MARQUETTE - Sporting a U.S. Border Patrol hat, a camouflage shirt and championing his own version of the American Dream, "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent took the stage at the Berry Events Center at Northern Michigan University Tuesday.
But instead of the screaming guitar riffs that made him famous, he shared his views on the Second Amendment, the government, foreign countries, drugs and hunting.
The outspoken and often controversial outdoorsman was met with thunderous applause many times throughout his speech while sharing his views or, as he put it, "the truth."
Survivalist and guitar hero Ted Nugent entertained hundreds of area residents at Northern Michigan University’s Berry Events Center Tuesday. (Journal photos by Claire Abent)
"Later on in my presentation, I'll give you some opinions on things," Nugent said. "But for now, I'm sticking to the truth."
Notorious for his love of hunting and guns, Nugent addressed what happens when he is accused of going out to "kill Bambi."
"If anyone mentions the words 'animal' and 'rights' in the same sentence, I'm killing 100 extra deer for you. I mean it. I have the tags," he said.
Nugent was born and raised in Michigan and was a longtime resident. He has since moved to Texas, but he had some words of wisdom for those still living in the state.
"Be careful my friends. Be careful my friends of the once great state of Michigan that someone doesn't force you to sing the French national anthem. Where your ineptitude will define the law of the land because you're too stupid to take care of yourself," he said. "The worst curse of mankind is dependency. It will break you slowly."
And he said that although he has been gone for some time, he would always have a special attachment to the state.
"I'll be a Michiganian for ever. I was born in Detroit, Dec. 13, 1948," he said. "My spirit is here I am Fred Bear's son in the Great Lakes state of Michigan."
Nugent spent time during his speech talking about his anti-drug and alcohol stance, as well as encouraging people not to sit around and expect things to happen for them. Through hard work, he said he was able to achieve what he wanted in life.
"This is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds of piss and vinegar and independence and a work ethic that can crush mountains. It's called the American Dream. Period," he said.
While Nugent freely expressed his negative feelings about the U.S. government, he also acknowledged that in America, people are allowed to do things you can't do in any other country.
"Just to make it clear, America is the good guy. The rest of them are evil," Nugent said.
To address one of the most contentious topics of the time - health care - Nugent said he was sick of footing the bill when other people refused to take care of themselves.
"Health care, my ass. Health care, my ass. No health care. Care about your health," he said.
Nugent rounded out the evening by picking up an animal-print electric guitar and much to the crowd's delight, playing a rousing rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." He also held an autograph session after the show in which he accepted donations for charity in exchange for his autograph.
Matthew Fusilier, president of the NMU College Republicans, said the event went off smoothly with no problems and that everyone who attended really enjoyed Nugent's speech.
"The people who were there loved it. I think everything he said was great because that's what everyone wanted to hear," he said.
Fusilier also said when Nugent picked up his guitar, it couldn't have been any better.
"That was an appropriate finish and an exciting finish," he said.
About 1,000 people attended the event, according to Fusilier, which the College Republicans co-hosted with the NMU Sportsmen's Gun Club.
Claire Abent can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.