Out Your Backdoor

Indie Outdoor Lore 'n' More

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The Nuge pays his respects...

November 12, 2004

People like to make fun of Ted Nugent---and he is a funny guy. But he does a wide range of outdoorsy, populist things and I give him props for that. What I like most is that he made his big mid-90's comeback with this album, "Spirit of the Wild." This is when he really came out publicly as a bowhunter with the song "Fred Bear" and that's what made his career again. He coulda never known it would pay off. He was just paying his respects.

It's a case of two totally separate worlds if you ask the consultants---pop music and bowhunting. But it turned out that a lot of people who like Detroit rock also like the up north woods. It was a fresh, improbable populist stroke of genius. And it's a great song. Fred Bear was a hero of Michigan---a gangly, quiet, woodsy guy who humbly started bowhunting as we know it and was the biggest employer up north for a couple decades. I think it's just way cool that the Nuge stood up and paid massive, national respect to this sleeper of a role model. Turns out
he wasn't so sleeper after all. Fred Bear was a role model to millions---me, too---who remember him well even though he was never in the mass media spotlight, and the public rewarded Ted for his gesture. As Ted says in the lead-in to the subsequent acoustic version of "Fred Bear": "I want to thank you all for making this the greatest song of a musician's life."

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