Frank Marino vs. Ted Nugent

"The Lowdown on the Showdown"


I was playing Detroit one night and Ted was the opening act and then halfway through my set his roadies pushed his amps onto our stage and he began trying to out-volume me. I was pretty stunned because I thought "what a jerk", but I didn't want my guys to throw him off the stage 'cause I felt that he'd make something out of it, so I played along with his gag and answered all of his riffs, quite easily I might add. I guess he got a little un-nerved 'cause the crowd could see that it wasn't really working for him, so he tried to finish it off by playing with his teeth, of all things, which he did real slow and jerky. I guess that he really didn't believe that I could do that 'cause i wasn't givin' to doing those things in those days, but any guitarist can tell you that it's quite easy to do, although I guess to Ted it was the "big hard", so after he finished his lick and the crowd grew silent waiting to see if I'd respond and I waited and waited until it got real quiet. You could hear a pin drop in that hall and I could hear a friend of mine offstage whisper, "do it". So after an enormously long pause, and just as Ted started to strut towards me, I picked up my axe to my teeth and let loose with a blitz of notes, loud, long and fast. Well, the crowd goes nuts and I guess Ted, to his credit, realized what happened so he falls down like he's been shot and I guessed that meant that I'd won or something. To this day, I think it was the single most stupid thing that I'd ever seen in music. I remember that Ted began to go around the country doing these battle shows. They asked if I'd do it with them but I declined. I think that this was the day that the "WWF" came to rock and roll and I really think that Ted was dumb to do that kind of crap. As to whether I blew Ted Nugent's doors off, I think we should ask the fans that were there and remember it. After that, Ted and I ended up at the same management for a while along with Aerosmith, and he always acted like he didn't like me very much, although I couldn't imagine why....

Frank Marino