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The Nuge

I got an assignment to shoot a Ted Nugent concert a few weeks back and eagerly accepted. Say what you want about his politics, I really love some of the guy's music. And shooting for the media outlet that I do, gives me access that a lot of other people don't get. My presence at the show indirectly sparked a huge controversy between the various media outlets in town. The daily newspaper claims to be conservative but really they are when they want to be and they apparently are on a witch hunt for ole Teddy. The Liberal Entertainment paper is the one I freelance for and for whom I was shooting that night and they are backing me on my side of the story.

Here's the whole drama in a nutshell. Ted comes out and is doing his little schtick to get the already rowdy crowd revved up a little more and he says, "There sure are a lot of white people in the audience. Y'all should do something about that!"

Now I was standing between the edge of the stage and the security barrier, maybe 7 feet from Ted when he said this. Close enough I could hear his voice above what everyone else was hearing through the microphone. Plus I'd gotten my Boss into the show and he was shooting with one of my cameras and standing on the other side of Ted about the same distance away. He heard basically the same thing. It is currently being disputed whether a reporter from the daily was actually there at all. They certainly didn't have media permission to be there. That's what's nice about working for my paper. We have a contract with the venue to provide publicity photos so I have an all-access pass for any event I want to cover there. Everyone else has to get special permission. Anyway, the photo the daily paper ran looked to have been snapped from something like an iPhone from the balcony. We think they got all their info second-hand from a fan afterward. The story they ran the next day accused Nugent of going on a racist rant and saying, "There sure are a lot of white people in the audience. I like that!"

As you can imagine, this has touched off a huge war of words from the various media outlets and even Nugent himself is writing a letter to the daily to set things right. The venue ran a rebuttal to the newspaper story on their website. I wrote the rebuttal. Then the whole editorial board of the daily supported an editorial basically saying "shame on you" to all the fans that cheered when Nugent was going on his "racist rant" and how racism is alive and well here in Iowa. Most recently, the editor of the paper I work for quoted me several times in an editorial he ran in his paper and of course this has generated tons of vitriol on each media outlet's website.

What the daily failed to mention in any of their stories was that Nugent talked specifically in his show about racial prejudice and how we are all the product of all the people that have come before in our society and how much we owed to the people of all races that came before. Then he launched into a 20 minute retrospective of the contributions of black performers to rock and roll in particular.

Controversy aside, it was a great show and another lesson for me in the need to be able to separate the artist from the art. Here's a couple of pics.

And yes, he was actually pointing at me here.




( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Great pics! :)

But isn't there enough racism out there in the world? What a shame that people have to make it up when it isn't there! :(
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
I think this paper just wants to be controversial and be more in the limelight because they are struggling so they grasp for any straws they can.

Aug. 30th, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
Well, he did do a song called "The Great White Buffalo." ;)

Nugent is guilty of playing to his crowd more than anything else. From what I gather, even he is taken aback by how extreme it's become out there.
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
I usually get to shoot backstage at all the performances. For Nugent, no one could be backstage because he'd actually been attacked by activists who falsely obtained press credential at several shows. Crazy man.

Aug. 30th, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
Great photos - they really show the excitement!

You're telling me nobody at all video recorded this thing to put this pointless argument to rest? Amazing.
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
I got video of him doing Fred Bear. I'm assuming the venue recorded it but if they did, they have not revealed so and in fairness, they may have had a contract not to record video. No one but the paper has disputed my recollection of the events though. And after the paper essentially called the whole audience a bunch of ignorant, bigoted rednecks, I can kind of see why. Bet I'm not real popular over at the daily right now.

Aug. 30th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
He still performs? Huh. I didn't know he had time between hunting seasons, LOL

I don't get him. He's Mister outdoors, shoot'em and bow and arrow, climb a tree and wait to kill a deer, but he has the scrawniest little womanly fat arms I've ever seen on a guy.
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
He is pretty wimpy. But he's also 62 years old so there is that.

Aug. 30th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Dave Draper-(born April 16, 1942)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947)
Sylvester Stallone (born July 6, 1946)
Hell, most of the cast for The Expendables are in their 60s. I can't figure how Uncle Ted is able to pull back a bow with those girly arms because bows are tough! I have trouble with a lot of them.
Aug. 30th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
I'd imagine he has one custom made to his strength level. When you have the money he has...

Aug. 30th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
Sometimes people hear what they want to hear, I guess. :-\
Aug. 30th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'd agree. I think the daily was pretty surprised that more people didn't side with them though.

Aug. 30th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Interesting story! The general climate about all this stuff is pretty scary to me all around.

But... your photos are REALLY great stuff. :)
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
I think the paper is making a mountain out of a molehill. African Americans started moving into Dubuque in the 1940's and there was of course some difficulty with integration back then. The paper wants people to believe it is still just as bad even if it's not.


Aug. 31st, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
He seems like a cool guy. What drama!!!
Aug. 31st, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Big time drama!

Aug. 31st, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
What an interesting life you have. ;)
Aug. 31st, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
Awww shucks ma'am. heheheeh

Sep. 1st, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Great pictures.

There is a fond spot in my heart for Terrible Ted. Even today, there are times I need to hear some Ted Nugent.

The media is selling ads. I'm just sick of it.
Sep. 1st, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
Yep, I could listen to Stranglehold over and over.

Sep. 1st, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
I can take him or leave him. Great photos though!
Sep. 1st, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Same with me for the man. I just like the music.

Sep. 1st, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm with you: say what you will about his politics, Nugent can still rock.
Sep. 1st, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Fuck yes he can rock.

Sep. 2nd, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, Wander, this is intense! What a great opportunity, and what a terrible drama. Damn! :)

Still, you have a way of attracting the most interesting things in life. :)

Sep. 2nd, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Ah well, I got a message from Robin (the bird) earlier that week that I was going to need to use my voice very soon. So when the paper came out with a rather biased story the day after the concert, I couldn't really sit silent on it. And publicity is publicity. I haven't even been here a year and my name has been prominent in the press already. Also people expect me to show up and photograph the music scene and look forward to seeing my photos. It's not a bad position to be in.

Miss you sweetie. Watch out for the hurricanes.

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )