Ted Nugent spoke to Songfacts’ Carl Wiser and revealed the artists who inspired him while learning to play guitar. Also, Uncle Ted stated that he has the same foundations as The Rolling Stones’ members, Brian Jones and Keith Richards.
Nugent became more and more popular among rock lovers with his career as The Amboy Dukes’ lead guitarist during the ’60s. Then, he went on his musical journey as a solo artist, creating and releasing hit records, most of which were best-seller worldwide.
According to Nugent, the Rolling Stones’ and Nugent’s success coincided, but it couldn’t happen by chance. The band’s bringing Black American music back to rock and roll changed many things. Nugent stated that Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, and Motown inspired them at that time.
The musician added that he studied B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Lonnie Mack, and Duane Eddy with many more’s works to make them his foundation before his unique style. Nugent claimed that Keith Richards and Brian Jones began their careers by listening to the same names.
In Nugent’s words, he said:
“In my pre-teen years, the late ’50s, I picked the needle up off the record player to learn Chuck Berry’s licks. Then I realized the Stones and Beatles brought Black American music back to us on their first albums; there were Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, and Motown songs.
I struggled because I was so inept and challenged to discover my spirit on the guitar neck as I was stumbling as a kid. I picked that needle up and found Chuck’s licks somewhere on that guitar.”
He went on:
“So those were the only times I ever deconstructed, and it gave me a foundation, which is where Keith Richards and Brian Jones got their foundations. I guarantee all your favorite guitar players got the same foundation: Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Lonnie Mack, Duane Eddy, and The Ventures.
There was a lot of lifting and replacing the needle on a phonograph to discover it, but I’ve never deconstructed anything because I’m always unleashing new ideas since the Amboy Dukes in 1965. Prior to the Amboy Dukes, I was learning all my heroes’ songs. Then the deconstruction ended, and the construction began.”
There’s no doubt that many blues and rock guitarists were essential parts of rock music, especially for The Rolling Stones. They have assimilated various musical genres into their collective sound, and blues was one of them.