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Ted Nugent takes a knee but still keeps rockin'

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Ted Nugent is pleased to report that "other than the federal government amd my knee, life is perfect" -- and that includes becoming a grandfather for the ninth time.

But the Motor City Madman did recently have his third knee surgery, orthroscopic, to relieve a bone-on-bone condition caused by years of jumping around stages and tromping around the wilderness, hunting. A complete replacement of his right knee is on the horizon as well.

But Nugent, who did have to rest and rehab after the latest surgery, promises he's still a potent presence on stage.

"The fire in the music has a life of its own," contends Nugent, 63, who now resides in Texas. "And the guys I'm playing with are so...good and the music is so intense. I'm hurting, 'cause I can't play it any other way, y'know? It's not like you can play 'Wango Tango' gently -- and I refuse to try."

Nugent's other "pain" has this year has been discussions with the FBI that stemmed from provocative comments he made about President Barack Obama during a National Rifle Association (NRA) convention during April in St. Louis. That led to a meeting with FBI agents a few days later, as well as having an invitation to play at Fort Knox revoked by the U.S. Army -- and, Nugent claims, other punitive actions taken by the government because of his expressed views and endorsement of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"They hate me. I'm at the top of their list," Nugent says. "I didn't threaten the president; I said I felt threatened. I scare them...because people respond powerfully to my articles and my interviews, more than ever. There's just a dramatic uptick in support I'm getting because I dare to increase my defiance factor.

"I'm the patriot. I'm going to Concord Bridge. These are way more serious times than people realize, so it's time to get out there and protest and name names and name the crimes they're committing. I'm not backing down."

Nugent is, however, still making music and has released a pair of new songs -- "I Love My BBQ" and "I Still Believe" -- for free download. He's also re-introduced his coffee line, Nuge Java, while a full-scale new album is "a never-ending saga" that at the moment is on hold pending his health issues.

"I've got a dozen of these raunchy things," Nugent says. "The band loves them and is begging and dying to get in the studio, but now I've got this new obstacle course of medical consideration. But we'll get to it. This is just another logistic wrestling match."

The Midwest Rock 'n' Roll Express tour, with Ted Nugent, Styx and REO Speedwagon, plays at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $65 and $35 pavilion, $25 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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