The ever-controversial Ted Nugent is many things to many people. To some, he is an arrogant, outspoken, self-righteous, crossbow-packin', gun-totin' murderer of defenseless animals. To his fans, he is simply the hard-working, sharp-tongued, loin cloth-clad, axe-wielding Motor City Madman -- period!
Nugent is certainly one of the most durable performers in music. After thirty-five years in the business, Terrible Ted has released about thirty albums that span his days with the '60s psychedelic outfit The Amboy Dukes, to his '70s arena-rock solo efforts and his foray into the realm of soft-rock with Damn Yankees, featuring Tommy Shaw (Styx) and Jack Blades (Night Ranger).
Nugent's latest Live affair, Full Bluntal Nugity is -- classic Ted. Recorded New Year's Eve, 2000 at Ted's thirteenth annual Whiplash Bash at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Full Bluntal Nugity, like Double Live Gonzo (1978), is high-velocity, no-holds-barred Nugent. Backed by the impressive rhythm section of drummer Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Travers) and bassist Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), Nugent pelts the ravenous audience with generous helpings of rock classics like "Stranglehold", "Free For All", "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang", and "Great White Buffalo". Also included are staples like "Snakeskin Cowboys", "Paralyzed", "Motor City Madhouse", and an excellent acoustic version of "Fred Bear" from Spirit of the Wind (1995).
In addition to Ted Nugent's blistering guitar playing, no performance would be complete without his testosterone-laced banter -- and you get plenty of it here. Before the intro of "Cat Scratch Fever", Nugent proclaims "I wrote the number one guitar lick in the history of the world". He apparently forgot about the classic riffs that fueled timeless numbers like "Smoke on the Water" and "Purple Haze". But that's what he thinks! And to Ted, that's all that matters.
Though Ted Nugent has written some great, classic rock music over the years, his real talent is his energetic live performance. Nugent's music was meant to be played live, and enjoyed -- live. And while Full Bluntal Nugity is not likely to convert any of the current crop of Limp Bizkit or Kid Rock fans, it most certainly will appeal to diehard "Ted heads" -- who, like their idol, will never go away.