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.


Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

157 Responses

Leave us a comment

  • James on

    1st Amendment. You’re right bobbyd, publicity is publicity. I think he says things to stir the pot. I’ve only liked a few of his songs and I find it funny that one of them (Fred Bear) he still plays live, yet he gets canceled at native american owned casinos. I’ve never liked when rockers start talking about politics, especially on stage. Even if I agree with them that isnt the time or place. It’s like Don Henley or Chrissy Hines from The Pretenders telling a crowd not to eat meat. That happened several years ago when The Pretenders opened for ZZTop. Lemme tell ya, a bunch of beer-drinking, meat-eating ZZTop fans werent too kind after that. Whatever though. I think the whole Ted Nugent experience has now morphed into political views first and music second. Sad times.

    • sar305 on

      Not a 1st Amendment issue.

  • Lesbians for nugent on

    Hardy har har har!!!

  • Chookalana on

    Yes we have free speech and you are protected. You are not protected from the ignorant and racist comments that Nugent is known for. He can be racist, but expect consequences.

    These Casinos are owned by the same people he is disparaging. I don’t blame them.

    • doug r. on

      I don’t know who they are, and don’t want to know, but in passing (blasting out of cars, windows and other things) I heard a lot of rappers blasting George W. Bush and white people in general, and yet there are no consequences, explain that double standard if you will, if you can.

  • doug r. on

    O.K., here we go. First of all, George W. Bush was called a lot worse things than a “subhuman mongrel”, ALOT worse! By a lot of different people, and NONE of them were called a racist, why is that? Ted Nugent uses a bad choice of words, (nobody’s perfect) and he gets called a racist, why? If Nugent is such a racist, why did he acknowledge all of the great Motown and R&B artists that influenced him along his career when he was on TMS? And talk about how many Motown artists he still loves & listens to even today? Yeah right, that really sounds like a racist to me, give me a break. I agree music is no place for politics, music is and should be an escape from politics and all the other bullshit in the world. There should be no politics in music, on record or in concert. I don’t want lectures, speeches, etc., when I listen to a song or go to a show, I just want to have a good time and ROCK & ROLL! 🙂

    • Patrick on

      George Bush was called terrible things because he showed over and over how terrible of a President he was and how terrible of a human being he still is. I don’t recall “Moron” being a racist term, nor “War Criminal” nor “Lying sack of poop” regarding some of the things Bush has been called. Now Obama, on the other hand, has been called many things with the N-bomb being used very liberally (ironically enough) by the most Conservative-minded yet intellectually handicapped individuals. Referring to someone as “subhuman mongrel” who happens to be of mixed heritage is pretty damned racist. Referring to someone as a “spoiled coke-head alcoholic child of privilege who screwed the country over and shat on the Constitution for the benefit of a few of his dad’s former cronies” is likely not nice, but not at all racist, nor entirely a lie. On that note, it isn’t exactly polite (nor at all intelligent) to invite members of government to “suck on my machine gun” while waving one around in front of a crowd. Nor is it very smart to say things like “If Obama wins again I will either be dead or in prison”. See, that kind of ignorant behavior deserves the reactions and consequences that it provokes. I stopped listening to Ted Nugent’s music and got rid of all of his CD’s that I had in my collection because I felt that if I were to continue listening to his music and possessing the CD’s, I was being complicit in his stupidity. Out of respect for humanity, I could not continue to listen to or possess anything affiliated with Mr Nugent,( which really pained me because I really liked his guitar playing!). I am coming precariously close to having to do the same thing with my KISS collection for similar reasons.

    • doug r. on

      Patrick, I agree with a lot of what you said, and I myself despise a lot of Nugent’s comments, but I still do & always will to his music,. When I do, that’s all I’m paying attention to, nothing else. Again, same goes for Springsteen, I disagree with a lot of his comments, but musically I love the BOSS, not every song as goes the same with Nugent, but overall, I just love their music.

    • doug r. on

      Always will LISTEN to his music, sorry for the typo’s! 🙂

    • Harry Taint on

      We get it Doug, you are a conservative Republican and you like Ted Nugent. To each his own. Have fun with your corn dog, your cotton candy and your Miller High Life at the county fair jamming to Cat Scratch Fever for the 1000th time. Oh, one more thing, please put your shirt back on. No one wants to see that.

    • doug r. on

      And I thought you were a mature individual? I am NOT, NOT a conservative Republican, I am a Independent. Don’t eat corn dogs, cotton candy, or drink Miller High Life. Yes, I like Ted Nugent’s MUSIC, NO, I don’t like all of his political views, same goes for Bruce, and a lot of others as well. Everybody has the same rights in this country, at least on paper. We get it Harry, whatever you are, you don’t like Nugent’s music, or his Political views, so why are you commenting on him? Because that’s your right, you have yours, and Ted has his rights as well. Shirt on or shirt off, whatever makes you comfortable, once again Harry, speak for yourself.

    • George on

      Teds no racist…he’s just a jackass that can’t keep his mouth shut…Even points that are valid sound absurd the way he says them and he does like the attention, but he obviously went too far this time with his shows getting cancelled

  • Speedking on

    Musical irrelevance for nearly 3 decades has hurt him most. He’s a jerk and fraud. He thinks mentioning Chuck Berry and James Brown will keep him out of trouble.

    • doug r. on

      Why think the worst? Maybe he mentioned them because he likes their music? They were musicians, Ted’s a musician, common ground, talking music, paying respect. Ted also mentions Roy Clark, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, I wonder if he mentions them to keep him out of trouble as well.

Leave a Reply