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Ted Nugent keeps a stranglehold on his gonzo ways

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Ted Nugent makes no apologies for being “a huge, unstoppable fan” of his own music.

Heck, Nugent doesn’t apologize for much of anything, does he?

But it’s that love for the songs, Nugent says, that has brought Derek St. Holmes, the singer on his first three studio albums, back into the fold for the current I Still Believe Tour.

“Derek is in a great place in life,” says the 62-year-old Motor City Madman, who these days resides near Crawford, Texas. “His vocals are the best they’ve ever been. His spirit is the best it’s ever been. When you get him singing ‘Stranglehold’ and ‘Hey Baby,’ all of a sudden it has that original identity of the first (Nugent) record. They’re my lyrics, my baby, but I wrote them inspired by Derek being in the band at the time.

“So that’s been the deciding factor. Instead of having him come up and jam like he does every year at a few shows, he’s with us full-time now. It really kicks it in the ass a notch.”

The tour, meanwhile, draws its name from “I Still Believe,” Nugent’s first new release since 2007’s “Love Grenade” album. He says the song, which is available for download at Nugent’s web site, was inspired by the charity work he does with children and injured military personnel — “people who are stronger than me,” he notes.

A new album, meanwhile, is also in the offing, with a batch of song written that include “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead” and “Never Stop Dreamin’.”

“It’s monster stuff,” promises Nugent, who’s also working on a “tell-all” memoir to be called “Stranglehold” and continues to host his popular Outdoor Channel show “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild.” “The challenge is to find that one hour’s worth of 10, 12 songs that are the baddest ... of all. We’re so on fire with this band that we keep coming up with another, then another, then another. ...

“At some point you gotta say, ‘Stop with the new ones! Let’s stick with what we’ve got here.’ But there’s such a growing fury in my music that it’s hard to stop, so I’ll keep going till they make me.”

Ted Nugent with Derek St. Holmes, Brent James & the Contraband and Lisa Bouchelle perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $20-$55 pavilion and $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0200 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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