By Nick McCabe
“…find the good.”
Ted Nugent and his band played The Silver Legacy in Reno, Nevada Saturday evening. As the date of this show approached the controversial nature of Ted Nugent’s image became clearer to me through social media, and conversations I was having about the upcoming show. It seems that people either love him or hate him, but most people do have an opinion of him.
Ted and his band took the stage a few minutes after 8:00PM (the advertised start time) and kicked in with unbridled energy and volume playing Gonzo. He donned his trademark sleeveless shirt and camouflaged cowboy hat. The crowd was on its feet at once. Ted Nugent had complete command of his audience. At nearly 65 years of age Ted still has a lot of energy and personality on stage. Between and during songs he spoke of how great his love songs were, how f*cking much he loves this sh*t, and interlaced his staunch beliefs in gun control and the right to bear arms.
He has forged a successful career spanning roughly 48 years in an industry that is notorious for chewing people up and spitting them out before their vacuum tubes have cooled. That says something about the man. He has survived where others have not.
As a credentialed photographer I was authorized to shoot the first three songs from front of stage, but security made me and my peers stop after two songs. That was a little disturbing. I’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years. Many were very loud: Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Carlos Santana, Joe Bonamassa and Chickenfoot to name a few who were among the loudest, but it worked for them. This was unpleasantly and unnecessarily loud. Loud for loud’s sake. The songs all sounded about the same to me too. Not having a strong opinion either way on Ted Nugent, I walked in to this show with an open mind, and I walked out with an opinion.
Every couple of clicks on the FM dial finds a different station with a different style of music. The fact is, there are many different groups of people with different musical tastes, and everybody seeks out what they like. If enough people like it, it finds a home. If nobody likes it, it goes away. I don’t like sushi, I don’t like mushrooms, I don’t like rap, and I don’t like Bieber. And Ted Nugent? He’s not for me. There are a lot of things I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean these things aren’t right for somebody else. I guess I’m just not a Ted-head.
…and the beat goes on.