Ted Nugent would rather talk about his 'I Still Believe' concert tour than his history of controversial rhetoric.
But as anyone familiar with both his concerts and his views knows, the two are strongly intertwined. In fact, the name of his current tour is also the name of his seminar at the National Rifle Association conference.
So when Nugent's tour was set to come to New Jersey, where I live, last week I sought to set up an interview.
I wanted to ask the NRA board member about: his view that health care reform supporters are pigs; calling the Muslim community "rude and stupid"; and his statement that those who even say "gun control" should go to jail.
And of course his comments during a 2007 concert that described then-Senator Barack Obama as a "piece of shit" and referred to then-Senator Hillary Clinton as a "worthless bitch."
But after initially agreeing to an e-mail interview, his publicist rejected our questions, claiming in an e-mail:
Unfortunately due to the nature of the questions in your e-interview with Ted Nugent, management has declined commentary from our client in an effort to ensure the press surrounding the date is focused on the music and not political statements.
It all began two weeks ago when his assistant, via e-mail, responded to my initial request for a live or phone interview with this e-mail:
Ted is conducting print interview via email
at this time. I have attached background to assist,
and will be sending hi res art.
You are welcome to submit your questions to
Assistant to Mr. Nugent
When I responded, asking why he would only respond via e-mail she stated:
We're on a run of 14 shows in 16 days.
His doc recommends he preserves the voice
as much as possible...
Fair enough. With that, we assembled a list of 13 questions that ranged from his views on touring to questions about many of his past questionable comments, including those made during concerts, and sent them to Peterson on July 20.
Peterson's initial response:
Thought we were focusing on Ted's I Still Believe concert tour?
This seems less music-focused, and more political...
My e-mail response:
It is all part of his ongoing efforts, and that is why my first questions were about the tour. But we want to get into his entire persona, which is interesting.
Fast forward to July 25, and an e-mail came from Ebie McFarland, a Nugent publicist. It stated, in part:
My apologies for playing a bit of phone tag with you over the weekend. Unfortunately due to the nature of the questions in your e-interview with Ted Nugent, management has declined commentary from our client in an effort to ensure the press surrounding the date is focused on the music and not political statements. Should you want to re-direct, please let me know and I can submit to management to review.
An interesting excuse, given that much of Nugent's concerts and music include political statements. Here are some examples:
* During a July 5, 2011, concert, Nugent told the crowd, "The status quo can suck my tiger dick, along with everyone in the White House!"
* During a concert on August 22, 2007, Nugent called then-Senator Barack Obama a "piece of shit" and described then-Senator Hillary Clinton as a "worthless bitch." Wielding an assault rifle in each hand, he suggested that Senator Barbara Boxer "suck on" his guns and called Senator Dianne Feinstein a "worthless whore."
* During an undated video clip of a concert and a performance of "Kiss My Glock," Nugent called Janet Reno "a dirty whore" and Jesse Jackson "a piece of shit."