MUSIC EXPERTS SAY TED NUGENT’S OUTBURSTS COULD BE DAMAGING HIS CAREER

Ted-Nugent400

Ted-Nugent400 Joe Strupp of Media Matters reports:

Ted Nugent’s recent spate of offensive and racist comments that have sparked protests and canceled shows are damaging his image and could well cripple his income if he continues, according to veteran concert promoters and industry journalists.

In a week when two casinos operated by different Native American tribes canceled three separate Nugent shows set for next month and dozens protested a concert in New Jersey, concert touring experts say the National Rifle Association board member and conservative commentator is doing real damage to his money-earning potential.

“If you’re going to say something political, you’re going to have some backlash, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you say,” said Larry Magid, a Philadelphia-based promoter who has handled Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, and Bette Midler. “Nugent seems to have taken it to extremes. I don’t know that you can blame anyone for not wanting to play him for all of the baggage that he brings.”

Magid, who also organized the famed 1985 Live Aid benefit show in Philadelphia, said Nugent was never a huge concert draw, but his declaration earlier this year that President Barack Obama is a “subhuman mongrel” may mark a turning point.

“I don’t know if that is frustration at not being a viable act, but it is stupid,” Magid said of Nugent. “If you are a musician, you are trying to bring your music, your art to a broad group of people. It is one thing to take a stance, it is another thing when you are talking about the president of the United States.

“For all of the people enamored with him, there are 20 or 30 or 40 times that who are not enamored with him. To me, it’s not bright. If I’m a promoter I have to think two or three or four times before I take a shot with this performer.”

“No one should be surprised by any of this,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar USA, which tracks concert touring receipts. “It’s a free country and Nugent has always had a big mouth. But if he keeps making incendiary statements his future tours may be limited to NRA conventions and Fox News events.”

Bongiovanni said the public reaction is not unusual: “Why be surprised if you can’t sell tickets to them after you insult people who are gay, animal rights, or gun control advocates, or just in the majority of people who voted for Obama?”

Although Nugent has long been a hardline conservative and pro-gun advocate, his “subhuman mongrel” comments triggered a massive media firestorm and led prominent Republicans to disassociate themselves from the rocker earlier this year. Nugent’s offensive and racist comments have more recently caused a backlash against his concerts.

Among the results:

* Three Nugent concerts scheduled in early August at Native American tribe-owned casinos in Washington and Idaho were canceled this week due to the performer’s commentary. Puyallup Tribe Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud has said Nugent is a “jackass” and will never be booked again.
* Earlier this summer controversy surrounded a concert scheduled for an Oshkosh, WI, music festival after a letter to the editor decrying Nugent’s concert received heightened attention. Nugent subsequently described his critics as “unclean vermin.”
* “Picket signs lined the street” outside a July 22nd concert in New Jersey as Nugent was greeted by “at least 75 protestors.”
* While Nugent will perform at The Toledo Blade’s Northwest Ohio Rib-Off festival next month, the paper’s sales director told Media Matters he had received numerous complaints and strongly suggested Nugent would never be booked again.
* The City of Longview, TX in March canceled Nugent’s concert at a Fourth of July festival and paid him $16,000 (reportedly half his fee) not to show up.

John Scher of Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants, a longtime New Jersey promoter who has booked Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Billy Joel, said he’s never seen such a public backlash in his 40 years promoting concerts.

“I can’t really, really recall this kind of reaction because of political beliefs,” Scher said, later adding, “All in all, I don’t think it can be a plus. Where’s the tipping point? I think he’ll find it will probably shrink to the places where his views are not so contrary to the views of the general population. You might see him doing most of his touring in the south or certain states in the west that are gun-toting conservatives. In the Northeast and in California he is probably not getting booked as much … I don’t see from an overall point of view how he is helping himself.”

Michael Maietta, a promoter at Creative Entertainment Group in New York, which has handled the Neville Brothers, John Popper, and George Thorogood, said the financial impact is obvious when a musician offends so many people.

“Of course it will have an effect on how much money Ted will make going forward if he is not getting booked,” Maietta said via email. “Soft ticket events, such as fairs and township gigs will get pressure not to book him with public dollars.”

Steve Knopper, a Rolling Stone contributing editor who covers the rock concert business, said this is clearly a trend.

“It does seem like, whether it is a movement or people deciding to be offended by this en masse, it seems like it’s having an impact and that can’t be good,” Knopper said. “I don’t know if Ted Nugent’s main source of income is from concerts, but the way right now to make money in the music business is to tour.”

Knopper added, “I’m guessing that he needs to tour to make money and if his comments are preventing him from doing that he may well have to rethink how he handles his public image. He has said some incredibly offensive stuff in the past few years, now maybe it is hitting home.”

Nugent’s latest release album, SHUTUP&JAM! was released on July 8th on Frontiers Records.

source: mediamatters.org

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157 Responses

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  • Nathan on

    I started to read this but then I saw it was Media Matters.


    • Dana on

      Nathan,

      While I admit that this is the first time I have ever heard of Media Matters, regardless, this article contains facts. The media experts featured in the piece have decades of experience, and the cancellation of Nugent’s shows by the Native American tribes mentioned, are true.

      If you don’t think what Ted says has any ramifications on his career, I have a bridge that I can sell you-LOL!

      Dana from ET.com 🙂


    • Nathan on

      You’re right, the cancellations are factual. But in my opinion Media Matters is about as far to the left as Nugent is the other way. Last time I checked, we had free speech in this country and why he gets slaughtered on his opinions is sometimes very one sided. Ted’s made his money and I really don’t think he cares what people think about him. I never was a Ted fan musically but I have to support him for expressing his views (which is contrary to most of the entertainment industry). Most of the bands in our rock realm stay away from politics and I also think that’s pretty awesome.


    • Writers Rock on

      Nathan, you have every right to ignore Media Matters because they’re to the left of center regarding the issues and events about which they write; however, they are well known in media circles for being unfailingly accurate with their facts. I read sometime ago that one of the reasons that Bill O’Reilly has reduced the number of times that he takes them on publicly on his nighttime Fox show is because he was never able to point out anything the organization got wrong when it posted an article about him and/or his show. He was sounding whiny when complaining about Media Matters, not authoritative and correct.

      As for the Motor City Madman, I noted in a post about the last Nugent article on this site that his rants were so offensive to so many people not because of his politics but because of the vicious language he uses when discussing Pres. Obama, Pres. Clinton, Sec. Clinton, gun-control advocates, and immigrants, among others. I don’t think you’ll find many people who believe that Jack Blades’ and Gary Cherone’s conservative opinions have hurt their careers; frankly, I could care less that I’m a liberal, and they’re both conservatives. I’m still a big fan of Nightranger and Extreme, both of which put on tremendous shows at the 2014 M3 Festival in April in Columbia, MD.

      Rockers should revel in their political views and express them as often as they want; I truly don’t think that most rock/hard rock/heavy metal fans care. However, if your opinions move to offensive, mud-slinging, prejudice-sounding vitriol, then your free speech will probably result in career-careening consequences. Sweaty Teddy might have crossed that threshold in recent years.


    • Dana on

      Absolutely correct Writers Rock,

      The delivery of ones thoughts and opinions is just as important as the message itself.

      D from ET.com 🙂


    • PJ Schwackhammer on

      That’s a load of horse hockey. Media Matters is a hard-Left pressure group that will lie and distort at the drop of a hat as it suits their political purposes.


    • sar305 on

      Well then you better check again, because free speech doesn’t mean one is free from the (non-judicial) consequences of that speech. Understand the difference.


    • Dana on

      An excellent and very valid point, sar305.

      D from ET.com 🙂


    • doug r. on

      I am NOT taking sides here, but why is it, especially in the entertainment world, when a liberal makes a controversial comment there really are no consequences, but when a conservative says something controversial, there are always consequences? Explain that difference.


    • sar305 on

      Doug R,

      Money, and not principle, are mostly what drive consequences in the entertainment world. How that squares with Alec Baldwin’s firing for using a homophobic slur, I just don’t know; a rare show of principle over profit? Perhaps. Or maybe just a convenient excuse for MSNBC to rid themselves of a trouble-laden underperformer. Probably.

      Meanwhile, Duck Dynasty, with all of its “controversies”, continues to air. Why? Money.

      Otherwise, to answer your (loaded) question: birds of a feather flock together. Artistic, creative types tend to be more progressive. Don’t like it? Then don’t watch or listen, and especially don’t aspire to work with them. Simple.

      “Hollywood” isn’t a democracy, and it doesn’t function as a democracy, therefore its dealings shouldn’t be scrutinized as if it were one. You may begin your boycott now.


    • doug r. on

      sar305,
      I don’t plan on boycotting anything, I never watched Duck Dynasty, (no interest), don’t care about Alec Baldwin, (no interest), bottom line & everybody knows it, Hollywood always has, and always will lean to the left, right, wrong, or indifferent. The reason why you didn’t really answer my “loaded” question is because you can’t. There’s no denying liberals get away with a lot more than conservatives, especially in Hollywood. Liberals get free passes to speak their minds all the time, no matter what they say. If Ted Nugent was a liberal, and made the same exact comments, they would be downplayed, covered up with excuses, brushed off as, eh, just Ted being Ted, -what he meant was-, fill in the blanks. Deny the double standard all you want, but it does exist, and ACTIONS do speak louder than WORDS!


    • sar305 on

      Doug r,

      Think before you write; if Ted Nugent, the hypothetical liberal, made those comments, he WOULDN’T BE A LIBERAL. Understand?

      Further, I did answer your loaded question, and from pretty much every angle. Read again, I denied nothing. You’re arguing with a phantom, not me.


    • doug r. on

      I’m not “arguing” with anybody, so think before you respond. I’ll explain nice & slow for you. If “IF” a liberal makes “racist” comments, or controversial comments, it gets sugar-coated by the media, understand? Liberals aren’t perfect either, they do make “racist” and controversial comments as well. Case in point, Queen L, have you heard her comments about blacks should kill whites? WHERE WAS THE BACKLASH? THE UPROAR? Well, there wasn’t one, and why? MEDIA PROTECTING THE LIBERALS AS ALWAYS, that’s my point. And once again for the record, I am a proud independent, thank you very much. Have a nice day.


    • sar305 on

      1) You’re arguing.

      2) Alec Baldwin. Remember your “not caring about him” nonsense? Evidently, my example of a liberal PR blunder and its consequences escaped you. Meanwhile, this would not be the equivalent of Ted Nugent(the liberal?) making the “exact same comments”, as his body of work constitutes a pathology, and not merely a slip-up.

      3) You need to sort your arguments before bothering to commit them to the screen. You also need to read/infer more carefully. Apparently, neither are really your…thing.


    • doug r. on

      Are you done yet? You obviously are incapable of getting my point, as simple as it is. So since you can’t get my point, maybe you can get a life.


    • sar305 on

      Says the guy who apparently isn’t done yet…and needs to “get a life”.

      See how that works?


    • doug r. on

      There’s that “DOUBLE STANDARD” again.
      See how that works?


    • sar305 on

      Double standard? But I’m not the one making the initial claim, therefore there is no “DOUBLE STANDARD”. Understand? There’s that slowness again…

      Meanwhile, “are you done yet?”. And, of course: “get a life”.


    • doug r. on

      Are you still around? You know what they say about people who keep repeating themselves right? Understand?
      It’s okay Scar, or sar, or whatever, tomorrow’s another day.


    • sar305 on

      Says the guy who’s still around.

      Really, you make this too easy for me…Dug. As in: dug his own hole.


    • doug r. on

      Dude, you got issues.
      O.K., now come back with, says the guy who has issues.
      Is that easy enough for you?
      Now, back to the point regarding Ted Nugent, Ted has said some bad things, but others have said a lot worse with NO consequences, double standard, THAT’S MY POINT! Now do you understand?


    • sar305 on

      Speaking of double standard: you expect to (hypocritically) tell other people to “get a life”. To ask if they’re “done yet?”, if they’re “still around?”. To remark that they’re “repeating themselves”, etc. And all the while being as guilty as anyone regarding those sophomoric quips.

      So to answer your question: Yes, it REALLY is easy enough.


    • doug r. on

      sar305 I was only speaking to you.
      so to answer your question: you’re guilty of stupidity.
      Yes, that really was easy enough.


    • sar305 on

      You were “only” speaking to me, so therefore your (unwitting) double standard hypocrisy doesn’t count…in this discussion about double standard hypocrisies. Makes sense. Not. Your breakfast this morning was a hardy helping of your self-defeating words. Enjoy.

      Meanwhile, I didn’t ask you a question, and certainly not that “easy enough” nonsense. You can’t even follow a simple thread…

      See, that’s what makes YOU stupid, actually.


    • doug r. on

      sar305, you’re boring me. You sound like a F’N robot. You never have anything new or
      relevant to say. I’m going to have to put you in my “too stupid to talk to file”. My “only speaking to you” comment, was in response to one of your “brilliant” posts, understand? I have read some idiotic posts before, and seen some really stupid stuff, but YOU take the cake, and EAT IT TOO! It’s time to pull the plug on the sar305 robot, I’m going back now to post with the humans, enjoy your cake.


    • sar305 on

      “Are you done yet?”
      “Are you still around?”
      “…maybe you can get a life.”
      “…people who keep repeating themselves…”
      “You never have anything new or relevant to say.”

      This^ guy is so oblivious it’s hilarious. And all he can do in response is call others “stupid”. I pity him.


    • doug r. on

      WOW, and the dumb get dumber! Do you realize all you keep doing is repeating things that I have only said once? Maybe some things twice ONLY because or your incapability of comprehension? So, do you have any more brilliant comments you want to add, or do you just want to keep repeating yourself? And repeating me as well. BTW, the only person I referred to as stupid is you, because obviously you still just can’t get it.


    • sar305 on

      Beginning a sentence with “WOW” in order to add attitudinal emphasis to one’s point is so…stupid. Along with all that (hypocritical) projection that permeates each and every one of your (failed) posts. Plus, your escalating, desperate frustration is just plain satisfying(for me). Do continue. That’s an order.


    • doug r. on

      Obviously, you have to have the last word, so have it! Cheers. 🙂


    • sar305 on

      Says the guy who obviously has to have the last word.

      Meanwhile, it was YOU who first posed a question; I answered it. Then again. And again. And again. Even if not to your satisfaction(comprehension). So apparently you’ve been vying for the first word AND the last word…while also foolishly quipping about me “having to have the last word”. Double standard. Hypocrite.


    • Dana on

      Okay, I am stepping in now 🙂 Let’s all play nice in the sandbox, shall we? Take deep breaths and smile.

      Back to the topic at hand..Ted Nugent.

      D 🙂


    • Dana on

      Fair enough Nathan,

      My belief, anything to any extreme is dangerous.

      D from ET.com 🙂


    • Harry Taint on

      There are consequences to free speech. If you say something, you must be prepared to suffer the consequences. If these promoters are feeling pressure to cancel, they will cancel. If Ted is being a complete idiot, he will pay for it.

      He can continue to say whatever he feels, but he will also continue to pay the price for that in lost touring revenue. Simple economics.


    • James K. on

      Very true.


    • jeff heffernan on

      good for uncle ted,its ok when the likes of rev wright,or al sharpten,or l.farakahn,can run there mouths about the white blue eyed devil.thats ok,how come i dont see anyone standing o/s holding up signs,or the media trying to hurt them,no but because a white man is doing it,.and sharing his views now its a problem ,i say good for uncle ted!!!!!!


    • Dana on

      Jeff,

      Who the heck says it is right when they do that? Every person you just mentioned is a race baiting, ignorant, hateful bigot.

      Dana from ET.com 🙂


    • Nathan on

      Sharpton and Farakahn are hate filled bigots. I think Jeff’s point is it’s a double standard.


    • Dana on

      Nathan,

      If that was his point, then I cannot argue with that statement. They should ALL be held accountable for their words/actions.

      Dana from ET.com 🙂


  • Harry Taint on

    Not sure what is left of “his career”. I wouldn’t say opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at county fair events is that great. No one cares about his albums anymore and his mouth turns most people off except for the fringe element.

    He will be fine financially. Fox news always will use him as a “contributor”

    So long Ted, you will not be missed.


    • doug r. on

      Speak for yourself Harry. First of all, a lot people still care about his albums & his music, although I’ll pass on Shut Up & Jam, but in the 70’s & early 80’s, IMO musically Ted was up there with the best of them. I seen Nugent open for Aerosmith back in ’86 @ MSG, and still to this day, one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. I’ve never agreed with a lot of things Nugent says with his mouth, but I do agree with what he says with his guitar! Right or wrong, he’s still entitled to his opinions & feelings, this is still a free country for all, even Uncle Ted. Love him or hate him, he still rocks! Have a nice day, peace. 🙂


    • Harry Taint on

      Yes, he is certainly entitled to his opinions. But he will face more and more cancellations because the language that he uses is so extremely hateful. There are better ways of making your point. Calling the POTUS a mongrel, is not starting out on the right foot.


    • Harry Taint on

      I am speaking for myself Doug.


    • doug r. on

      Well, in fairness Harry, you did say NO ONE CARES, so it did sound like you were speaking for others.


    • Jamie on

      I don’t think there is freedom of speech anymore . Everyone should be entitled to there opinion no matter how offensive it might be. The Mongrel comment wouldn’t mean shit if the President wasn’t black. so many people get “offended” because they want to to be offended.Everything bothers them . No God in school . Can’t say Christmas. Holiday season, Give me a break. All in the Family was one of the best TV shows in history, would never air if it came out today. If Ted came out and called Obama an asshole , would that be considered a racist statement? I’m not a Bible Thumper or Gun nut , but my views might be a little off to some people, but they are my views and I should be entitled to them. But , Ted has sucked since the last Damn Yankee’s album. May the God of your choice bless you all.


    • Dana on

      Jamie,

      Thank you, you just proved my point that I made earlier, which is, those terms ate tied in with a specific race. That is precisely why Ted’s comments about the President were viewed as racist. Had he made his point without using that specific terminology, his points might have been taken seriously.

      Again, yes, everyone is entitled to their opinions and how they say them, just as others are entitled to not like what is being said and how it is being said. If you are going to express yourself in an inflammatory way, you cannot blame others for if they have an equally incendiary response. Actions have consequences, so do words.

      Dana from ET.com 🙂


  • DR on

    Welcome to America Ted. You can say what you want, but people can react how they want. Getting paid not to show up, and now doing Ohio Rib-Off Festivals…Oye. Bring on the Liberal Elimination Machine or whatever he’s calling himself nowadays. I’m waiting to hear the Fox News spin on this one.


  • bobbyd on

    JUST A THOUGHT…… maybe ted is saying these outrageous things because in his mind he will get more media exposure and more publicity {he probably doesn’t care if its positive or negative} which again might in his mind make him more of draw especially to the right wing/conservatives ted aligns himself with – just a thought…….


    • sar305 on

      If true, it was a major miscalculation. And such disingenuousness should only be deserving of overwhelming disapproval, anyways.


    • Harry Taint on

      Who is he trying to attract, the white, over 65 crowd? Good luck with those ticket sales.


    • doug r. on

      You would be surprised even today how many younger than 65 crowd, of all races, still go to see Ted Nugent, not for his politics, but for his music.
      Same goes for a hardcore liberal like Bruce Springsteen, not everybody agrees with HIS political views & opinions, but most people, left, right, or in the middle like myself, still do and always will love his music.


    • Writers Rock on

      Doug R.,

      Your inadvertent comparison of the popularity of Nugent and Springsteen is ludicrous. Springsteen (of whom I am not much of a fan) is an arena- and stadium-headliner across the U.S. and in various parts of the world. Outside of a few select areas, Nugent is an opening act for arena headliners, gets placed as a mid-bill festival performer, and headlines small theaters and large clubs (e.g., House of Blues) in select areas of the country. Look at his list of concert venues over the past 30 years, and you’ll see the downhill slide of a once great concert act, and that downhill slide happened long before his strong political opinions became so widespread. He’s killing what’s left of his concert career with his outlandish statements, not his political opinions, but the downhill path of his career began in the early to mid-1980s when his new songs just didn’t catch on with anyone but those who constitute his core audience.


    • doug r. on

      I wasn’t comparing their popularity, just stating a fact that Ted still has fans of all ages, races, and religions. No, his songs over the last 30 years or so aren’t nowhere near as good as the 70’s/early 80’s, but give him a guitar & a stage, and be prepared to rock!


    • doug r. on

      ………..Even at 65! 🙂


    • Bmac777 on

      The difference is that Bruce doesn’t go off on ridiculous rants. Nugent is an idiot. What was that gibberish that if Obama got re -elected he would be in jail or something like that. Well , It happened and what did Ted do….NOTHING. G.O.P.= gesture only politics


    • doug r. on

      Politically I really don’t care what they believe in, as long as they all believe in Rock ‘N’ Roll, because Rock ‘N’ Roll doesn’t make promises it can’t keep! 😉


  • Bill on

    Anytime a business, especially a retail business, which Ted is(ticket & music sales), takes a hardline stance politically or religiously they take a chance at alienating 50% of their potential customer/fan base. They absolutely have the right to do it but you won’t find any business scholars who thinks it’s a good idea. It’s MUCH easier to save your money and just stay home than it is to show up in support which is almost always a short term thing.


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