Ted Nugent – Full Bluntal Nugity – Review

Ted Nugent

Full Bluntal Nugity (Spitfire)
by Craig Regala

68 minutes of Ted Nugent‘s greatest hits live. No overdubs, plenty of Nuge swearing, a shout out to opener (?) Sammy “fucking” Hagar, as the Nuge tags him. Around this house, “fucking Hagar” is a not an unknown phrase. If it wasn’t for his righteous performance on the first Montrose record, the guy would mean nothing to anyone who digs rock that, uh, “rocks.” The Nuge is 53, has studied how to play and really can, plenty of wanking, but a little tedious. This is quite a trick with a single guitar stroker. Of course, it wouldn’t mean much if the drum’n’bass team wasn’t full-on, which they are. Tommy Aldridge’s drumming and Marco Mendoza’s bass playing are spot on. There’s enough ’60s r&b in the roots of this stuff that the guys down in the engine room need to be plenty elastic in their toolin’, and so be it. It’s a living, breathing thing, but no different than any other well-done act of nostalgia, be it The Mingus Big Band’s take on that past genius work, or Billy Idol running through his hits. The Nugent band’s prime hum was the fuel behind much of Mr. Rollins’ prepunk shenanigans and has an ethic that imbues Hank’s new one, Nice. So if interested, get it out of the library or something unless you’re a completest. If you don’t have what’s referenced below, go that direction.

For all the talk about Detroit as the roots of rocker punk, the Nuge is given the tar end for understandable reasons; he didn’t quit in the ’70s after his defining moments, he didn’t do drugs, was some kinda right-winger, practiced a lot, and was embraced by way too many fellow boneheads, (me and 15 million others). Also, he didn’t break any barriers in the extremity/berserk sweepstakes like the revered Stooges/MC5 axis did for a little bit there. On the downside, he needs a singer to really put some of this stuff over. He sings OK, but doesn’t have the tone and range that the drama and drive of the best 40 minutes here needs. Actually, the dumb-ass should never open his mouth, his guitaring is plenty filthy. He has nothing to say and is lazy, relying on profanity to get over. He likes playing around the tune, so this isn’t a straight run through. He’s clearly enjoying himself, but when you haven’t written a strong tune in 20 years, it’s time to concentrate on that. Lucky for you there was a live Nugent album from that period, Double Live Gonzo, that utilized a singer/rhythm guitarist (Derek St. Holmes), songs from his “classic period” (first four albums, ’75 to ’77), as they germinated in the culture that spawned them. That culture was only partially represented by the crowd, I suppose, considering they were generally wacked outta their skulls on booze, pills, dope, and violence. I was there (Buffalo War Memorial) – scared shitless, witnessing the firecracker fights, pot smoke going to the rafters, and stink of violence and sex everywhere, including a nursing station in the back with a staff of ten to take care of the casualties. Yeah, it was a free for all alright!
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