Enlarge Nugent, himself a completely sane person, blames drugs for Roth's alleged mental state.

Ted Nugent Says David Lee Roth is “Out of His Mind”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Completely sane person Ted Nugent says that he was never able to have a meaningful conversation with iconic Van Halen singer David Lee Roth — because Roth is “out of his mind.”

Speaking to some random podcast with 845 subscribers, Nugent admitted that as a performer, at least, DLR is the shit:

“I admire and praise his entertainment gifts; he’s a monster. Tell me that all that David Lee Roth music with Van Halen isn’t a smile eruption in our life. I mean, what a fun, cocky, soulfy guy. He really does evoke, emulate and deliver touches of James Brown and Wilson Pickett and some Motown melodious grunt, and certainly the blues and the gospel and the rhythm and blues masters — you can hear that in David Lee Roth. I don’t think he’s ever been given credit for those talents and those musical capabilities that I just mentioned. So I’m glad I just mentioned them, because they should be attributed to him, ’cause he did deliver them with aplomb.”

After giving everyone a moment to digest the fact that Ted Nugent knows what “aplomb” means (and to contemplate whether or not he deliberately used the word “eruption”), Nugent went on to basically say that Roth is also a drug-addled mess:

“I’ve always been militantly against substance abuse, and it’s an absolute crime — literally and figuratively — and David’s a perfect example. Again, I love him — I hope he’s happy, I hope he’s healthy. He seems to know what happiness and health is; God bless him. Thank you, David, for enriching our lives with your incredible music. God bless you. But tragically — and this goes to Eddie [Van Halen] too, and my encounters with Jimi Hendrix and so many people — you couldn’t have a meaningful dialogue. It was all stoned disconnect, whereas when I sat down with B.B. King and when I sit down with Joe Perry and Steven Tyler, even though there were moments when it was hopeless — there were moments… And Sammy Hagar’s a perfect example. We have a meaningful, man-to-man, human-to-human, fun, deep bullshit session, because he’s in tune with himself — and he’s real good at getting out of tune with himself.

“But my point is, I think it’s important to note that the incredible amount of hours that I’ve been honored and humbled to spend with some of the most powerful music authorities in the world, there was nothing to be shared because they were drunk or stoned. All those moments reinforce my anger and hate for people who leave the world to drop out comfortably numb. They don’t make anybody happy [when they do that]. They don’t owe me happiness, but wouldn’t it have been great for a smartass like David Lee Roth and a smartass like Ted Nugent to discuss the art of smartass? I would have loved to have had that conversation, but there was no chance for it — the guy was out of his mind.”

Nugent’s assertion is a complicated one. Some of what he says is true (David Lee Roth is nuts) and some of what he says is B.S. (Ted Nugent is not smart enough to be a smartass) and some of what he says makes no real sense (his second example of great conversations with sober musicians is Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, who were infamously known as “The Toxic Twins” due to the amount of drugs they consumed, and his third example is Sammy Hagar, whose persona is that of a high-functioning alcoholic).

That still makes this the least-offensive argument the guitarist has ever proffered.

So that’s something.

David Lee Roth recently added a handful of additional dates to his residency in Las Vegas this January. He says those those shows will be the last of his career. The whole residency now looks like this, set to take place at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay: December 31, January 1, January 5, January 7, January 8, January 14, January 15, January 21, January 22. Tickets are now on sale here if you’re lucky enough to snatch some.

Ted Nugent, meanwhile, is, I dunno, headlining a grocery store somewhere and getting paid to stay the fuck away from somewhere else.


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