Aug 13, 2003 at 12:00 am

Hey, dude. I wanted to tell you how much I really used to dig on your music. I too grew up in Detroit and fancied myself the proverbial Motor City Madkid. Your ’70s solo records, crammed with all those droning, teenage wasteland turn-’em-up-and-go-for-it rips, simply sent me. I mean c’mon, Motor City Madhouse, Free For All, Cat Scratch Fever? Fuck, yeah! When I was in my embarrassing prepubescent days, my buds and I loved jamming out to your thumb-headed, pussy-want anthems. And those album covers? Dude, Weekend Warriors was killer!

But these days you scare the hell out of me. I just checked out your new album, and I don’t understand where you are coming from. You go from simple songs about chicks and partying to these horrible odes to animal slaughter and blind, pro-United States mantras about kicking foreign ass. What gives?

Maybe you always were the right-wing orator of rock but I was too young to notice, a sucker to the killer guitar riffs. Still, as a pimply, insecure teen trying to cop his first feel or sneak smokes behind the corner dime store, I knew your lyrics were never profound.

Listening to you then I may have occasionally thought about hunting but, admittedly, I was one of those who got teary-eyed when neighborhood kids tumbled squirrels off phone wires with BB guns. So I guess you would call me a pussy. Yet you trumpet the words "kill it and grill it’ with such regularity I can’t help but think that’s simple homophobic overcompensation. See, I believe two gay dudes comfortable in a relationship says a hell of a lot more about masculinity than does some guy butchering unarmed and unprotected animals.
The thing that gets me most is how you continue to chirp on about "partying," then drag over the coals anyone who exercises his or her personal right to drink and drug. And you do so in a sanctimonious and patronizing way. How un-American! My question is this: What makes your experiences more important than anyone else’s? Worse, whenever you go on about the evils of booze and drugs, it’s always tainted with self-service. It’s all about your badass self. Who the fuck cares?

I guess I always knew you were a hilljack, but as a kid it seemed less like a lifestyle and much more about fun. What ever happened to that sense of permissiveness? Maybe then I didn’t know any better. Perhaps I still don’t. But I do know now to avoid your albums, as do the millions of record buyers who’ve abandoned you. Thanks for the fun times we once had, and may a wild boar tear out your larynx so we won’t have to endure your tepid and oh-so-tired shrill.Sincerely, Ricky Phillips


Ted Nugent will perform with Aerosmith and Kiss at Comerica Park on Friday, Aug. 15. For info. call 248-645-6666.

E-mail Ricky Phillips at [email protected].