Ted Nugent (aka the Motor City Madman, Uncle Ted, the Nuge, leader of Tribe Nuge) started bowhunting in 1953, at the age of 5, and started playing guitar in 1956. Since then, he’s pretty much conquered a world of his own making, a world in which seemingly contradictory beliefs are fused in a bath of undeniable testosterone.
He’s a rock star (since releasing his first album in 1967) who has been clean and sober (no drugs, alcohol or tobacco) his entire life; a Christian, a hunter and a conservationist. He hosts a radio show, edits and publishes a magazine (Ted Nugent Adventure Outdoors Magazine), produced a PBS series (“Ted Nugent’s Spirit of the Wild”), is a board member at the National Rifle Association and is a national spokesman for Rush Limbaugh, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, DARE and MADD.
He’s the founder of Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America, Ted Nugent Kamp for Kids, Ted Nugent Bowhunting School and Sunrize Safaris. He is also the author of three books, “Bloodtrails: The Truth About Bowhunting” (1990), “God, Guns and Rock n’ Roll” (2000, and a New York Times bestseller) and now — what else was left? — a very special cookbook called “Kill It and Grill It.”
Nugent recently spoke with Salon’s Amy Benfer about his new book, and many other things. Featured here is an excerpt from the phone conversation, in which the Nuge explains three levels of being after rock stardom. You’re either 1) a dead asshole, 2) near death (Ozzy) or 3) thriving, like Ted.