Ted Nugent's controversial outbursts could seriously damage his future money-making potential, music industry experts claim.
He’s come under fire in recent months for a string of incidents – such as posing for pictures with animals he has shot and killed and calling US President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
A member of the controversial National Rifle Association (NRA), Nugent makes no apologies for his love of hunting and recently said he prays for his army of haters. He has also seen gigs at various casinos cancelled by owners, one of whom has described his views as “racist.”
But he may be forced into a rethink after analysts revealed the stream of incidents will eventually hit him in the pocket. And one observer believes the veteran rocker could find his future bookings confined to gun shows and partisan events.
Philadelphia-based promoter Larry Magid – who organised the city’s 1985 Live Aid concert – tells Media Matters: “If you’re going to say something political, you’re going to have some backlash, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you say.
“Nugent seems to have taken it to extremes. You can’t blame anyone for not wanting to play him, for all the baggage that he brings.”
On Nugent’s attack of Obama, Magid adds: “I don’t know if that’s frustration at not being a viable act, but it is stupid. If you are a musician, you’re trying to bring your music, your art to a broad group of people. It is one thing to take a stance, it is another thing when you are talking about the president of the United States.
“For all of the people enamoured with him, there are 20, 30 or 40 times that who aren’t enamoured. To me, it’s not bright – if I’m a promoter I’d have to think three or four times before I take a shot with this performer.”
Promoter John Scher of Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants says he’s has never seen such a public backlash. “I can’t really recall this kind of reaction,” he states. “Where’s the tipping point? I think he’ll find it will shrink to the places where his views are not so contrary to the views of the general population. I don’t see from an overall point of view how he is helping himself.”
Pollstar USA editor Gary Bongiovanni, whose publication tracks touring receipts, comments: “It’s a free country and Nugent has always had a big mouth. But if he keeps making incendiary statements, his future tours may be limited to NRA conventions and Fox News events.”
After cancelling three concerts planned for Native American-owned casinos in early August, Puyallup Tribe Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud branded Nugent a “jackass” who’d never be booked again. One of the rocker’s shows in New Jersey this month was picketed by around 75 protesters.