Ted Nugent, the famous guitarist and a conservative political activist, has revealed the guitar legends whom he looks up to while admitting that he knew the late icon, Eddie Van Halen, was special right at the moment he heard his music.
During his recent conversation on Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon, the great rocker, Ted Nugent, has reminisced about some remarkable names he has jammed with during his career which spans over 50 years.
Recalling the times he performed with Billy Gibbons, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brian May, and the band, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent said he has nothing but reverence for the musicians he worked together and influenced by since they are all so gifted.
Nugent remembered that he had a great jam session, especially with Eddie during the 70s, when Van Halen was opening for him during the tour. He said he knew right away that Eddie was so special.
Ted Nugent also expressed his admiration to the masters of rock and roll like Michael Schenker and Chuck Berry, saying that he doesn’t care if you’re Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, you can’t possibly play guitar and not end up rip, throwing out some Chuck licks.
Here’s what Ted Nugent said while revealing who talks to him most musically in terms of guitar playing:
“Well, certainly all those guys, but everybody. I mean I’ve jammed with Billy Gibbons, and Eddie, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Brian May, and Joe and Brad, Aerosmith I mean. Here’s the point, all those guys you’ve mentioned I have nothing but reverence for they are so gifted.
Certainly Eddie. He and I jammed together. We had a great jam session at Nam years ago. Their first tour was opening up for me, it was ’77 or ’78 I think, and I knew right away that he was special. Satriani was special. Schenker opened up for me a number of tours in the 80s. He’s special or was special.
But their music will live forever. So, yeah, Chuck Berry plays a role in all those guys’ lives believe me. You can’t possibly play guitar and not end up rip, throwing out some Chuck licks. I don’t care if you’re Clapton or Page, or Black, or whoever you are. Including Stevie Vai and all these unbelievable virtuosos.”
“I think Mitch you can tell that I love all sounds that have spirit, that have an emotion that country music doesn’t. Sometimes it does, Blake Shelton is a good friend, Toby Keith is a good friend.
Sometimes they deliver an emotional, it’s almost like folk music with an electric guitar sometimes, which I just don’t, it doesn’t move me. It doesn’t have a crescendo. My songs, they start with a crescendo and they end with it. They’re nothing but crescendos.
I’m not really, ‘Stranglehold’ has some subtle movements obviously. But all of them speak to me. They all have an incredible ear for tone, lyricism, expressionism, outrage… You just mentioned some of the greatest guitar virtuosos. Like Joe Bonamassa nowadays, and so many others.
I hear them, I listen to them, I appreciate them, and I think they would all tell you what I’m about to tell you that no matter, even though John Coltrane and Sunra and Yusef Lateef, some of this jazz, Jimmy Smith on the keyboards certainly, the jazzy guitar players which are why I play Gibson Byrdland, not the Jimmy MacCarthy’s why I play Gibson Byrdland but because you can also get for beyond the bomb bass.”
Nugent ended up by mentioning his late brother as:
“Listen to this, my brother died, John died in January. I’m trying to contain myself here. I sat down on the guitar and this happened, just like the ‘Fred Bear’ song after Fred died.
I just sat down. [Plays ‘Fred Bear’] I mean it’s so beautiful and then when John died, we all went through and continued to go through heartbreak but I picked up guitar one day and went.”
Check out the full conversation below.