Theodore Anthony "Ted" Nugent (born December 13, 1948) is a guitarist, musician, vocalist and activist from Detroit, Michigan.
He originally gained fame as the lead guitarist of The Amboy Dukes, before embarking on a lengthy solo career. He is also noted for his conservative political views and his ardent defense of hunting, conservation, and gun ownership rights.
Nugent has released more than 34 albums, and has sold a career total of 30 million records. He was known throughout his early career in the 1970s for using Fender amps, a large part of his signature sound, and is now also famous for playing the hollow Gibson Byrdland guitar. Gibson Guitar Corporation has developed a model named for him.
His first edition of The Amboy Dukes played at The Cellar, a teen dance club outside of Chicago in Arlington Heights, Illinois, starting in late 1965, while Nugent was a student at St. Viator High School. Their albums “The Amboy Dukes” (1967), “Journey to the Center of the Mind” (1968) and “Migration” (1969) — all recorded on the Mainstream label — sold moderately well.
Nugent dropped the Amboy Dukes band name for good in 1975, and signed to Epic Records. Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Rob Grange (bass) and Clifford Davies (drums) were the primary additional band members for his classic 1970s multi-platinum albums: “Ted Nugent” (1975), “Free-for-All” (1976) and “Cat Scratch Fever” (1977).
These albums produced the popular radio anthems "Hey Baby," "Stranglehold," "Dog Eat Dog" and "Cat Scratch Fever." This band lineup toured extensively, also releasing the multi-platinum live album “Double Live Gonzo!,” until its breakup in 1978 when St. Holmes and Grange departed. St. Holmes was replaced by Charlie Huhn and Grange by Dave Kiswiney. Davies finally left around 1982 after staying on to record “Weekend Warriors” (1978), “State of Shock” (1979), “Scream Dream” (1980) and “Intensities in 10 Cities” (1981).
During the period of 1982-86, Nugent released a series of moderately successful solo albums. Near the end of the 1980s, he formed the supergroup Damn Yankees, with Jack Blades (bass/vocals, formerly of Night Ranger), Tommy Shaw (guitar/vocals, formerly of Styx) and Michael Cartellone (drums/vocals). “Damn Yankees” (1990) was a hit, selling 5 million albums, thanks to the smash hit power ballad "High Enough."
Returning to a solo career, Nugent released “Spirit of the Wild” in 1995, his best-reviewed album in quite some time. This album also marked the return of Derek St. Holmes to Nugent's studio band. A series of archival releases also came out in the 1990s, keeping Nugent's name in the national consciousness. He also began hosting a radio show in Detroit and took ownership in several hunting-related businesses.
He created TV shows for several networks; “Wanted: Ted or Alive” on Versus, “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild” on PBS and The Outdoor Channel, as well as “Surviving Nugent “and “Supergroup-Damnocracy” on VH1.
In 2006, Nugent was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.