After an Indian tribe in Idaho cancelled a planned Ted Nugent concert at its casino earlier this week, detractors in other states have joined the effort to compel organizers elsewhere to call off his upcoming shows.
One such initiative, focused on a performance this weekend in Oshkosh, Wis., got a response from the outspoken conservative rocker.
“I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy,” he said in an interview published by the Appleton Post Crescent.
The performance, set to be part of a music festival called Waterfest, was first targeted by protesters who published a petition online to prevent his appearance. A local penned a letter to the editor demanding Nugent be kept out of the festival, a sentiment echoed by critics just days before he is set to perform.
In addition to the Idaho cancellation and protest in Wisconsin, the Post Crescent reports that a Texas town paid him to stay out of a recent Independence Day show; and another demonstration against an upcoming concert is set for New Jersey in coming days.
Nevertheless, the 65-year-old star said the backlash has no bearing on the dedication he has to his craft.
“Put your heart and soul into everything you do and nobody can stop you,” he said. “Sometimes you give the world the best you got and you get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you got anyway.”
In typical Nugent fashion, he used the forum to personally address those who have been attacking his character.
“By all indicators,” he asserted, “I don’t think they actually qualify as people; but there has always been a lunatic fringe of hateful, rotten, dishonest people that hate happy, successful people.”
Amid the recent criticism, Nugent offered his gratitude to his fans and the men and women in uniform he has so often worked to support.
“I have been blessed to be welcomed into the lives of U.S. military heroes forever and have come to know the serious price paid for freedom and the American dream,” he said. “I have vowed to these warriors that I will put to use to the best of my ability those freedoms and rights that they have sacrificed to provide we the people in this sacred experiment in self-government.”
He concluded that every citizen can do his or her part in protecting the rights so many have died to preserve.
“I believe raising hell and demanding accountability from our elected employees is job one for every American,” he said. “I am simply doing my job.”