'Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead Tour'
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Ted Nugent, shown here during an 2008 concert at Penn's Peak, returns to the Jim Thorpe venue on Thursday evening.
For Ted Nugent, there is no such thing as slowing down.
The Motor City Madman has already had a busy year. Here's a partial list of his activities thus far in 2010.
His latest New York Times bestseller, Ted, White & Blue: The Nugent Manifesto, was released in paperback.
He received the Bronze Smokey Bear Award for outstanding service in the prevention of human caused wildfires, for the effectiveness of his public service announcements and print campaign.
He gave a presentation on Second Amendment Absolutism at the National Rifle Association National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He was inducted into the National Bowhunters Hall of Fame in two categories: Excellence in Bowhunting and Literary Excellence.
He released Motor City Mayhem, a DVD, CD and Blu-Ray disc of his 6,000th career concert in his hometown of Detroit, which took place July 4, 2008.
He lent his voice and likeness to the Guitar Hero World Tour video game.
He expanded his TV programming to include Ted Nugent Tooth, Fang and Claw, which premiered in January on the Pursuit Channel.
He was made an honorary member of the C Company Texas Air Force National Guard during a special airshow in Laredo, Texas in February, for his service, dedication and support of the American Soldier.Damn Yankees reunited in January at the North American Music Merchants (NAMM) Convention in Anaheim, marking the first time the Nuge performed live with fellow Yankees Jack Blades, Tommy Shaw and Michael Cartellone since 2002.
All of that is merely a warm-up for Nugent's latest road work.
In typical Ted fashion, he has embarked on his 2010 "Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead" tour, which is aimed at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Thursday night, June 24. Opening the evening with be Val Halla.
The Peak has been a regular stop on Nuge's itinerary during his last several tours. He feels at home at the venue, which is located within prime territory for outdoors and hunting enthusiasts, which is among his core audience and keeps him coming back for more.
"More is the story of my life," said the Nuge in an email interview. "I literally crave playing my music anywhere, anytime for any reason, but magnify that dynamic a thousandfold when I rock out in the epicenter of my Spirit of the Wild BloodBrothers like at Penn's Peak, PA.
"PA has a glorious tradition of hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting and celebrating our wonderful outdoor lifestyle, so the Penn's Peak rockout turns into the ultimate Uncle Ted hunting camp. It is truly phenomenal."
Accompanying the Nuge once again, as they have on his recent tours, are bassist Greg Smith and drummer "Wild" Mick Brown, giving him a rhythm section capable of handling the onstage musical mayhem.
"Clearly God loves me very much because He has always sent the world's greatest musicians to throttle my music forever," related the Nuge. "Mick and Greg are without a doubt the dream animal rhythm section of every R&B and R&R guitarslinger. Each night is ferocious, because these guys put so much energy, attitude, spirit and intensity to my songs. It is truly amazing."
One can expect Nuge to crank out many of his greatest gonzo hits, from "Cat Scratch Fever" to "Stranglehold" to "Wango Tango", and just about anything in between, although the faithful could be subjected to some surprises as well.
"One never knows, but I am driven to celebrate many of my favorite songs each night out of sheer spiritual necessity," he related. "We will be injecting some new jams, like the tour title song and others. It is one of my life's most difficult decisions choosing a two-plus hour setlist each night.
"My creative juices flow like white water rapids all the time and I constantly create new songs and jams," he continued. "I have a bunch of killer new music that we can't wait to get in the studio and capture. It never ends!"
While the Nuge has his own unique rock'n'roll vision, it was shaped by many of his musical influences, and he still keeps his ears peeled for new sounds on the horizon.
"I still go wild for original Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Little Richard, James Brown, Wilson Picket, all things Motown Funk Brothers, Stones, Yardbirds, Mitch Ryder and Wayne Cochran," he admitted. "I really get a kick out of Chad Smith's MotorCity throttle with the Chili Peppers. I love Green Day music, love all things Sammy Hagar, his ChickenFoot jams, and this new killer gal from Canada Val Halla that is opening for me this tour. Music drives my life."
While touring and his many other pursuits continue to absorb his time, as an avid environmentalist, Nuge still keeps his eyes on national affairs. The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't escaped his notice; in his opinion, the spill is a failure of commerce, the government and society.
"The ongoing spill is clearly a manifestation of corruption and the abandonment of accountability by both BP and pretty much all of government," he stated. "To fail to have all conceivable and proven emergency backup plans in place is phenomenally irresponsible and I believe criminal.
"But in a nation where so many Americans have forgotten their 'we the people' duty to actually participate in this wonderful experiment in self government, that's what happens when such entities feel they will not be held accountable. A gluttonous America literally gets what we ask for. I pray this all changes very soon. I feel like a tearful Indian on a hillside, watching my sacred Mother Earth being ravaged."
On the concert stage, however, don't expect Ted's guitar to gently weep as he unleashes another all-out hard rock assault.
Tickets for Ted Nugent and Val Halla at Penn's Peak on Thursday, June 24 are $32 in advance and $37 the day of the show for general admission. Tickets are available on-line at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant. Call (866) 605-PEAK for more information.