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Mon, Sept. 23

The Motor City Madman is coming to Prescott Valley

Stefan Johansson/Courtesy photo

Stefan Johansson/Courtesy photo

The Motor City Madman, AKA Ted Nugent, AKA The Nuge, is headed our way, and we all kinda know what to expect: a calm, tranquil evening of good cheer, good friends, pleasant conversation and fond memories.

Right.

Here's what the five-decade, 6,000-plus concerts-under-his-belt bandleader and political wild card has to say about what fans can expect at his upcoming Thursday, July 10, show at Tim's Toyota Center:

"What they can always expect is sheer outrage and a ferocious animal dance soundtrack of freedom, attitude, spirit and all-American defiance of all things status quo.

"Oh yeah, and some killer love songs, too."

Touring behind his new album, "Shut Up & Jam," Nugent, while not exactly a Founding Father of Rock, is right up there with some of the most durable acts in the business. Now 65 years old, he started with the Amboy Dukes in 1965 and went solo in 1975 with the release of a self-titled album.

From there, the hits became almost automatic. "Free-for-all," "Cat Scratch Fever," "Hey Baby" and "Stranglehold" were instant rock anthems and, to date, The Nuge has released 34 albums and sold some 30 million copies. And he's promised to bring a full clip of the oldies - plus his new tunes - to the Prescott Valley show.

He's slowed down a bit - "Shut Up & Jam" is his first studio album in several years - but don't tell him that.

"I've got the best band on planet Earth, and Mick Brown, Greg Smith and Derek Holmes put more energy... into my music than any guitar player could ever dream of. If that young 25-year-old Ted Nugent showed up, we'd kick his..."

Now that would be something to see.

Along the way, Nugent has had a number of musical influences, ranging from the obvious, old school bluesmen like Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters and BB King - "I have celebrated nonstop my admiration for the black founding fathers of the best music in the world" - to the obscure - "...no musical influence has had a more powerful effect in me than the mighty Motown Funkbrothers" - to the unexpected - "Frank Zappa was a revolutionary musician and artist that broke the rules and boundaries of any and all things status quo. I too have been committed to such musical adventure my entire life."

Nugent's free-wheeling sound is unmistakable, coming off of the strings of his beloved Gibson Byrdland hollow-body axe through a Fender amp. That choice, of a now beat-up guitar and tubed electronics, dates way back.

"His Holiness Jimmy McCarty playing uncharted (stuff) on a Byrdland through a Fender Twin Reverb amp... back around 1960... caused me to rethink everything I knew or thought I knew about music and guitar playing. There is simply no other guitar like the mighty Gibson Byrdland."

And there's no other guitar player quite like The Nuge who, if you haven't heard, has been on a political bender for the past couple decades.

While he likely won't run for president in 2016, you never really know. "I surely should run for president just to wake up all the political wimps out there... (E)verything I stand for is proven, tried and true, and best for America, freedom and ultimate quality of life. It's so simple, it's stupid."

So show up, shut up, jam on - and don't forget Old Glory.

TICKETS: start at $37.50 at www.timstoyotacenter.com

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