Enlarge Ted Nugent by Gage Skidmore, Taylor Hawkins by Stuart Jones, via Wikipedia.

Ted Nugent On Taylor Hawkins: “I Am Casting Judgment, Because Substance Abuse is Selfish”


Whenever a rock star’s death in any way involves drugs or alcohol, there is a body of genre fans that feels the need to chime in with something along the lines of, Sucks, but fuck you for killing yourself with that garbage. Instead of humanizing their fallen idols, or looking at what got them to where they were when they died, they see their addiction and substance abuse issues as a slight against their characters first and foremost, and their deaths as concrete vindications of that. And we guess it’s unsurprising that Ted Nugent is one of these people, as evidenced by a recent video he made in which he offered his two cents on the tragic death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins — but it might surprise some that he is not AS bad about it as one might expect.

Here was Ted’s take, via Blabbermouth:

 “It’s heartbreaking on so many levels. Fifty years old with a horrible, long-term celebration of substance abuse. I’m not… Well, I am casting judgment because substance abuse is selfish. His wife and daughter, they should have been taken into consideration. Is spending time with your wife and daughter more important than getting high or less important than getting high?

“I’ve told the story many times, but I’ve witnessed it. My bass player Greg Arama — so gifted at 15; listen to the bass part on ‘Journey To The Center Of The Mind’ by the Amboy Dukes — and the guy was just a gifted, a virtuoso, a savant of groove and musicality. And he started smoking dope and ended up with heroin and died when he was — I don’t know — early 20s. And the future he could have had. I told Jimi Hendrix, I said, ‘No, I don’t want your dope, and it’s gonna kill you, Jimi.’ Bon Scott [AC/DC] would come to the studio when my band was recording ‘Weekend Warriors’ [1978] out of Miami and AC/DC was coming in [and working on] ‘Highway To Hell’ — just phenomenal musical powers. And he’d come in drunk every day with a [bottle of] Jack Daniel’s or an Old Grand-Dad [whiskey] and he’d go, ‘Hey, Teddy, try some of this.’ And he smelled like a diaper. What a talent. What a nice guy. These were all nice guys.

“But what happens is the music can be so overwhelming, the delivery of your comedy or your art or your dream, it can be so obsessive that it’s hard to get rid of it. You know how with just a guy that doesn’t make music, sometimes it’s hard to get a song out of your head? Well, think of how difficult it is for those of us that make the art. And if they don’t have a bow and arrow — and a lot of people will dismiss this as being just absolutely too simple, but it’s not; it’s perfectly simple — if you’re so obsessed with delivering your art that you can’t escape it, they think drugs and alcohol with help. It only makes it worse.

“So, if you loved Taylor Hawkins — I loved him; I loved the man; I still love him,” Ted insisted. “But I love his wife and daughter more. Because they didn’t break his heart; he broke their heart.

“So, God rest Taylor Hawkins’s soul and all those stoners and drunks that died prematurely. Thank God for every day you’re above ground. Breathe deep, concentrate on the positive and show reverence for your gift of life and your sacred temple. Do not poison your sacred temple. It’s that simple.”

We like to think that even we can recognize when Ted Nugent is not being a total nutbar piece and shit, and we can say this: this is not the worst take in the world. Nugent is right to tip his hat to Hawkins’ family, and not end his rant with a big, Nice going, DICK, which a LOT of people have definitely been doing about the drummer’s death. He displays some restraint, and with a bar as low as his, that’s…commendable?

But it’s also bullshit. Addiction is more complicated than that, and so is fucking stress. Taylor Hawkins was in arguably the biggest rock band in the world, and if he had to chemically alter in order to deal with the stresses of that task, I don’t blame him. Nugent is a rock star, to be sure, but he’s not on Foo Fighters’ level (because only, like, Metallica and Green Day are), and so can’t comprehend what it was like to be Taylor Hawkins. Dude is standing over King Kong’s body, chiding him for climbing the Empire State Building.

And anyway, who’s Ted Nugent to judge ANYONE? Dude is a draft-dodger who wrote a song about banging 13-year-olds. And drugs are the problem? Fuck this dude, as always.

You can watch the whole thing below:

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