RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Martin Popoff - Epic Ted Nugent (book)

Rating: B+

In 1976, Martin Popoff's life was changed. He saw Ted Nugent live in concert for the first time. Now, a bazillion album reviews and dozens of books later, The Mighty Martin, rock scribe to the stars, is back with a new book titled Epic Ted Nugent. The book is a detailed look at the Epic Records released from The Whackmaster himself.

Epic were the glory years for Nuge, as Popoff reveals details about the writing of the songs, the album production and the inner band warfare of some of the most classic tunes Nugent ever pumped out. He does this by interviewing, not only Nugent, but also his band members, Rob de la Grange, Cliff Davies, Derek St. Holmes and the many other cast of characters throughout Nugent's history.

Popoff leads up through the last days of Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes right into Ted's eponymous debut and beyond. The reader gets all of the behind the scenes details about the albums Ted Nugent, Free For All, Cat Scratch Fever, Double Live Gonzo!, Weekend Warriors, State of Shock, Scream Dream and Intensities in 10 Cities. Nugent touts his strengths while those who surrounded him tell of his weaknesses. Ted is called everything from a genius to an asshole by bandmates and those privy to the inner workings of the band.

One of the greatest aspects of this book is Popoff's ability to resist Nugent's hunting rhetoric. This one is not for his Scoal chewing, beer swilling, gun nut, blood brothers; its for his head banging, guitar loving, weekend warrior, crank it up to eleven music fans. Popoff coaxes story after story about tours, recording performances, live album cuts and reflections of yesteryear by Nugent and others, making this a true rock and roll diary of the music of Ted Nugent.
There are interviews from the best rock magazines of the day as well as interviews that occurred over the past few years. This gives both a historical and a current look in the rear view mirror perspective, making this a very unique book. Popoff goes on to include Ted post Epic career, though not very flatteringly, that is until he gets to Nugent's last two studio albums, Craveman and Love Grenade. He absolutely loves these albums and has no problem saying so.
What is great about this book is that it is as close to the truth as we can get without actually being there. Nugent may not like some of what is said about him, but from a fans perspective, it shows how those that were there, both Ted, band members, producers and managers, saw it go down.
Here are some of the question that Popoff's book answers:

Is Ted a musical madman on the guitar? Yes.

Can he be a total jerk to those he works with? Apparently so.

Does he believe the crazy stuff that comes out of his mouth? Indeed he does.

Is he a, deep down, a good man? Sounds like it.

All in all, Popoff allows us to see that Nugent is a great guitar player with a healthy ego that has made some great moves and some not so great moves. He shows that Nugent, behind the hype, the attitude, the energy and the six string onslaught, is also a human being. He does good. He does bad. He believes in himself to a fault, yet it is that very belief that gave us these great albums.
Epic Ted Nugent? Epic indeed. Read this one...its a true free for all!

By Jeb Wright