by TED NUGENT
I’M SPOILED. I ESTABLISHED many, many years ago during the roaring Amboy Dukes days in the early 1960s that the only way to successfully deliver the ultimate killer rock ‘n’ roll show every night is to run your operation like a US Marine Corps Drill Sergeant taking a hill.
I performed all the tour manager duties for those first years of brutal 300-plus rockouts annually, and I learned fast how sensible logistics will make or break a tour and the spirit of the band, and therefore, ultimately, the quality of the music.
Tour management is not rocket science, but to do it right takes a higher level of awareness and an absolute “take no crap” pragmatic touch to cover the myriad of details a grinding tour demands. The master tour managers like Bob Quandt, Ted Emporellis and Joe Garlipp leave nothing to chance and command efficiency from the crew and facility personnel without compromise. They demand professionalism from all at all times, while remaining polite but unwavering.
My crews have always been the best, and a killer tour manager must make certain there are no crybabies, losers, dopers, drunks or excuse makers. I will not let my team babysit anyone. Every member of the team must be clean, sober, the master of their responsibilities and capable of doing everything and anything to perfection. And they do. Great tour managers must have an omniscient overview of everything from advance travel preparation to how much duct tape is purchased and how it is used.
The industry is plagued by embarrassing sagas of irresponsible, unprofessional, drunken, doped-up criminal musicians and crews that are blights on mankind and the industry. I am proud to say no such subhuman debris has ever been part of my wonderful career.
Beyond all those demanding capabilities, the top tour managers are kind, smart, friendly gentlemen who know how to get along with people and take care of business without any psycho baggage allowed from anyone. I am celebrating the greatest tour of my life with the best band, crew and management team in 50 years, delivering the most potent music and shows ever, and that is a direct result of the best professional tour managers at my side. I use the Aboriginal term “BloodBrother” to describe people who dedicate themselves to be the best that they can be and are always there for you when you need them. My tour managers are my BloodBrothers. —Ted Nugent
Since winning the Battle of the Bands in Detroit at age 14—where he performed a solo on the judges’ table—legendary guitarist Ted Nugent has performed more than 6,000 shows over five decades. With the dedication of a no-nonsense team, he has never missed a flight.