Martin Popoff - Epic Ted Nugent (book)
In 1976, Martin Popoff's life was changed. He saw Ted Nugent live in concert for the first time. Now, a bazillion album reviews and dozens of books later, The Mighty Martin, rock scribe to the stars, is back with a new book titled Epic Ted Nugent. The book is a detailed look at the Epic Records released from The Whackmaster himself.
Epic were the glory years for Nuge, as Popoff reveals details about the writing of the songs, the album production and the inner band warfare of some of the most classic tunes Nugent ever pumped out. He does this by interviewing, not only Nugent, but also his band members, Rob de la Grange, Cliff Davies, Derek St. Holmes and the many other cast of characters throughout Nugent's history.
Popoff leads up through the last days of Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes right into Ted's eponymous debut and beyond. The reader gets all of the behind the scenes details about the albums Ted Nugent, Free For All, Cat Scratch Fever, Double Live Gonzo!, Weekend Warriors, State of Shock, Scream Dream and Intensities in 10 Cities. Nugent touts his strengths while those who surrounded him tell of his weaknesses. Ted is called everything from a genius to an asshole by bandmates and those privy to the inner workings of the band.
One of the greatest aspects of this book is Popoff's ability to resist Nugent's hunting rhetoric. This one is not for his Scoal chewing, beer swilling, gun nut, blood brothers; its for his head banging, guitar loving, weekend warrior, crank it up to eleven music fans. Popoff coaxes story after story about tours, recording performances, live album cuts and reflections of yesteryear by Nugent and others, making this a true rock and roll diary of the music of Ted Nugent.
Is Ted a musical madman on the guitar? Yes.
Can he be a total jerk to those he works with? Apparently so.
Does he believe the crazy stuff that comes out of his mouth? Indeed he does.
Is he a, deep down, a good man? Sounds like it.
All in all, Popoff allows us to see that Nugent is a great guitar player with a healthy ego that has made some great moves and some not so great moves. He shows that Nugent, behind the hype, the attitude, the energy and the six string onslaught, is also a human being. He does good. He does bad. He believes in himself to a fault, yet it is that very belief that gave us these great albums.
By Jeb Wright
The views of the comments below are not necessarily those of Classic Rock Revisited