Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 13 December 1948) Rock guitarist. Worked with Lourds (French for 'heavy'); then formed band Amboy Dukes in Detroit '65, with original lineup of John Drake, vocals; Steve Palmer, guitar; Bill White, bass; Rick Lober, keyboards; T. T. Palmer, drums: played pseudo-psychedelic music with heavy metal overtones. Their eponymous first LP '67 (the year Nugent graduated from high school) made the Billboard chart early '68 on Mainstream; Andy Solomon and Greg Arama replaced Lobar and White; Journey To The Center Of Your Mind '68 had its title track in top 20, helping the album to no. 74. Marriage On The Rocks/Rock Bottom '69 marked a switch to Polydor, Rusty Day replacing Drake; they slimmed to a quartet of Nugent, Solomon, K. J. Knight (drums) and Rob Ruzga (bass), with the first three sharing vocals. Live Survival Of The Fittest '70 was marked by new billing: Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, followed by another label switch; the group reduced to a trio with Rob Grange (bass), Vic Mastrianni (drums): Call Of The Wild and Tooth, Fang And Claw '73-4 did not chart but continued selling for years.
Nugent then embarked on solo billing; the long-haired heavy-rock guitarist had an image as a clean-living family man and was certainly a hard worker, with a remarkable run of chart LPs on only two labels. On Epic: Ted Nugent '75, Free-For-All '76 (vocals by Meat Loaf), Cat Scratch Fever '77, two-disc Double Live Gonzo! and Weekend Warriors '78, State Of Shock '79, Scream Dream '80 (tied with Gonzo for best chart showing at no. 13), Intensities In Ten Cities and Great Gonzos! best-of '81; then on Atlantic: Nugent '82, Penetrator '84, Little Miss Dangerous '86 with new guitarist/ vocalist David Amato (title track used in Miami Vice TV episode 'Definitely Miami' '86, in which Nugent played a baddy). He played in a heavy metal charity project 'Hear'N'Aid' '85 and worked on the soundtrack of Nomads '86. An album If You Can't Lick 'Em...Lick 'Em '88 on WEA had nine Nugent songs plus one co-written with Jon Bon Jovi. He joined rock supergroup Damn Yankees (others from Night Ranger, Styx) for their eponymous debut album '90, Don't Tread On Me '92.
Nowadays he is more famous as a gun nut, and said in 2012 that "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either dead or in jail by this time next year." A lot of people marked their calenders.