Although the Amboy Dukes were originally organized in Chicago—which is a bit of an exaggeration because people in Chicago don’t consider Arlington Heights to be Chicago any more than they do Schaumberg—the band is better known as being from Detroit, one of the groups that had its heyday in the late 1960s along with a raft of others, including the MC5, SRC, Frost, Up, and the Bob Seger System (although purists would put “the Last Heard” in place of “System”). The first-named continues to resonate given that it had profound effects on bands that made it to a far greater extent than it ever did; the last-named has become known in relation to the Silver Bullet Band (good for him; bad for music; arguably “East Side Story,” “Heavy Music” and “2 + 2 = ?” are cuts that people should still go to school on; the later stuff: it works well in movie soundtracks).
(A digression: although it began in earnest in the early 1960s, Motown had a more lasting effect on Detroit—and music—than the aforementioned bands. It is incredible to think that out of a studio on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit (now a museum) music from the Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Martha and the Vandellas, the Miracles, and others was produced. One might argue that from 1961 to 1971 there was a true musical Renaissance in Detroit, the likes of which has never been bettered.)
The Amboy Dukes had one hit, “Journey to the Center of the Mind,” which was released in 1968 and was the Midwest version of a genre that came to be known as “Psychedelic Rock,” something that should have been left to the likes of Moby Grape.
The most notable sound on “Journey” was the lead guitar playing by Ted Nugent.
It would have probably been better for everyone (with the exception of the Nugent family members) had he decided to hang it up after that searing 3:11 single.
This looks awesome. I love that the trailer uses the Bob Seger System‘s “Heavy Music.” De-fucking-troit!
The filmmakers’ Facebook page claims a release date of Summer 2010, but they also say they “have more scheduled interviews in early 2010,” so we’ll see. Let’s hope this one has better luck than the ill-fated MC5 documentary, A True Testimonial.
Recently, the Nuge talked to the Detroit Free Press about some career milestones, including his time in Chicago during the winter of 1965:
“When my family moved to Chicago, I was heartbroken, but it helped create a fire in me. The Cellar was where everybody played, and the Shadows of Knight were the big bad dudes of town. The Chicago bands played well, but really white. It was too ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’; it lacked Detroit attack. Within weeks, my first edition of the Amboy Dukes owned that scene. We wiped the stage with the Shadows of Knight, because we played with the power drive so prevalent at the battles of the bands and BMF dances back in Michigan. That competitive spirit was in my blood.”
The Chicago bands were too white? Apparently, he’s changed his tune a little. Back in 1994, he waxed lyrically about “a REAL America with workin’ hard, playin’ hard WHITE motherfuckin’ shitkickers.”
Then again, in the next breath he defended his statement that he was “a bigger n—– than Russell Simmons will ever be” by claiming: “I meant that I’ve got SOUL, that I don’t resort to fuckin’ electronic drumbeats. And I listen to James Brown and Wilson Pickett and Sam and Dave. THOSE are n—–s! Those are fuckin’ GENUINE, SPIRITED African Americans.” So who knows how Ted really feels.
Ted Nugent has been suing venues lately for cancelling his scheduled shows because of “derogatory racial remarks” he allegedly made during a May 5 radio interview with some dumb morning show in Denver.
We at Glorious Noise thought this would be as good a time as any to remind people of the hilarious interview Bob Mack conducted with Ted Nugent in Grand Royal magazine, issue #2. Grand Royal is sadly missed; the magazine, the record label and the website were all exemplars of excellent taste.
Back in the day, on their audio/video page, Grand Royal offered the following mp3: Bob Mack vs. The Nuge. It’s quite possibly the funniest three minutes and twenty-four seconds you’ll ever hear. Enjoy.