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Interview:
Ted Nugent's ready to mark 6,500 great gonzo nights
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Ted Nugent is never at a loss for hyperbole -- so hearing that he's "intoxicatingly happy" is not exactly a news flash.

But when he's talking about "ShutUp&Jam," his first new album in seven years, the Motor City Madman's excitement seems genuine. And not at all misplaced.

"I think the freshness, the garage band piss 'n' vinegar factor has always been a powerful driving force in all of my music and my life, obviously," says Nugent, 65, "but now more than ever these songs represent such spontaneous combustion. Every day, when I come in from doing my chores and doing my lifestyle, I pick up the guitar every day and these songs just happened.

"There was no inhibitions. There was no agenda. I didn't go 'Hmm, maybe I should exult that we all shut up and jam.' I just started playing the lick and started singing and the songs were just pouring out of me."

And while Nugent -- who performs his 6,500th concert this weekend at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- has been living in Texas since 2003, "ShutUp&Jam" is certainly filled with a substantial quotient of Detroit rock 'n' roll input. The album was co-produced with Brownsville Station's Michael Lutz, with Sponge members and longtime Michigan studio forces Tim and Andy Patalan also on board. Longtime Nugent singer Derek St. Holmes sings on one track (as does good buddy Sammy Hagar) while Detroit Wheels/Rockets drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek was on board for two.

"It was like a musical celebration team," says Nugent, who had both knees, worn out from years of high-octane showmanship, replaced earlier this year. "They all come from that Motown, high-energy, Motor City, Mitch Ryder school of music, and they love that rawness like I do.

"So when you have a unified vision, without it becoming a yes-man thing -- because that can be counter-productive -- it works. It was just a mutual admiration society for not Ted Nugent music but for music and my treatment of it. I couldn't have had a better situation."

Nugent, in fact, say he's already "got my next record almost completely done," which he plans to call "Everything" and have out well before another seven year passes.

"All the songs are going to be 'Sex is everything. Freedom is everything. Attitude is everything. Spirit is everything. Guns are everything. My dogs are everything. Love is everything,' " he says. "I've already got 18 (songs), and they keep coming. I can't wait for people to hear 'em."

Ted Nugent, Brownsville Station and the Rockets

7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township

Tickets are $19.50-$49.50 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $40 lawn four-pack

Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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