Ted Nugent and Jack White and the Curious Incident of the Purloined Riff

I don't spend a lot of time thinking about Ted Nugent anymore, for reasons that are probably pretty obvious. Amongst other things, he's become supremely self-parodic in that same fashion as Jack Nicholson and Hunter Thompson and countless other stars who feel or felt they had to go further and further to perpetrate their own shtick.

But that's not why I'm here before you today.

Instead — and this is important — it puzzles me greatly that Nugent hasn't sued Jack White. Or, based on Big Ted's version of justice, at least shot White with a Carbon Express Maxima hunting arrow and field-dressed him onstage in Cobo Arena.

Why is this occurring to me now? Hell, I don't know.

BUT! It just seems to me that White's much-lauded riff in the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" is just a little too familiar to the guitar figure in "Living in the Woods," one of Nugent's fine early songs from the Amboy Dukes' similarly fine Tooth, Fang & Claw record.

Yes, there are marginal difference: White puts a rhythmic hiccup at the top, and his tone is infinitely more sucky than Big Ted's leonine roar (a Gibson Byrdland through six Fender Super Twin Reverb and six Dual Showman Reverb amps could power a 747).

Otherwise, methinks these riffs are too close.

Of course, it's completely possible White never heard any early Amboy Dukes albums. But he and Ted are both Detroit folks. Similarly, it's possible Big Ted has never heard the White Stripes or anything Tall Jack's done. Too busy strangling boars or whatever.

Either way: I just wanted to go on the record with what will surely be the biggest musical controversy of all time.

Reader Comments


Witnessing the electrocution of Gary Thain

Rick and Peter share favorite concert memories that had nothing to do with the music. Rick was in the front row when Uriah Heep bassist Gary Thain was electrocuted. Peter met As Fast As frontman Spencer Albee in the mens’ room. Listener Keith...

The passing of Barkley Hendricks, and grown men wearing concert t-shirts

Is it appropriate for an adult man to walk around wearing the jersey of his favorite sports team? How about a concert t-shirt? Aren't we just paying a band for the privlege of advertising for them? Shouldn't they pay us? Plus, reflecting on the...

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs, The Musical Box Genesis tribute, and the Knickerbocker All-Stars

Who deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Who's in the shouldn't be? Should music be a meritocracy similar to sports? Plus, Rick's thoughts on the Genesis tribute band The Musical Boz, and the Knickerbocker All-Stars.

New London Youth Talent Show, Bon Jovi, and Long Day's Journey Into Night

The seventh annual New London Youth Talent Show is coming to The Garde on Saturday night, Bon Jovi is coming to Mohegan Sun Arena, and Flock Theatre is staging performance of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" in real time in the...

Joshua Tree nostalgia, Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin’s final tour

Was U2's The Joshua Tree a life-changing album, or is it overrated? Is the new Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour a chance to cash in on nostalgia, or is the album relevant again in today's political climate? Plus: reflecting on the passing of Chuck...

Podcast: So you think you want to be a concert reviewer?

Some people think reviewing concerts is the coolest job in the world. Sometimes it is, but it's not always easy to write something that people will actually read. The Day's Rick Koster shares some things he has learned in his years writing about...

Eating at Guy Fieri’s and listening to bro-country

Rick Koster shares his thoughts on his recent dining experience at Guy Fieri's Kitchen+Bar at Foxwoods (Donkey Sauce! Trash Can Nachos!) and reveals his in-depth reseach into the Saturday party/Sunday church dichotomy in the lyrics of Florida...

Podcast: 20 years of The Rivergods

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi discuss the longevity of New London band The Rivergods, and preview tracks from their new album "State of the Union." Also, cellist Matt Haimovitz plays Connecticut College.

Podcast: Rick and Kristy go to The Oscars

Rick Koster and Kristina Dorsey discuss the upcoming Academy Awards, plus The Subdudes atThe Garde and The Banff Mountain Film Festival at Connecticut College.

Podcast: The Grammys and King Crimson at opposite ends of the musical spectrum

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi discuss the 2017 Grammy Awards and King Crimson's album Larks' Tongues in Aspic.

Podcast: Thor Jensen, Matt Charette and Super Bowl halftime shows

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi look forward to upcoming performances by Thor Jensen and Matt Charette, and discuss the distinction between music and entertainment in the Super Bowl halftime shows.

Body painting, funky Zappa covers, and dying rock stars

After the death of John Wetton, Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi talk about losing your musical heroes. Also, Hygienic body painting, The CarLeans, Mike Casey Trio, and The Z3.

Podcast: Revisiting favorite teen albums

Rick Koster and Peter Huoppi offer their takes on each other's top album from their teenage years.