Ted Nugent has defended his previous comments about the passing of FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins, explaining he was just “being compassionate and empathetic and supportive.”
Nugent previously said: “Fifty years old with a horrible, long-term celebration of substance abuse. I’m not… Well, I am casting judgment because substance abuse is selfish. His wife and daughter, they should have been taken into consideration. Is spending time with your wife and daughter more important than getting high or less important than getting high?
He continued: “I’ve told the story many times, but I’ve witnessed it. My bass player Greg Arama — so gifted at 15; listen to the bass part on ‘Journey To The Center Of The Mind’ by the AMBOY DUKES — and the guy was just a gifted, a virtuoso, a savant of groove and musicality. And he started smoking dope and ended up with h*roin and died when he was — I don’t know — early 20s. And the future he could have had.
“I told Jimi Hendrix, I said, ‘No, I don’t want your dope, and it’s gonna kill you, Jimi.’ Bon Scott [AC/DC] would come to the studio when my band was recording Weekend Warriors  out of Miami and AC/DC was coming in [and working on] Highway To Hell — just phenomenal musical powers. And he’d come in drunk every day with a [bottle of] Jack Daniel’s or an Old Grand-Dad [whiskey] and he’d go, ‘Hey, Teddy, try some of this.’ And he smelled like a diaper. What a talent. What a nice guy. These were all nice guys.
“But what happens is the music can be so overwhelming, the delivery of your comedy or your art or your dream, it can be so obsessive that it’s hard to get rid of it. You know how with just a guy that doesn’t make music, sometimes it’s hard to get a song out of your head?
“Well, think of how difficult it is for those of us that make the art. And if they don’t have a bow and arrow — and a lot of people will dismiss this as being just absolutely too simple, but it’s not; it’s perfectly simple — if you’re so obsessed with delivering your art that you can’t escape it, they think drugs and alcohol with help. It only makes it worse.
“So, if you loved Taylor Hawkins — I loved him; I loved the man; I still love him,” Ted added. “But I love his wife and daughter more. Because they didn’t break his heart; he broke their heart.
“So, God rest Taylor Hawkins‘s soul and all those stoners and drunks that died prematurely. Thank God for every day you’re above ground. Breathe deep, concentrate on the positive and show reverence for your gift of life and your sacred temple. Do not poison your sacred temple. It’s that simple.”
Now, Ted once again touched upon the subject of Taylor‘s passing while lamenting the fact that “The Nightly Nuge” keeps “getting labeled as ‘hate speech'” by some.
Nugent said: “When the great drummer, and I understand he was a great, fun guy and a loving husband and a loving father, Taylor Hawkins of the FOO FIGHTERS, when he died, we did a tribute to him here on ‘The Nightly Nuge’, and I played a very emotional love song that had come out of me for my brother John when I lost him, showing great compassion, showing great empathy for the band, for his family, for his fans, showing nothing but love but identifying the intentional abuse of substances as being selfish.
“Well, the tsunami of attacks against me for being compassionate and empathetic and supportive and identifying a booger in someone’s nose, labeled as ‘hate speech,’ it’s unbelievable. If that speech wasn’t ‘love speech,’ I don’t know what would be love speech. But love speech sincerely and genuinely critiquing or even identifying something you disagree with or that is glar[ing]ly dangerous and irresponsible as hate speech, that’s a manifestation of total cultural abandonment of the good will and decency and genuine support for your fellow man that you and I were raised in.
“So everybody out there, speak your mind, be a critical thinker, articulate yourself honestly, and if they call it ‘hate speech,’ they’re the haters,” Nugent added. “Those who accuse us of hate speech are the real haters. And I couldn’t be more confident of that.”