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Former Ted Nugent guitarist says the rocker’s politics have “hurt” his legacy

“It hurts the brand to get yourself involved in politics and try to play music and rock and roll.”

Derek St. Holmes and Ted Nugent

Image: Scott Legato / Getty Images

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Former Ted Nugent guitarist Derek St. Holmes believes that the rocker’s controversial politics have “hurt” his career.

Asked if he thinks Nugent’s politics have diminished his guitar legacy in a recent interview with AL.com, St. Holmes replied: “The answer to your question is yes, I do. I was leery of doing an interview with somebody in Alabama because didn’t he have a gig banned or boycotted or something there? I think it hurts us a little bit. It hurts the brand to get yourself involved in politics and try to play music and rock and roll.”

“I want to go to a concert and have a good time — I don’t want anybody to bring the six o’clock news by me again, especially over a loud mic,” he continued. “All I want to do is play music and have fun, and to make everybody else have fun. I think that’s why we were so big.”

“Now when I go back and listen to the Double Live Gonzo! album and I think, wow, if we could have just gone back to that, to everybody having a good time. And if you’re not having a good time, well, then you can turn around and get the bleep out of here. That raucous kind of stuff. It just made us huge.”

The musician, who fronted Nugent’s band in the 70s, also touched on the rocker’s exclusion from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saying: “Should we be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Oh, yeah. But we won’t be in this because of politics and rhetoric. But maybe one day they’ll pull their heads from underneath their armpits.”

“Do I think it [being far-right politically outspoken] hurt Ted’s legacy? Yes, I think it did a little bit. But hopefully his guitar-playing and his attitude will supersede all that craziness as time goes on.”

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