Ted Nugent’s solo career took a detour in the early ’90s with the Motor City Madman joining Styx’s Tommy Shaw, Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and current Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Michael Cartellone in the supergroup Damn Yankees. In a new chat with Bravewords, Nugent stated that he still keeps in contact with the members and would be open to more music, though also adding that everyone’s respective careers have kept that possibility on the back burner.
“What a great band. What a great bunch of guys, what a bunch of soulful bastards. I just love original American rhythm and blues rock ‘n’ roll, and we incorporate it in every song, every songwriting, every performance. I have nothing but incredible respect for Tommy (Shaw) and Jack (Blades) and Michael (Cartellone),” stated Nugent of his onetime group. “Of course, Tommy’s been so busy since the Damn Yankees last tour in ‘93. In those five years we sold five million records, created some incredible songs, performed unbelievable concerts. Those guys are so soulful.”
Nugent says that after the band’s second album, he, Shaw and Blades all had plans for their other projects and Cartellone soon landed his Lynyrd Skynyrd gig, so Damn Yankees was less of a priority.
As for the idea of possibly revisiting the band and creating more music, Nugent offered, “Everybody is busy as hell. But I’ve always said, I’ve got a lot of piss and vinegar and I keep in touch with Jack and Mike and Tommy, and it’s unlikely that we’ll get together and do another Damn Yankees delivery, but it’s not impossible. We all want to, it’s just a matter of logistics. It’s hard to get in the same room together with all their pursuits and my pursuits, and prioritization – our expanding families, our love of quality family time – but it’s not off the table.”
He continues, “I guarantee you this, if we got in the same room together you couldn’t inhale and exhale before we came up with a killer piece of soulful music. These guys, they literally live, eat, breathe and shit fiery music. It happens instantly, spontaneously, and it’s like a primal scream every time we plug in. Within seconds a groove starts and Tommy and Jack unleash their unbelievable soulful vocals and I just unleash the beast, and Michael grinds it like he’s auditioning for James Brown. It has a life of its own but it’s a matter of the very difficult logistics of getting in the same place at the same time. I can pray for it, and I would like you to join me in praying for it.”
Damn Yankees released a pair of albums – 1990’s self-titled release which spawned the hit singles “High Enough,” “Coming of Age” and “Come Again” and 1992’s Don’t Tread which yielded the rock hits “Where You Going Now,” “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Mister Please.”