Ted Nugent and Tacoma have a peculiar affinity with each another. Though few locals will admit it, our city is enchanted by the guitar-shredding, bow-hunting, hippy-hating, race-baiting loudmouth.
We’re like a wide-eyed child anxious for the next visit from fun-but-dysfunctional Uncle Ted.
Doctors simply have no cure for Cat Scratch Fever. How else to explain why “The Nuge” was booked for not one but two shows at the Emerald Queen Casino next month, on top of five other tour stops he’s made at the EQC since 2006?
His literary prowess also speaks volumes around these parts. In 2002, Nugent attracted some 400 fans to the Tacoma Borders store (may it rest in peace) for a reading and signing of his book, “Kill It & Grill It.”
The Motor City Madman has always been a good fit here. Look at his definitive album cover from 1977, and tell us that doesn’t look like a fellow who’d feel right at home at Western State Hospital.
Surely our local tribes must feel a deep kinship with Nugent, what with the way he hops around the stage in an Indian headdress and sings a song called “Great White Buffalo.” Surely they must admire his defense of such time-honored traditions as the Washington Redskins and the Tomahawk Chop.
Right? Well, um, apparently not so much.
Feeling pressure from social media and other sources, tribal leaders followed the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of American Indians. That tribe recently nixed a Nugent show because of his “history of racist and hate-filled remarks,” such as calling President Barack Obama “a subhuman mongrel.”
(In typical Nuge fashion, he deftly defused the controversy by labeling those responsible for canceling his Idaho show “unclean vermin.”)
Puyallup tribal spokesman John Weymer confirmed Thursday that the tribal council sent a memo to the EQC insisting that it never book Nugent again. Later, he said the Aug. 2 and 3 concert dates were canceled.
Weymer reportedly told the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch report: “I’ve met (Nugent) myself, and I can tell you he’s a jackass.”
But Terrible Ted must be in a jackass league by himself, because garden-variety onstage jackassery typically doesn’t lead to performers being banned.
Otherwise, that Jerry Lewis show at the EQC last year never would’ve seen the light of day.
But as of this week, The Nose is officially over you, Mr. President.
After seeing the mess his motorcade made in Seattle on Tuesday – freeway ramps shut down, traffic cameras shut off, commuters and Mariners ticket holders stuck between Barack and a hard place (sorry, couldn’t resist) – we were happy to be snubbed.
Air Force One dropped in at Boeing Field, and Obama was briefed by the governor on the Washington wildfires and, presumably, on the developing Ted Nugent-casino crisis.
Then he set off on a four-hour fundraising sprint through waterfront mansion land. Funny how his D.C. handlers must think the other Washington ends at the shores of Lake Washington.
So we’ll never know if Obama still stands foursquare behind Americans’ inalienable right to the $1.50 Costco hot dog-soda combo – a bold stance he took at a Sinegal fundraiser in 2012.
A Seattle Times reporter was allowed inside Tuesday’s other meet-and-greet among the Puget Sound’s big donors, known as “whales,” at the estate of real estate tycoon Bruce Blume.
There, as society-page folks sipped wine on the east lawn near the swimming pool, the president spoke about how the middle class is cynical and feels nobody’s looking out for them.
But the high point came earlier when Gov. Jay Inslee warmed up the crowd with this strange bit of worshipful beat poetry:
“You’ve got a Democratic president who is bending the arc of the moral universe forward.”
Wonder who slipped the pot edibles onto Inslee’s hors d’oeuvres plate.
“We’re all about that action, boss.”
Thankfully, Inslee stopped short of telling the audience to stop freakin’, call Beacon.