Ted Nugent's Midnight Special videos are a reminder that he was once worth watching

Ted Nugent at the Midnight Special
(Image credit: The Midnight Special)

The Midnight Special's recently launched YouTube channel continues to deliver the goods, and this time it's a quartet of videos featuring Ted Nugent when he was a musician.

The four performances – of Stranglehold, Wango Tango, Free For All and Violent Love – come from two shows hosted by Nugent, in November 1978 and September 1980. 

Free For All and an 11-minute Strangehold come from the first show, broadcast on NBC on the night of November 24, 1978, when Nugent performed alongside REO Speedwagon, AC/DC and Cheap Trick, while live footage of Thin Lizzy playing in London was shown, as were videos by Golden Earring and Aerosmith. The performance was scheduled to promote Nugent's Weekend Warriors album, which had been released two months prior.

Meanwhile, Wango Tango and Violent Love were from the show broadcast on September 5, 1980, three months after the release of sixth studio Scream Dream. Nugent played host to Steal Away hitmaker Robbie Dupree and Olivia Newton-John, while music videos by AC/DC, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend were shared. 

The four songs come from an era – the first show was broadcast the same year as his double-platinum Double Live Gonzo! album – when Nugent was known first and foremost for his his electrifying live performances, frequently arriving onstage dressed in a loincloth and swinging on a rope. These days, of course, he's most famous for his reactionary media pronouncements. 

Earlier this month, an upcoming Nugent show at the Avondale Brewing Co in Birmingham, Alabama, was cancelled after a backlash from members of the local community.  

In an Instagram Story, the venue said, "We have heard the concerns of the Avondale community, which is so important to us, and in conjunction with our partners, have taken the necessary steps to to cancel the Ted Nugent concert scheduled for July 18."

In response, Nugent tweeted, "liars & haters drunk on stupid incapable to debate me."