Friday, January 12, 2007

Motor City Birdman

Friday, January 12, 2007
The Nuge and BOTB in the Mossy Oak booth at the SHOT Show.

Those of you who are older than 30 might recognize this famous rocker as Ted Nugent (above left), the Motor City Madman (he hails from the Detroit area). Ted Nugent's original fame was as a member of the Amboy Dukes. Later, his solo career featured such classics as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Wango Tango." Most recently he was in the band Damn Yankees. Here is his Wikipedia bio. And here is his website.

Ted Nugent is a birder. What I mean is, he watches birds while he hunts. And he hunts a lot. One of his favorite phrases is "whack 'em and stack 'em!" One of his best-selling books is "Kill it and Grill it!" He is an outspoken conservationist, an avid outdoorsman (which is why he's one of the many celebs that are featured at the SHOT Show), and a political commentator.

Most years Ted shows up at the SHOT Show in a sponsor's booth to sign autographs. Yesterday as Linda and I were making our final walk through, there was "the Nuge" signing camo hats in the Mossy Oak booth (remember the camo bus?). I knew I had to have one of those hats for my brother Andy who is a fan of Nugent (and a fabulous breakdancer).

When my turn came up, I got the usual patter from the Nuge, who was clearly a veteran of many such receiving lines. Then he saw the embroidered hooded warbler on Linda's BWD shirt and said: "Hey that's a nice little warbler." We explained our affiliation with North America's favorite bird-watching magazine, gave him a copy, and the we listened while he rapped on about all the birds he sees while bow hunting.

Now usually when a non-birding someone is trying to connect with me by talking about birds, they say things like "I remember one time, I looked up and saw a bald iggle!" Or "Hey, I've got a bird question for you. What's the black bird that's got red on the wings?"

Not Ted. He cited birds specifically: white breasted nuthatch, cedar waxwing (which he boasted he could ID in flight), Baltimore oriole, black-capped chickadee. In fact he chatted so long about birds that the people behind us in line started to get impatient--feet were shuffling, throats were being cleared.

What a hoot!

So here's to you Ted Nugent! Shredder of guitar solos, Shooter of arrows, Whacker of the stackable, Killer of the grillable, Sayer of crazy things, Wearer of camo cowboy hats, and best of all, Watcher of birds! Rock on!


On January 13, 2007 at 11:53 AM mon@rch said...

Never knew he was a true birder! How fun that had to be!

On January 13, 2007 at 8:25 PM Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, Ted Nugent...fascinating on so many levels. He hunts. He eats meat. He speaks out. He WAILS on a guitar. And he knows birds???
An entertaining guy, that Ted.
Some of his politics don't thrill me, and his views and opinions about women grate on me but I ignore most of that and just love him. He's like that crotchety uncle that everyone puts up with.

I got to see him in Cincinnati back in 1993 (was it THAT long ago?) when he got charged with violating the fire code by shooting a flaming arrow onstage.
And he knew it was illegal. Back then I thought that was just great.

I am jealous that you got to meet him. The two of you together could be a conservation ad..."the marriage between birders and hunters can save the environment!"

On January 13, 2007 at 9:08 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

Oh! Oh! Oh!Oh!
Has he ever eaten sandhill crane? He'd know it as "Ribeye in the Sky."

On January 14, 2007 at 9:22 PM Anonymous said...

Wonder if Lou Reed watches birds. heh heh heh.

On January 15, 2007 at 7:01 AM Jayne said...

Oh my... memories of seeing Ted, in tights, screeching out Cat Scratch Fever with opening act Rush for $5 at the local auditorium are spinning through my head.

On January 17, 2007 at 8:24 AM Patrick Belardo said...

Susan, I can attest to the flaming arrow. I saw him open for KISS in 2001 and he came out dressed in a headdress and shot flaming arrows. Of course, this was after he said, "If you don't speak English, get out of the country." (in much more colorful words than that). Quite a character that Nuge...

"Stranglehold" is an awesome song, but he doesn't actually sing it. He just plays.