Ted Nugent called his nationwide summer tour “Shutup & Jam!” but the ’70s rocker did everything but shut up as he was hit with cancelled concerts and blistering criticism for his racist and anti-Indian statements.
Even before the tour, Nugent got some national attention by calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee.” By the time it ended, the “Motor City Madman” had used the racial slur “Japs,” savaged a group of American Indians, and apparently suggested neutering certain women. Nugent even blasted a Toledo, Ohio, newspaper that took its own heat for sponsoring his appearance at a community festival — the last time he will be invited by that paper.
Things began to turn sour for “The Nuge” in March, when the city of Longview, Texas, paid him $16,000 — half his contract amount — to not appear at the town’s Fourth of July Festival, despite having booked him earlier. Without elaborating, a city spokesman said Nugent was “not the right feel for this kind of community event.” That cancellation came around the time Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican running for governor with Nugent’s support, was apologizing for Nugent’s racist comments about the president.
In July, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians, which has contributed thousands to human rights, was asked by the Intelligence Report why its Idaho casino had booked the racist rocker for an Aug. 4 concert. Within hours, the tribe had decided to cancel the concert because of Nugent’s “history of racist and hate-filled remarks.” It didn’t mention Nugent’s claim that he’s more Native American than some Indians and his furious attacks on people campaigning against sports team names such as Redskins, Braves and Chiefs.
With that, social media ignited. Soon the Puyallup Tribe in western Washington, deluged with complaints, announced it was cancelling two Nugent shows because of his “racist attitudes and views.”
As is his wont, Nugent didn’t mince words. “It is so glaringly obvious that the lying unclean phonics & hygiene challenged haters attacking me are blackhearted soulless robotic idiots,” he fumed.
Then Nugent played a biker bar concert in Sturgis, S.D., while protesters picketed. The apologetic bar owner said publicly that it would have cost too much to cancel, but pledged he wouldn’t book Nugent again.
Safely aboard his jet, Nugent fired back, calling the American Indian demonstrators “stinkyass unclean dipshit protestors that admitted they hate me AND ALL WHITE PEOPLE THAT STOLE THEIR LAND BULLSHIT!! See, it aint me they hate, they hate all Americans that produce & live the American Dream. Simply insane!”
He added that journalists were a liberal army of “Nazi propagandists” and said his critics were “unclean vermin.”
Still, the long-time National Rifle Association (NRA) board member, “ambassador” of the Outdoor Channel, and contributor to the conspiracy-minded WorldNetDaily was warmly embraced in a few quarters, including a Tea Party gathering in Big Horn Basin, Wyo., where he was “deputized” by the local sheriff. Nugent, who wrote a book called Kill It & Grill It, took that opportunity to say that women who oppose hunting should be “fixed” by their pro-gun partners.
In the end, many wondered aloud if his “shut-up” tour might be Nugent’s last. Music industry reports suggest Nugent’s growing record of hatred may be seriously damaging his career — whatever is left for the 66-year-old guitarist. One South Dakota newspaper columnist and NRA member suggested that if Nugent isn’t booted from the NRA board for his “neo-Ku Klux Klan views,” the nation’s largest gun lobby deserves the “retribution that comes to those who fail to confront hate.”