That Metal Gear: Ted Nugent Talks About His First Guitars + Guitar Heroes!

by (@BHSmithNYC)
In recent years Ted has added an array of Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls to his quiver of guitars.

In recent years Ted has added an array of Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls to his quiver of guitars.

Who’s the last guitar player that blew you away?

God, there’s so many. You know I got to jam with the best. Chris Duarte and Joe Bonamassa and and right up there with those guys is (Ted Nugent band member) Derek St. Holmes. He is just such an underrated guitar player. He is a monster soulful player. Monster lead player, monster creativity player, monster jazz fusion and blues. So they all have a wonderful unique vision, touch, and musical statement. They’re all virtuosos. It’s always stimulating. I played with Bugs Henderson many, many times before he passed away. And I did a jam session one time in somebody’s booth one time with John Entwistle. It was off the charts. I played with Eddie Van Halen and Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer and Brian May and Billy Gibbons. I’ve played with the best of the best. Ronnie Montrose. I’ve been to the mountain top. I actually played bass guitar for Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry one year. So I’ve been to the mountain top, man. But recently? I was with Gary Hoey on That Metal Show and he still fire-breathes. There’s so many. They’re all so unique. And if you have an open mind and an appreciation of individual musical statements, which I am always mesmerized by, you can appreciate all of them.

What was it like playing bass with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley? I have to ask.

Out of body on two levels. Number one, because if you’re going to play with a rock and roll god, they’re the two. I suppose if I played with Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis or Elvis it would have been as good. But they’re two of the gods. On one level it was so exciting. Unfortunately, I think you’ll get this if you talk to any of the musicians who have been honored to be sidemen for these great legends, I knew their songs better than they did. They were tired at the time and I mean no disrespect, but they seemed tired and somewhat bored with those songs because they had played them so many times and didn’t have enough of an escape departure like my hunting or my farming and ranching which my outdoor lifestyle provides to me. If you don’t cleanse yourself of the musical outrage, which all of this wonderful music is outrageous, if you don’t get the f**k away from it, that garage band hunger goes away I think. That’s what I’ve witnessed with so many of my peers and my heroes out there. But because I escape the music totally and thoroughly with my primal scream hunting with the bow and arrow and wild-life management, training hunting dogs, running trap lines, and planting trees and crops and working on trucks and tractors. When I draw my bow back, there’s no such thing as a guitar. I’m going back to the cave and the twang of the bow string is the first guitar note again.

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