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Nugent's Full Moon Frenzy
By: Eric Kinkel
Many years ago on a hot July night I
went to see a Ted Nugent concert at the
Poplar Creek Music Theatre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, along with
Ted Nugent's mother, Ma Nugent, and my girlfriend at the time, Lynn. We picked up Ma and went to grab a bite to eat at a local
restaurant. On the way there we heard a news radio broadcast
announce that Ted's $60,000 Ford Bronco had been stolen from his
Michigan ranch. Distraught over the pending outcome, we were in a
hurry to get to the show to meet with Ted to find out what he knew
of the developing disaster.
Arriving on time we quickly headed backstage where Ted revealed that
he already knew about the stolen vehicle and that his Michigan law
enforcement friends were helping locate the missing truck, he said:“
they are out looking for the treasured custom
all-terrain mud swamp vehicle." Not much else was said after that.
The show was to stampede on!
We retired to our audience seats where Ma handed Lynn and I each
a set of ear plugs; regretfully I turned them down, though Lynn
accepted them graciously. The night air was warm and the crowd was
anxiously anticipating the arrival of Ted to the stage, though we
had to suffer the opening acts Yngwie Malmsteen, playing along with
'tapes' of a band, and at
the time, a relatively unknown Jon Bon Jovi.
As the moments ticked down to the pending arrival of Ted to
the stage I prepared Lynn for what she was about to see. She had
no idea what Ted's shows were like, or that his music created a
flutter, even within the calmest of hearts. She was, after all, a
vegetarian, and already had a preconceived notion of what she
thought he and his music was all about.
The lights went down and a scorching guitar solo began to scream
from the massive P.A. system of the Poplar Creek Music Theatre.
Suddenly a follow spot appeared as Ted was high upon a scaffolding
above the drum kit, head tilted backward and hair flailing in the
wind in a wild rock God frenzy. He was frighteningly close to the
top row of the theatre lights just above. It was at that moment, from either
side of me both of my arms were being grabbed, Ma to my right, and
Lynn to my left, a sudden moment of clinched madness came over them! It was hard not to be
affected by the shear excitement Ted generated as he opened with a
blazing version of 'Stranglehold', Lynn pushed her mouth to my ear
in the loudness of the tirade and said to me, 'he's beautiful'. Ma
continued to clinch my arm and was biting her lower lip with obvious
pride, shaking her head in a continuous expression of her
The stage was officially set afire! The band which Ted had at the
time included singer Brian Howe (formerly of Bad Co.). They went on
to peg every Ted Nugent classic with a fever that seemed to rise
throughout the night. Ted seemed better with every scorching guitar
solo and every primal scream. His music roared through the theatre
as if there were something pulling it to previously un-scaled
Afterwards we retired backstage for the usual banter, etc. Lynn
seemed to turn an about-face that evening after realizing that Ted
Nugent and his mother were genuine and ultimately special people.
After all they were my friends and she was my girlfriend. Did she
have a choice? Not! Though her final acceptance was reassuring.
Ted kissed her on the hand and took her breathe away for a moment.
She was now officially a fan! When all was quiet and others were
engaged in trivial conversations, I took a stroll out onto the
stage, which looked due south. As I recall it was close to midnight
and the stage was practically empty, with some crew members still
clearing away last-minute gear. As I strolled about the stage I
tried hard not to get in the way, but I wanted to feel the coals
after the fire of Ted's show had died down. As I calmly walked to
the stage's center, I thought to myself that it was strangely bright
out for being so late at night; I looked up beyond the horizon of
the theatre’s seats. Perched up in the sky was a blazing full moon.
I tucked my hands into my blue jean pockets and said to myself, "Ah,
ha, that's what Ted was seeing all night long. It was to clear to me
where the fire came from'.
After seeing Ted in concert many times before that night, and many
times to follow, it became increasingly apparent to me that he often sees that full moon
virtually every time he performs, as if
it were somewhere beyond the audience, and that he has never stopped
seeing it since. If you ever go to see a TN concert you will
know what I mean.
I still live with that memory, and often think of that night as an
inspiration to follow my own full moon.
Pass it on !
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01/14/2015 06:11 PM
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