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(Credit: Gage Skidmore)

Music

Ted Nugent denies "hate" against Joan Jett

Guitarist Ted Nugent recently published a video on YouTube, where he expressed his thoughts on a list published by David Fricke through Rolling Stone in 2010. Although satisfied with the inclusion of many of the members, the American songwriter took umbrage with one notable alumnus. 

“So I just mentioned some killer, monster guitar players, huh? Some of the best that ever lived,” Nugent declared. “When you see the Rolling Stone magazine list of greatest guitar players, they list Joan Jett but not Tommy Shaw”.

While many may agree that Shaw is a more accomplished guitar player than Jett, some of Nugent’s language was strong enough to shock certain viewers: “You have to have shit for brains, and you have to be a soulless, soulless prick to put Joan Jett,” he said.

During his interview with Nugent, journalist David Spuria queried the singer on the comments he made on the video published live on December 30. “I started off by praising Joan Jett’s genuine shitkicker, down-to-earth, all-American rock and roll credentials,” Nugent replied. “I started off by praising her. I even saluted the lesbian thing.”

“Here’s the question,” Nugent continued, “How on God’s good green earth could someone listen to what I say and then claim it’s about hate and about knocking and belittling? Joan’s awesome. I mean, The Runaways. Her whole, ‘Put another dime in the jukebox, baby’. I mean, she’s the real rock and roll McCoy.”

It wasn’t her gender he took issue with, he claimed, but her prowess as a guitar player. “But belonging on the ‘top 100 guitar player’ list anywhere on planet earth, even ‘Boring’ Stone before genuine virtuosos of the six-string? That was my statement. I was only using Joan as an example because she happens to be a perfect one.”

Nugent re-iterated that his opinion on Jett was not based on malice or ill-feeling. “There was no hate,” Nugent elaborated. “I don’t have any hate. I had my hate amputated when I was five years old. No hate — all love and compassion and honesty. That’s what drives people crazy: my honesty.”

As of the time of print, Jett has yet to respond publicly to Nugent’s remarks.