Closed mind closed off
Banished: Is Ted Nugent stuck playing Pasadena because of his unpopularpolitical views?
There are certain musical artists who are best heard from in performance who should be heard from very little rest of the time. Motor City Madman Ted Nugent is definitely an artist whose mouth should be covered in Caution Tape the minute he takes his guitar off and heads for the stage exit.
Now, before those of you who defend Nugent's frequent cries for closed borders, his disdain for other cultures and his love of big guns for all, hang me as bleeding-heart liberal, understand that my problem with Nugent doesn't lie so much in what he says.
One of the perks of artistic freedom is being able to put a creative slant and perspective on a song or other work of art.
My problem is definitely in Nugent's delivery, specifically the toxic way in which he forces his audiences to listen to his rants in-between songs.
Delivering a message in the course of verse or lyric is an honest approach to getting listeners to think and react.
Holding ticket holders anxious to hears '70s guitar anthems "Stranglehold" or "Cat Scratch Fever" captive while Nugent howls, "Obama, he's a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun" is cheating the whole creative element a bit.
(This scenario, and many others that are just as bad or worse, actually happened.)
What Nugent has never understood is that people don't go to his shows to hear his stump speeches. If we wanted to hear a crazy old man yell political "fire" in a crowded room we could hang out at Walmart or the Greyhound bus terminal downtown for a lot less money.
(The fact that Nugent is out in Pasadena, and not at the more prestigious Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, make it clear that there are others who have tired of his rap as well.)
So please, Ted, I implore you: Perform the songs, shoot the tired, fake buffalo and shut the hell up during the breaks.
If Nugent wasn't doing this show as part of the Band of Brothers and Sisters concert I probably would have ignored it altogether. As it stands, the event benefits the Bay Area Builders Association (BABA) which helps veterans rebuild their lives by funding the construction of homes for wounded military personnel in need.
More silent gestures like this might help get old Ted back on the regular concert circuit.
Ted Nugent, 7 p.m. at the Pasadena Fairgrounds, 7603 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena
Tickets: $20-$25 (children $10)