hurt him. (DD has discussed that case here.) […]