Friday night in Fort Worth, Texas, the state's Republican party passed a platform that significantly liberalized its stance on immigration. Saturday night in Austin, Texas, Ted Nugent, one of the state's most infamous conservatives (and Romney-endorsers), offered up his own take on the general issue.
"There's an American Dream," Nugent said during his headline set at the massive Republic of Texas Biker Rally. "There's no French dream. There's no Cuban dream. There's no Spanish dream.
"Is there a Mexican dream, except 'Get the fuck out of Mexico?'," the Nuge finished. "I can't blame you."
By the standard of Nugent's April comments at the National Rifle Association convention or his 2007 broadside at Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, this was fairly tame material. Though the Motor City not-so-Madman performs in front of a giant Stars and Stripes and ends his set by re-enacting the planting of the flag at Iwo Jima (complete with a recording of the "Marines Hymn"), he got through the first 45 minutes of his 90-minute show without getting political.
Instead, Nugent regaled the crowd – a sea of biker vests, bandanas, Mardi Gras beads and (obviously) boobies – with Spinal Tap-caliber stage patter. He really likes to say "No Shit!" and at one point asked the "Republic of Texas Motherfuckers!" if they were "ready to dance with Uncle Ted?".
There's also plenty of pro-wrestling-level self-aggrandizement, with Nugent calling his own hard rock "Motown classics," (compared to Motown Records) and an "all-American soundtrack of defiance" (compared to the MC5?).
More humorously, he introduced "Cat Scratch Fever" as "the number-one love song in the history of the world," and perhaps less so, said that "Live It Up" is a song he and guitarist Derek St. Holmes (back in the band as of last year) wrote "when we were small black children."
"You motherfuckers deserve me," Nugent said into his Madonna-style hands-free mic. And, later: "I piss off assholes just for being myself."
Eventually, Nugent got to the current events portion of the set, explaining that his impressive display of 11 Gibson guitars (laid out across a wall of Marshall amps) was meant to be a message to the federal government, which is "infested with fucking criminals.
"Any pussies from the [U.S.] Fish and Wildlife out there, you want to take my guitars?," he bellowed, referring to the fact that Gibson has been raided for importing endangered wood. "Fuck you!"
"That's my favorite one," he also said, brandishing not a guitar, but a weapon. Nugent's shout-out to the "NRA gun nut motherfuckers out there" and his admonition, "put a fucking gun in your hand, Texas, stormtroopers coming" both got big cheers, as did a tribute to the "the warriors of the United States military," even as Nugent lamented that they have to do the bidding of this particular administration.
"They, unfortunately, are the real enemies right now." he said, without naming any names. "We're gonna fix it in November, aren't we boys and girls?"
One imagines that, as with most aging rockers (and politicial candidates) Nugent will parrot the same lines when he plays in Minnesota next week (and again when he returns to opening for REO Speedwagon and Styx on June 19th).
"I rock & roll my balls off all summer long," Nugent said. "The rest of the year, I just kill shit."
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