Is anyone surprised that Ted Nugent can’t take what he dishes out? The embattled rocker has insisted on having the last word in his recent beef with Joan Jett, after he said that the Runaways icon wasn’t deserving of her number 87 spot on Rolling Stone‘s very old list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: “I love her music,” Nugent said in a May 4th livestream on his YouTube channel. “Joan, I love you. It’s real rock and roll, awesome, plus I love lesbians. I think it’s cool.”
Rather than taking the logical route of putting the argument to rest, Nugent used the stream to talk in circles: “I said nothing but nice things about her,” he said. “However, Joan Jett can’t be on the Top 100 Guitar Players In the History of Rock and Roll before Rik Emmett of Triumph. She can’t be, and Joni Mitchell’s on the list but not Derek St. Holmes, not [Lynyrd Skynyrd’s] Ricky Medlocke, [Whitesnake’s] John Sykes, Chris Duarte, or Jimmy McCarty… I love you Joan, but you’re not a better guitar player than any of these guys, and she just attacked me.”
The musician, who recently called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist organization,” went on: “I said there are a lot of killer guitar players, and Joan is a good guitar player. She makes great music, it’s not adventurous as I like, but she’s awesome. So she viciously attacked me personally, saying I was jealous because I was not on it. I never mentioned I should be on it… With all respect Joan. I love you. I said I love her, but she’s on the greatest guitar player list, but Derek isn’t, Medlocke or Farner isn’t.”
These backasswards comments somewhat contradict Nugent’s original statement during another livestream back in December, when he said that “you have to have shit for brains and you have to be a soulless, soulless prick to put Joan Jett [on the list].” He did profess later on in the stream that he thinks Jett is a “great rock and roller.”
Nugent even doubled-down on that stance in a January interview with The Real Music Observer: “I started off by praising Joan Jett’s genuine shitkicker, down-to-earth, all-American rock and roll credentials,” Nugent said. “How on God’s good green earth could someone listen to what I say and then claim it’s about hate and about knocking and belittling?… She’s the real rock and roll McCoy. But belonging on the ‘top 100 guitar player’ list anywhere on planet earth, even ‘Boring’ Stone before genuine virtuosos of the six-string? That was my statement. I was only using Joan as an example because she happens to be a perfect one.”
Naturally, Jett had little patience for Nugent’s patronizing ways. “Is that his implication… that he should be on the list instead of me?” Jett asked after NME told her about Nugent’s snide remarks. “Well, that’s just typical — it’s what I’ve dealt with my whole life, being written off. Ted Nugent has to live with being Ted Nugent. He has to be in that body, so that’s punishment enough.”
Jett continued bringing the heat with perhaps the best insult in recent history: “This is the guy who shit his pants — literally — so he didn’t have to go in the Army.” (Back in 1977, Nugent infamously claimed he abandoned all personal hygiene procedures — including defecating in toilets — to avoid a Vietnam War draft.)
Now, Nugent can officially add beating a dead horse to his list of specialties, along with racism and conspiratorial COVID-19 denial. Watch his livestream below, if you must — his comments above begin around the 19:30 mark.
While Nugent continues scrambling for a crumb of relevancy, Jett will be hitting the road on tour with her rock ‘n’ roll peers in Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, and Poison this summer; grab tickets to see her over at Ticketmaster.