'God, guns, & rock 'n' roll'
Geoff Metcalf interviews legendary guitarist Ted Nugent

By Geoff Metcalf

Ted Nugent breaks the mold of pop music icons. He does not do drugs, he's faithful to his wife and he's a passionate sportsman and defender of gun-owners' rights. Nugent's new book, "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll" has just made the New York Times bestseller list. In his new role as an author, Nugent expresses his views about weapons, hunting, raising children in modern society and his music. WorldNetDaily reporter and talk show host Geoff Metcalf recently interviewed Nugent about his book.

Question: Since we last talked, I have finally taken up archery. After years of procrastinating, I finally got a bow, and it really is way cool.

Answer: The mystical flight of the arrow, Geoff. It is the ultimate discipline for the mind, body and soul.

Q: What amazed me was I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. In about an hour, I was putting all my arrows into a five-inch target at 20 yards.

A: You must be a military man because it's still difficult for me. Some of us have to struggle, but that's the challenge that keeps me bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about every exciting moment beyond the pavement with my bow and arrow in hand.

Q: I heard you had good luck with pigs up at Hedgepeth.

A: Well, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. In fact, I'm picking my teeth as we speak. I just ate a wonderful barbecued wild boar haunch that my son Rocco had shot with his .223 Remington. Since 1970, the Nugent family has dined exclusively on the pure organic, renewable sustenance that the good Lord provides during the natural season of harvest. And I think my health, and certainly my defiance of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and fast food, has come from that discipline and that demands that what I put into my sacred temple has got to be deserving; it's got to be quality. I have to know its origins and there's not a better monitoring process in the world than actual hands-on renewable resource stewardship -- the hunter culture that is alive and well today.

Q: Some folks have said, "Hey, wait a minute. This guy's a rock and roll guitar player. He's a wild man. What's with this 'God, Guns & Rock 'n' Roll'?"

A: Well, I'm 52 years clean and sober and I attribute that discipline in my life to the fact that I've been surrounded for 52 years by God, lots of guns and outrageous rock and roll. It has been a good regimen for me. My parents raised me in a very loving, very disciplined -- there's the key word -- a disciplined environment to teach me self-discipline. And, as a hunter, I can't deny the incredible gifts of the Creator. In the research for my book, "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll," I checked out some documentation from academia and from the scientific community. It's just common sense that God gave me the right to life. The Creator bestowed upon us the right to life. What that means is not dying.

So I've always adhered to the self-worth, the self-sufficiency, the independency -- knowing that I'm supposed to be in charge of my destiny. In a hunting environment, I find that this cause-and-effect of how one conducts oneself, how one walks upon this good Mother Earth is inescapable and I use that discipline, and that cause-and-effect lesson, to defy the punks with their drugs and alcohol in the rock-and-roll world. And, man, does it work good as I finish up the No. 1 tour in the world this year.

Q: I'm sorry we missed you when you came through town. I tried to get a hold of you but struck out.

A: I've got to tell you, on behalf of all my musical outfits, thank you California, thank you America, for all these incredible years of support and energy and attitude. The reason this is the No. 1 tour in the world with KISS and the reason I am just thriving and having the time of my life is because I have always surrounded myself with absolute world-class, dedicated virtuosos. No matter what it is, I don't mess around with clowns. I only hang out with the very best people I can find.

Q: You ought to get to California more often because we have some of the best hunting and fishing you're going to find just about anywhere.

A: Absolutely. In fact, I go on an annual California Bear Boogie. We go out to around Susanville, not far from the border, and we bear hunt where there is a higher density of black bear than anywhere in the lower 48. It's a great celebration. What you represent on the radio, Geoff, is a celebration of a self-evident truth that the hunting families of California have always celebrated. But we've got to get it beyond our own community. We've got to let the world know that the dove and the bear and the big-horn sheep and the black-tail deer and the wild hogs are thriving in California because of the hunter dollar, the hunter culture, and the hunter science that we pay for -- and demand in regulations and restrictions -- so that the wild biodiversity can continue to thrive.

Q: Take a look at what Ducks Unlimited has done in California. The waterfowl habitat in California would have been history. It would have been gone.

A: And, in fact, that's the case in all of North America. We're celebrating in the year 2000 the highest number of elk in recorded history, the highest number of white-tailed deer, all four species of turkey. The California black-tailed deer herd is stabilizing even though you have more mountain lions killed with California taxpayers' dollars than in any recorded hunting season in the history of California. So these are the kind of facts I try to celebrate and, certainly in "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll," I do so.

Q: Are you surprised you made the New York Times bestseller list?

A: I'm not surprised anymore about anything. I know I have a lot of support out there. I've done 130 concerts this year. I've done over 5,000 in my life and, every day on tour, I don't order room service and hang out at the hotel. I'm a gregarious idiot. I meet with law enforcement, I meet with conservation groups, I meet with youth organizations. I represent MADD, DARE, SADD, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the NRA -- all kinds of different organizations. People stop me at airports, they stop me at restaurants and they talk. They're very friendly, very supportive and very positive. So I really had the feeling this was going to happen because the book reeks of the truth that continues to fuel common-sense America.

Q: When you're on tour, how do you eat? You make a big deal out of the fact that you and your family eat what you harvest but, when you are on the road, you don't get to do that.

A: I won't go downwind of a fast food place. Those kinds of places scare me. God knows the salmonella and E. coli boogey is not invited to the Ted Nugent party. I've got about 30,000 members of the Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America and I know all these men and women and I know the families. No matter where I go in North America and beyond -- we've got members in Africa, Great Britain, Japan, Scandinavia and all over Canada -- wherever I go, somebody's got some mesquite coals waiting for Uncle Ted, I promise you that.

Q: Nick Tacito of Golden Ram told me he'd put a picture of me with my pig under the picture of you with your pig, but I've got to shoot one first.

A: I hope everybody visits tnugent.com because every night, we have a chat room and a talkback page and I book and guide hunts all over the world now -- Alaska and Africa, California and Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Florida. I would love to share a campfire with you. I'm not the world's greatest hunter, by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been privileged to share campfires with my dad, my Uncle John, Fred Bear, Scott Young and some of the greatest natural woodsmen that you'd ever want to share a campfire with. I'm learning every single day and I'd be happy to share it with you.

Q: Cool, and I'll invite you on something. So, after that huge world tour with KISS, you finally get to relax a bit?

A: I suppose, one day off. I went boar hunting with my son tonight.

Q: How much time do you actually have to get out into the woods? I know it has to be a great counterpoint to your business.

A: It's probably the most extreme counterpoint a person could ever fathom. The sonic bombast factor of the tour is phenomenal, especially if you're in the Ted Nugent band. I scare people with a guitar -- I don't know how much louder you can get! You compare that to the absolute spirituality of shutting-up, shutting-down and hanging in the cattail marsh with your son or your wife or your best Labrador. There's a tranquility factor that is unrivaled on the planet. So, what I've always done since 1973 -- and this goes right back to how my parents raised me for self-discipline -- I've always taken the hunting season off. I always stop touring around September and I don't go back to work until after Christmas. I'll do some media with Sean Hannity and Conan O'Brien, but I will begin my hunting camps on the 21st of September. I will hunt through the month of February before I even look at a rock and roller in the eye.

Q: When I was working in San Francisco, my hours were bad but now I don't go on the air until later in the day. I'm about a half hour from my pheasant club and I can take my Lab and my son and go up and get in pheasant hunting in the morning and be back in time to prep and do my program.

A: Congratulations. That's priorities if I've ever heard them. I was on my dad's back in 1949 when I was only 10 months old and I've never missed a glorious fall, the season of harvest, in 52 years. That's why my guitar playing and my band are still dangerous -- because we've got the right spirit.

I had my Lab over at Sunrise Acres this evening. In fact, I had both Labradors. We were out chasing hogs around. There is nothing more gratifying than watching a dog do what God intended him to do, and that's to hunt. That's the most beautiful pure organic function I've ever witnessed in my life.

Q: I was out pig hunting with a friend and we were sitting on the top of this hill. It's absolutely silent and we're listening for anything moving. You've been at this rock and roll gig for a while. How are your ears?

A: My right ear is A-1. It can hear an eagle thinking about coming down and snatching a gopher. But my left ear is nothing but a remnant of an earlier day. My left ear I've never worn an ear plug in but I was wise enough to start wearing ear plugs in my right ear around 1964-65 when I started stacking amplifiers to get more feedback.

Q: I have to believe that sitting backstage with KISS tearing it up can't be too good for your ears.

A: (laughing) Typically, I avoid that. God bless KISS -- they're a riot. Anybody that blows that much stuff up every night, I love. But when I get offstage, it takes me about a half an hour to lick my wounds, because I really beat myself into a pulp every night onstage. But I always have meetings with my TNUSA (Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America) members. We literally get together every night and talk about upcoming legislation, upcoming conditions. Certainly, the year 2000 voting we think is pivotal for the future of our quality of life in America. So I'm already locked into a quality control issue. It takes you away from the outrage of the rock and roll and God knows I need that.

Q: What's next after "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll"? There has to be a sequel.

A: I've already started writing my next book. Actually, I was already writing a book called "Bloodbrothers" prior to "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll," but Al Regnery, from Regnery Publishing, had approached me after seeing me on some TV and radio talk shows and he wanted me to write a book about guns. Obviously, "God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll" goes way beyond just the ballistic co-efficiency of a good marksmanship discipline but, ultimately, I want to have another book out next year. We're not so sure it might not be called "Sex, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll," the rock and roll side of my life.

I may publish "Bloodbrothers." That is really a great overview of this honorable hunting culture that still thrives in America but is not given the time of day by the major media in this country -- except to intentionally misrepresent us in the most unprofessional and dishonest fashion. I'd like to see the truth about the great moms and dads and sons and daughters who are responsible for the most successful conservation success story in the history of planet Earth. I'd love these great people to get their just due.

Q: There are more than ample statistics to support our position that an armed society is a polite society. Look at John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime."

A: I'm very privileged to know and not only collaborate with great musicians -- and to do talk shows like this with some of the greatest communicators out there -- but I'm real lucky: I have an ongoing dialogue with Professor John Lott and some great dedicated warriors in all elements of the law-enforcement community. In Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America, there are members of the ATF, the FBI, Secret Service, federal marshals, DEA, state troopers, Texas Rangers, city cops, constables, sheriff's departments. I meet with these guys literally every day and I know the truth about the FBI uniform crime report. I know the truth about Scotland Yard. I know the truth about the Department of Justice and the ATF gun traces. I know that wherever there are more citizens with more concealed weapons, there is a dramatic reduction in violent crime. Who could not be in support of that?

Q: There are two things that are axiomatic that drive us crazy. First, in communities where law-abiding citizens have access to firearms, crime goes down. Bad guys don't want to encounter armed victims. On the other side, in communities like Australia where they intentionally disarm the law-abiding citizens, crime goes up.

A: And at an unprecedented figure, too. You know we're not going to hear this from Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw or Peter Jennings. These punks in the media are so controlling, they are so manipulative, they are so dishonest in their controlling the information we get.

My research for the book was difficult. I couldn't keep up with all the academic and scientific studies that prove that Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, the networks, and the vast majority of daily newspapers across this country -- this is what Jesse Ventura learned and told me in a recent conversation -- don't report the news; they make it up. I have some warriors who get this evidence that is double-checked and triple-checked and researched -- and it proves that we're getting sold a bill of goods in the country.

It boils down to this: if you want to keep your paycheck, what's left of it, and begin to get back what you've earned, if you want to get your rights back, if you want to quit paying for the pimps and the whores and the welfare brats in this country, we better vote for George W. Bush. The Clintonistas' little boy, Al Gore, is already on record that he has coauthored legislation that would pass laws in this country that are identical to what are already policy in Havana, Cuba, and that makes me want to throw up!

Q: I attended an event in North Carolina at Blackwater that was put on by the National Sports Shooting Foundation. They invite media types to expose them to the realities of the shooting sports. They had a guy at the previous event that was from Time or Newsweek and he had written the hit piece after the Columbine tragedy. After his epiphany, he acknowledged that "what I wrote was wrong." He reportedly said that if they had known then what he learned at Blackwater, he would have written something entirely different. I hope these guys are successful in exposing more of the mainstream media to the realities of sport shooting.

A: I'm afraid that the prognosis does not look very positive at this point. There's a whole lot of "Bubba-ness," there's a whole lot of inbreeding and cannibalism in the shooting sports industry. You go to the shot show and it's almost like these guys don't care if some of their products are grandfathered and will be illegal to sell in a couple of years -- as long as they can have an expensive cocktail party this year. Some of the so-called leaders in the shooting sports and the hunting industry are absolutely brain-dead. And if it wasn't for we the people and organizations like the NRA, the TNUSA and, to a growing degree, organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Turkey Federation, North American Hunting Club, etc... Finally, there is a spirit of activism that is what I have always been about for 30-some years -- certainly since the founding of our organization. We are ONLY about activism. If you're not in the face of your politician, courteously and politely, but with facts, if you're not in their face, they are not going to represent you when it comes time for policymaking.

Q: One of the frustrating things is that within the gun-rights arena, there are so many groups that get wrapped around their own axle and they won't help other groups.

A: I happen to be field representative for one of the greatest, the Law Enforcement Alliance of America. I'm also serving my second term on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. I've worked very closely with Larry Pratt and the Gun Owners of America and Sen. H.L. Richardson from California and Gun Owners of California. We've got people out there that know what to do, but it seems for every 10 million gun owners, there are about two guys who are working. Let me put it real simply to all the listeners and readers -- join the NRA, number one. To everybody in your life -- your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, your friends, your pool buddies, your bowling buddies, your shooting buddies -- this Christmas or for any gift-giving reason whatsoever, give NRA memberships. Let's get 50 million law-abiding gun owners standing up and saying, "Give me back my gun, Janet Reno, you pig!"

Q: How do we motivate folks? There is some place back east where there are more registered gun owners and hunters in the state than there are registered voters, and they are still getting their heads kicked-in by the gun-grabbers.

A: If we don't get our head out of our apathetic ass in the year 2000 ... I'm telling you -- Janet Reno, Sarah Brady, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Gray Davis -- they are not the curse in America. The curse in America is we the sheeple who have bent over and taken it for at least my 52 years. I can't believe what spoiled brats the working-hard, playing-hard Americans have become. And the answer is to GET INVOLVED. Get educated, register everybody in your life to vote, communicate at least quarterly with your elected officials and the media. We should dominate the letters to the editor department, we should dominate talk radio -- and that's what we've done with Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America. Here in the Midwest, we OWN the letters to the editor department. If some idiot comes out and calls wild game a Bambi cartoon name, we absolutely rip their head clean off.

Q: What was the community back east where the deer population had exploded so much because of no hunting that, besides becoming pests, they were starving to death and getting hit all over the highways?

A: It's happening all over the far east where the so-called animal rights idiots with their terminal tofu breath have gotten fantasy and cartoon strips actually into wildlife policy. But that's being remedied as we speak. You know they tried to pull that malarkey here in Michigan and the Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America marched on the commission hearings. We overwhelmed the commission hearings. And guess how we managed the deer in the metro-parks around Detroit?

Q: How?

A: We shot them and we ate them. Next!

Q: I've had a piece on my website for awhile with quotes from the gun-grabbers in their own words saying that they do want to take our guns away. We're not making this paranoia up out of whole cloth.

A: No. Right there in California, they are on record that only military and law enforcement should have access to any weapons and those same people are on record that they want the cops at the end of their daily shift to keep their guns locked at the department. They don't even trust dedicated warriors who have dedicated and oftentimes sacrificed their lives to serve and protect and enforce we the people's laws. Those punks and those bureaucrats in the government do not even trust the dedicated men and women of law enforcement. Now you've got to realize what Barbara Boxer, Gray Davis, Diane Feinstein and Charlie Schumer want. What these people want are the same laws and conditions that are currently policy in Cuba. Now that is SICK.

Q: Charles Krauthammer said in April of l996, "The Brady Bill's only effect will be to desensitize the public to regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation." This is part of their incrementalism. They're content to take it a little at a time until they can get it all.

A: And the Department of Justice just came out with their findings, which they tried to cover up, that the Brady Law has had ZERO net effect on any violent crime involving firearms. All these agencies that would like to come up with information to support further gun controls, all their findings support Ted Nugent, the NRA, Geoff Metcalf, the Gun Owners of California. The truth is irrefutable: Wherever more citizens have more guns and less restrictions accessing those guns, you have a dramatic reduction in violent crime, particularly firearms-related crime. Once again, who could possibly support conditions like in New York City and Chicago where no law-abiding citizens are allowed to own firearms in those cities, yet they are both at the top 1 percent of murder hell zones in the free world. It's just so illogical. These people will walk all over the truth and all over those of us who stand for the truth.

You have to be patient with me -- I'm just a guitar player. I didn't go to college. I was too busy learning stuff. But what I have discovered is that as soon as you reduce the very defense mechanism for law-abiding citizens to survive with, you have created sheer hell. The very premise of gun control is to, by law, demand that good becomes defenseless. And when good is defenseless, evil wins. I will not let that happen.