Talking with the "Madman"

By Jamie Sotonoff, Daily Herald Staff Writer

Talking to Ted Nugent is exhausting.

First, he talks really, really fast. He yells a lot, too, either because he's nuts or because he wants to emphasize his point. And the point is usually about his pro-hunting, pro-environment and anti-alcohol and drug beliefs.

Second, you're never quite sure whether Ted's telling the truth or not. The Nuge likes to joke.

During a recent phone interview to preview his "Whiplash Bash" concert tonight at House of Blues in Chicago, the 54-year-old rocker reminded us three times (in various ways) that he "invented the middle finger."

That being said, we wanted to follow up with Nugent, who made national news Dec. 1 by chiming in on a debate within a tiny North Barrington subdivision.

As you might recall, Wynstone Estates was having a problem with its deer population and residents were wrangling with the idea of letting bow-and-arrow hunters into their private, posh, gated community.

During the discussions, someone showed a video of Nugent shooting animals and cackling like a crazy man. It prompted one resident to comment to the media that she didn't want "rednecks" like that in her neighborhood.

Nugent was called and asked his response, which was an offer to personally come out and kill the deer in Wynstone.

"All they have to do is give me a call, and I'll whack 'em and stack 'em and kill 'em and grill 'em and celebrate with the venison party God has blessed us with," he said.

Bow-and-arrow deer hunting was ultimately allowed in Wynstone. But for Nugent, who lives in Michigan, the fight for hunters' rights continues.

As you'll see in excerpts from his interview, he isn't nicknamed the Motor City Madman for nothing.

You lived in the Northwest suburbs for a few years, right?

The last two years of high school I lived in Palatine. St. Viator High School. I graduated from there, if that's what you call it. Class of '67. I lived at (address withheld to protect the innocent) Stuart Lane. Waaaaaay too many white folks out there.

Did you hunt in this area as a teenager?

I hunted in Hampshire. And I used to kill squirrels behind my house. I killed a mallard (duck) one time. We had the best roast duck we've ever had after that.

You know, you created quite a little media stir out here recently.

Aaaaaaw! Poor babies! They didn't like the truth on a crow bar?

Did anyone from Wynstone contact you after that?

I was actually contacted, but I am a busy, busy man. I've gotten hundreds of letters from people saying thank you for bringing this issue to light with some honesty. Some sense.

Have you followed the issue since then?

Not since I responded (to the "redneck" comment). But I know, based on the e-mails and correspondence, that our guys are still communicating with people there.

Do you plan to do any hunting while you're in town?

Whenever I'm in Chicago, I walk down the Magnificent Mile and catch pigeons with my bare hands. I literally smack those little flying rats with my bare hands (laughs).

You like ticking people off, don't you?

I like the truth.

What do you love the most? Rock 'n' roll, hunting or media attention?

I don't give a rat's (expletive) about media attention.

So, between rock 'n' roll and hunting.

It's 50/50, baby. I kill as much perfect protein as I can to fuel my sacred temple so I can play the most outrageous rock 'n' roll known to man.

Well, it's been nice talking to you, Ted.

Can I say one more thing to the people of Chicago? Life is a pinata. I've got a crow bar with your name on it. SWING IT!

- Ted Nugent performs at 9 p.m. at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Call (312) 923-2000.