American Psycho

The far-Right side of Ted Nugents mind

I've not officially endorsed anyone. I have great respect, my respect gushes for Alan Keyes. I've spoken with the gentleman, and every time he opens his mouth, it reeks of common sense, self-evident, truth-based Americanism. He's an absolute hero and warrior. I also salute John McCain for his heroism and his voting record in Arizona . . . 90 percent of the time. But although I haven't officially endorsed anybody, I'm leaning heavily toward George W. because of my relationship with him in Texas, because my voice in the Texas media had a lot to do with sending Ann Richards on her eternal guacamole date with Mario Cuomo. So I support George W. Bush, and I will probably vote for him. My goal, Buddy, is quite honestly to make sure that the pimps, whores and welfare brats that Al Gore and Bill Bradley represent do not get their foot back in the door.

Isn't it incumbent upon a public figure who feels as strongly as you say you do about Alan Keyes to support him? Aren't you settling for Bush simply because he's the front-runner?

The reason I'm gonna vote for Bush is because he's the guy who's in the best position to eliminate the Clinton reign. And yes, I've received a lot of criticism on that line. Mr. Keyes did contact me, and so did George and John, and I didn't get to get back to them all. . . .

So all three Republican candidates have solicited your endorsement?

Yeah, I got calls from all three camps, but I acquiesce to voting for who I believe is the most electable guy. I gotta tell you, when I'm hunting —and I feed my family exclusively on the game that I kill. I've never bought domestic meat; I like my protein organic—there are some bigger bucks with more bulk and admirable hornage that were a little less ideally suited to shoot than the lesser bucks. So I shoot the lesser buck on occasion because I'm a pragmatist. I really believe that job one in America today is to make sure the socialists—the Clintons, the Gores, the Bradleys—are outcast as readily and efficiently as possible. So I'll admit right here that I'll do whatever is necessary to make sure that the Republicans take control, simply because there's not a winnable Independent or Reform Party candidate.

So you won't be supporting Pat Buchanan?

Well, you know, I'd like to, and I do in many ways, but he doesn't deliver all the goods, and he's not electable.

Let's get back to rock & roll.

Sure, baby. Although that is rock & roll because you can't play rock & roll in a vacuum. You've got to have an opinion and an understanding of how your world works around you to use its electricity. A lot of people like to say, "Ahhh, keep the politics out of rock & roll." You just can't do that. I don't care if you're Chrissie Hynde or Bruce Springsteen. Your human experience has to surface either lyrically or groove-wise in your music.

Are people in politics or rock & roll whose philosophies are at odds with your own your enemy, or are they just people with different philosophies?

A little bit of each. Here's an example: Paul McCartney. You couldn't find two people more diametrically opposed than Ted Nugent and Paul McCartney. On the most poignant issues—gun control and hunting—he hates the ground I stalk on. But I have great respect for the man. He's an incredible, premier talent, and as a man, every time he opens his mouth, it sounds well thought-out. He's sincere in what he believes. But I have to say, with all due respect to the man, that if I had taken as much LSD and mind-altering drugs as he did, I would be sincere about living in a fantasy, too.

Let's get back to rock & roll, okay?


Would it be unthinkable that you'd ever regroup with the Amboy Dukes?

Are you kidding me?! I did "Journey to the Center of the Mind" every night this past year! The fucking guitar sounded so perfect I could hardly stand it!

Isn't that a drug-glorifying song?

Some people interpret it that way, and the author of the lyrics intended it to be so, but I was such a naive dork that I was not aware of the motivation for those lyrics. I thought it was a song recommending and encouraging self-reflection.

I've got a video of you guys lip-synching that song in 1967. The way it was filmed was patently drug-referential.

I didn't understand it. I've been laughed at for making that statement, but I'll continue to make it because it's true. When that Journey to the Center of the Mind album cover was proposed, and I saw all those glass apparatuses on the artwork, I thought, "What is this?" I wasn't aware of what psychedelic really meant. I just thought it was graphic, abstract wildness—what they called "Op Art" back then. I didn't know those were hash pipes.

If you're telling me the truth here, you were one naive motherfucker!

I didn't have the faintest idea about drugs. I didn't even know there was a drug called hashish. I didn't know you smoked it through a pipe like that. It didn't occur to me until years after that, until well into the '70s. It was a defense mechanism that allowed me to remain ignorant of what this subculture was involved with. I ran from it! Like when people ask me what the good and bad songs are today, I don't know because when a bad song comes on the radio, I change the channel.

Okay, so who's good on the radio today?
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