Epic Ted Nugent (Book Review)
Released: 2013, Powerchord Press
Growing up I was never a huge Ted Nugent fan. Not that I didn’t like his music or politics, it was just that he was always on the fringes of my main focus, namely Metal. Over the years, probably starting around 1995 when I hit my mid-20’s, around the release of SPIRIT OF THE WILD, I’ve come to really enjoy Ted Nugent. I think part of this new-found appreciation for the Whackmaster comes from Martin Popoff’s unending support and undying enthusiasm for ol’ Ted. Along the way I’ve also really started to appreciate the ‘nuge and his brethren Yankee offspring, bands like, Little Caeser, The Four Horsemen, and American Dog.
In a sense, knowing Popoff’s dedication to Ted I’m surprised he took this long into his career to write about him, as this is Martin’s 40th book! Better late than never and I suppose Martin love-affair with Ted’s music was rekindled by the excellent albums, CRAVEMAN and LOVE GRENADE, as was mine. EPIC TED NUGENT is one of Martin’s self-published titles but that doesn’t mean cheap! It’s a good looking paperback with a nice shot of Ted looking surprisingly skinny and scruffy wearing a mountain man beard that is all the rave with the hipster kids these days, who would absolutely hate Ted and everything he stands for, so the irony is delicious.
The good-looking book runs just under a generous 300 pages and has tons of photos from across the ages. The design is elegant in it’s simplicity with the text being divided into four main sections; the Amboy Dukes era, (1967-1974), the Epic Records years, (the glory years of 1975-1981), The Atlantic Records Years (or ‘the dark ages’ as Popoff might say) running 1980-1995 and lastly the Spitfire/Eaglerock years of the last brace of albums. Martin tackles the story in his usual album-by-album, tour-by-tour style, which is really the only logical way to write these things. Martin interviews many people associated with Ted, ex managers, producers, and various members that have come and come from the’ band’ over the years. Ted himself is loaded with quotes and anecdotes and while they may not be exactly true, they make for a very entertaining read. One thing that came across was that Terrible Ted is a force of nature unto himself and he has annoyed a lot of people along the way! It’s his way or the highway! This book is really the first in-depth look at the Rock legend with the career that still has legs six decades deep.
While reading this book I went back and listened to the six Atlantic Years reissues that came out on EagleRock a couple of years back. Those records weren’t that bad…they made the perfect soundtrack to reading EPIC TED NUGENT, a long-overdue and well-deserved look at one of the longest running, most iconic American rockers of all time.