Answering America is an interview-style series highlighting the leaders supportingFriends of NRA,The NRA Foundation,and the programs they fund. Learn about these high-profile influencers from the world of firearms and the shooting sports—in their own words. Form The Quarter 4 edition of Traditions magazine featuring music legend, Ted Nugent.
You have been described as many things over the years; what is one word you would use to describe yourself and why? American would describe me perfectly because I embody and live as a fulltime experimenter in self-government and fulfill my we the people duties every day demanding Constitutional accountability. I stink of individual freedom and rugged self-sufficient individuality.
Take us back to the first day you were introduced to shooting; how old were you, where was it, and who were you with? Oh the beautiful flood of graphic, happy images that run through my mind of those early days in Detroit in the 1950's with my dad and brothers in all kinds of shooting excitement! There were the earliest days with a BB gun and of course the nonstop homemade bow and arrow archery thrills that continue to drive me today! There were magical times with Uncle John shooting tin cans and bottles in Monroe, Michigan. It is accurate to say my life has been a celebration of projectile management in all its aim small miss small variations.
What does being an American Patriot mean to you? Being a genuine America1st patriot simply means believing in the Divine Providence that brought about this sacred experiment in self-government unique to the history of mankind, to be free for life, liberty, and the pursuit of individual happiness. That means making constant sacrifices for the good of God, family, and country; fighting against all forces both domestic and foreign that would deny us these God given Constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. And though we must all choose how to best manage our time, energies, and resources to be most effective, it also means standing up for the hero warriors of the U.S. Military and their families who fight the hardest and make the most sacrifices.
Friends of NRA is featuring a “We the People” guitar signed by you in the 2020 standard package. How has giving back to The NRA Foundation and the Friends of NRA impacted your life? Even before I fully understood the critical importance of The NRA Foundation as a united force for freedom, I instinctively understood the self-evident truths that inspired our courageous Founding Fathers to defy the history of tyranny and oppression that ruled the earth before America. To be able to use my celebrity hellraising activism, image, and resources to help The NRA Foundation makes me very happy and very proud. When you grab hold of a guitar with my signature on it, you have a freedom symbol that embodies the soundtrack of real America.
How do you feel we should induce a feeling of Patriotism in today’s youth? Families must dramatically upgrade our connection to our children and grandchildren, and quite honestly, everyone in our lives. Sadly, too much of our education system has failed miserably at teaching the dynamic turns of history, particularly the horror stories of wars and conflicts. In the absence of teaching just how evil our fellow man can be, we fail to prepare ourselves that it will happen again if we are not diligently tuned in to the misgivings of our fellow man. We need to teach the children and others how no other society enjoys the freedoms and quality of life that we do here in America.
With 50-plus years in the music industry, who has influenced you the most in your career and what are you most proud of? The powerful musical influences are many from Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly, Little Richard, Elvis, James Brown, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels to pretty much every amazing musical force of soul and intensity. But the influences of mom and dad have always provided the most important guidance to make responsible choices in life and work as hard as possible to earn your own way, live within your means, and save for a rainy day. I give them credit for my choice to remain clean and sober all my life and be a spiritual warrior for the healing powers of nature as a hunter, fisherman, and trapper.
When you aren’t on the road performing, how do you like spending your time? Even while touring every year during the summer months, I still maximize my time in the great outdoors. I consider myself a Samurai naturalist, one with the Great Spirit. The music never stops, but I can escape it thoroughly with the soul cleansing Zen of archery, marksmanship, and tactical training and just zeroing in on my proper role in nature. The fall and winter hunting seasons are a magical, physics of spirituality time for me and my family and my dogs. I never miss a day afield during that amazing time of year.
What is your favorite quote and why? In these heartbreaking times of hate and dishonesty, I drive them crazy because “My spirit irritates their demons!”
If there is one thing you would like fans to remember when they hear the name Ted Nugent, what would that be? The cat refused to take any crap and created the soundtrack for the American Dream.