Ted Nugent Refused Drugs From Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Bon Scott
The guitarist – whose disapproval of intoxication issues is well-known – reflected that he’d managed to avoid going down the same road through “luck” and added that he’s watched many of his musical heroes succumb to the negative effects of dabbling.
“My mom and dad were smoking, drinking alcoholics,” Nugent said in a Facebook Live interview with his son Rocco. “And I was surrounded, in the rock ’n’ roll world, by smoking, drinking, drugged idiots. So what's the difference between a person that falls for that versus a person who defies that? I haven't the faintest idea. … Some people look for an easy way out, and some people don't. I didn't. I think it was just shit luck. 'Cause my brothers and sisters smoked and drank, and they didn't even surround themselves with goofball rock ’n’ roll dirtbags. I did.”
Asked if he modeled himself on only clean-living musicians, Nugent cited his appreciation of Keith Richards to prove that wasn’t the case. “He’s a walking chemical dump, always stoned," he said. "But he is so deep … so grinding in emotion and authoritative in his musicality. ... Most of my influences got high right in front of me. … The MC5, they were all stumbling, puking, stupid drunk and stoned, and I admired them beyond description. But then it caught up with them. … I watched the drugs and alcohol destroy the energy that I admired, destroy the groove that I admired.”
Nugent described MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer as a close friend, but “I think to this day, he thinks that dope is essential. … I had a conversation with him not that long ago where we disagreed on the use of marijuana and other intoxicants. ... The point is that, lucky me, I could differentiate between the delivery of the things I admired versus the … conduct of those that I admired.”
He noted that “Jimi Hendrix offered me his drugs, and I said no. John Belushi offered me his drugs; I said no. Keith Moon offered me his drugs and alcohol, and I said no. Bon Scott offered me his drugs and alcohol, and I said no. I said no to everybody.”