Rich Howells

ARCHIVES: Courting controversy again, Ted Nugent returns to the Peak on Aug. 14

ARCHIVES: Courting controversy again, Ted Nugent returns to the Peak on Aug. 14
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Ted Nugent’s recent comments in the media have resulted in protests in other states, but when he returns to Pennsylvania tonight, he’s expecting nothing but love.

The controversial guitarist will be performing at Penn’s Peak with opener Laura Wilde, starting at 8 p.m. His latest live album, “Ultralive Ballisticrock,” was recorded at the venue in 2011, so he’s looking forward to rocking classic tunes like “Stranglehold” and “Cat Scratch Fever” again with his outdoors-loving brethren in Jim Thorpe. He spoke to us via e-mail before the Wednesday night gig.

NEPA SCENE: You’re known nationwide for your political views as much as your music. What do you think is the biggest issue facing America at the moment, and how would you tackle it?

TED NUGENT: Americans must wake up to the curse of self-inflicted dependency and reawaken their natural instinct to be independent and as quality, productivity-conscious as possible. If the Obama curse of bloodsucking continues, America will continue to spiral into spiritual suicide. If they wake up or move to France to get out of the way of caring, productive Americans, then she will shine on to unstoppable upgrade again. It’s that simple.

NS: Do you feel that people focus too much on your views and not enough on your music?

TN: No. My nightly music-loving audiences celebrate the amazing intensity and soulfulness of my incredible music and astonishing band with passion and unlimited vigor virtually every night all summer long. The unabashed truth and logic of my politics only enhances the overall power of my uppity defiant freedom-loving soundtrack.

NS: How do you keep up your guitar chops? Do you practice every day, or do you just go out there and play the shows?

TN: I have guns and guitars in the corner of nearly every room of my home. I grab each often to cleanse the soul. I slam my guitar pretty much everyday of the year in my inexhaustible quest for the ultimate tone/lick/groove. And dare I say I accomplish same with amazing frequency. Then I go shoot stuff.

NS: Are you working on any new material currently?

TN: God knows me and the band are dying to record a bunch of very exciting new songs and musical adventures. Logistics, timing, and scheduling coordinated availabilities is a Herculean task. With any luck we should hit the studio in early 2014 for a summer release of a killer CD. Motor City Soul Brother [Derek] St. Holmes has been a full-time Nuge band member now for three high-velocity years and singing and playing better than ever. People go nuts with that incredible voice on the original classic masterpieces.

NS: You’ve had a long career with platinum-selling albums, television shows, and more. Is there anything you feel you have yet to accomplish in your career that you’d like to?

TN: God knows more of the same would satisfy the savage beast within, but with my nonstop writings, media, books, charity work, hunting adventures, guiding, outfitting, children’s camp, and law enforcement activities and so much more, my “we the people” “American Dream” cup doeth runneth over, and I ain’t even warmed up yet.

NS: Your latest live album, “Ultralive Ballisticrock,” was recorded right in our area at Penn’s Peak two years ago. What made you choose that venue to record at?

TN: The unbelievable intensity of my fellow music lovers would be more than enough to propel my concerts to godlike heights, but when you add a gathering of PA spirit of the wild Blood Brother outdoors fanatics to the mix, you have scary spiritual liftoff that most musicians cannot imagine. The connection is beyond the human experience, and we captured it.

NS: Are you looking forward to returning to Penn’s Peak, and what do you have in store for audiences this time?

TN: You’re kidding me, right? I crave this stuff more now than ever, and with hunting season right around the corner, it will be more intense and more fun than ever, guaranteed.

Ted Nugent
with Laura Wilde
Location: Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe)
Date: Wednesday, Aug. 14
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $39

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