It has been a while since I`ve been active on this blog. Time to move things along again. Since you last heard from me I have received mail from two of the original writers of the NME, giving me their blessings in regard to this project of mine. Thank you – it really means a lot to hear that all the work I have done here is appreciated. As one of them said so fittingly: “It is a labour of love”.
Since I last updated this blog there have been some changes in world power, at least in the USA, and who better to mark this than rock`s own political right-wing man – Ted Nugent. He may be too extreme for a Norwegian Social-Democrat like me, but he made some interesting records in the 70s and I give him credit for that. But not too much credit – so here is “only” a concert review. 😉
NUGENT GOES NOVA
By Max Bell
Pic: Pennie Smith
I wasn`t supposed to review this but the bloke who was had a headache. After I left Hammersmith so had I.
Well…was Ted Nugent as ferociously frightening as when our writer witnessed him manhandle his way across Texas? Did he incite his fans to levels of stomping malevolence hitherto unseen in England`s brown and parched land? In short, was he the most outrageous rock`n`roll individual to ever slip into a Gibson and riddle the stalls with hideously demonic heavy metal in the constant search for the fractured ear drum?
Or was he just bloody silly?
Before Nugent did his pieces we had to sit through Dirty Tricks and latecomers to the bill Lone Star, a new hard rock band that a lot of people are saying nice things about. It was the loudest collection I`ve ever heard. Both bands were plagued by a constant whirring fizz from the left hand side of the PA.
Lone Star played a reasonable high energy set, promise of greater potential. Dirty Tricks were just `orrible. I`ve never seen such a dismal rehash of English unemployment rock tedium. Competence and volume, four/four riff cliches, a singer who actually wants to look like Rod Stewart. The guitarist`s amps, speakers, strap, volume pedal all failed. He carried on regardless, throwing down the gauntlet of excess. Pshaw!
The whole evening was overkill city. By the time Nugent came on the kids were already totally diz-busted by a diet of HM crunch, kept dribbling by the break-neck assortment of inter-band record filling.
Ted`s criteria for success was going to be a battle of volume. It was, and he made it.
Apparently the rest of the tour is being recorded for a live album. I reckon they`ll burn these tapes fast.
Afterwards Nugent said it was the worst gig he`d ever played. Still, Ted went down the proverbial electronic storm. He trampled the audience into a state of complete nervous exhaustion. Far be it from me to hold any reservations in the area of dangerous decibels, but after half an hour I felt defeated.
Nugent`s steamrolling abilities were confirmed, but occasionally he gave us an indication of something more interesting nesting within his fingertips. If he`d slipped in some more of his tasty stuff the whole event would have been more bearable.
Set coup de rock explosions, “Stranglehold”, “Hibernation” and “Great White Buffalo”, all trundled along apace. Nugent proved his old trooper professionalism too when the bass amp spluttered to a standstill of indignant silent entrenchment. Ted improvised a rather good “Cat Scratch Fever” and none guessed the off-the-cuff taking-care-of-biz going on under their noses.
The feedback during “Great White Buffalo” was dangerous. There`s no place further Nugent can take the frequency without driving his following beyond the line. Small wonder all the band wear ear plugs on stage. In future cotton wool, hearing aids and aspirin will be compulsory survival kit for band and audience alike.
Much of the material was filler for the tooth, fang and claw comin` out of hibernation speed kills moments of panic. If it was a duff set, it was certainly heavier than either of the Stateside concerts I`ve seen and the reaction didn`t indicate any dissatisfaction on the part of the paying customers. Christ knows what he`ll do with Liverpool and Birmingham.
Me? I`m staying in a corner over Ted until he steps out and delivers the HM tour de force that moments like “Stranglehold”, “Pony Express” and “Breast Fed Gator” indicate he has up his sleeve. From what I`ve heard, “Free For All” promises to go somewhere towards distilling his pearls into solid mud.
Ted`s great cos he plays the cause and effect game for keeps and anyone who disagrees better get outta the way. I wish he`d turn it down occasionally mind, I mean three Nugent gigs in a month is enough for even the staunchest devotee.
Till then ambivalence is the best policy.
Can I `ave me ears back, Ted?
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Hot Rods, Phil Manzanera, Tom Jones, Elliott Randall, Jefferson Starship, Richard Ingrams, Joe Albany, Doo-Wop Article, Soft Machine.
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