During a conversation on The Eddie Trunk Podcast, the current Ozzy Osbourne and former Black Sabbath drummer, Tommy Clufetos, talked about his time performing with Ted Nugent and praised his guitar playing while stating that his views on social and political matters have cast his musical genius in the shadow.
Tommy Clufetos is one of the best-known session drummers in the rock and metal scene and he reached worldwide fame as the drummer of Black Sabbath during their reunion and final tour. He is currently the drummer of Ozzy Osbourne and The Dead Daisies, but some years ago, he was on stage with Ted Nugent.
Even though Nugent achieved fame with his great guitar skills and wide-ranging singing voice in the ’60s and ’70s, he’s currently often mentioned in relation to his conservative political views. As Clufetos had a chance to work with him from 2002 until 2005, and then 2007, he was asked by Eddie Trunk whether he believes that Nugent’s political views have distracted people from his music.
Clufetos said that that is definitely the case because Nugent’s guitar playing is ‘unbelievable’ and that he has such a style that no one could copy. He went on to give an example with Nugent’s famous song ‘Cat Scratch Fever‘ which only he can play in such a way that it sounds like an orchestra, as when others perform the same song ‘it just sounds like a child.’
Clufetos added that no matter what Ted Nugent’s views are, he personally had a great time with the rockstar. He said that Ted is awesome and that he was amazing towards him when they were working together. He went on to say that he considers himself lucky that he got a chance to play alongside one of the ‘bosses‘ and that he has ‘nothing but great things to say about him.’
Here’s what Eddie Trunk said:
“Taking all of the other Ted stuff out of it, strictly from a music standpoint, I think Ted is tremendously underrated as a musician, as a guitar player, as a historian of the music, and as a guy that even at his age, the way he still brings it, I think he’s greatly overlooked because of his views on other fronts. Do you agree with that?”
To which Tommy Clufetos responded:
“I totally agree. Ted‘s guitar playing, I mean, it‘s unbelievable. His right hand and his rhythm, his rhythm that he plays, he has an undeniable style that nobody else can copy. When he plays, you hear somebody else play ‘Cat Scratch Fever‘ and they do it at a concert and it just sounds like a child, you know. But when he does it, it’s like an orchestra playing it.”
He went on to say:
“Ted was awesome – he’s still great – he was great to me. I have nothing but great things to say about him. I’ve been so lucky to play with great musicians and great, I’m gonna say ‘bosses,’ but that’s kind of a cheesy word. I’ve been so lucky that way. I figured out you can try and try for this, but musically, business-wise speaking, you’re gonna end up where you’re supposed to end up.”