I wanted that shiny, handmade, custom, natural blond very expensive brand new Gibson Byrdland electric guitar so bad I couldn't see straight. It was the summer of 1965, and I had just been abruptly yanked from my home in Detroit where my killer rock band the Lourds had won the Michigan Battle of the Bands.
Due to my father's job change, we moved to the Chicago area, and the hard-earned momentum of my rock-n-roll dreams all came a-tumblin' down.
Within days I had put together what would soon become the iconic, legendary American garage band, The Amboy Dukes. My indefatigable Motor City work ethic, throttled on by my firebreathing Motown musical inspiration, was an unstoppable force to reckon with.
I was only 16 at the time, but something deep inside of me burned ferociously, and my musical dream was as clear as the nose on my face. That something told me I had to have a Gibson Byrdland guitar, and nothing else would do — case closed.
It was a strange choice of instrument for a gungho hard rocker, for this one of a kind, hand carved, arched spruce top, thin-line hollow body jazz guitar was rarely if ever used by rock guitarists. Chuck Berry had a brief stint with a Byrdland in the 1950s shortly after its debut, but other than Roy Clark and much later, a little dabbling by Eric Clapton, only the amazing Jimmy McCarty of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels played hardcore rock licks on a Byrdland.
And there she was! All aglow on the rack at Lyle Gillman's Roselle School of Music. The blonde Byrdland bomber called my name, and she called it out loud! But at 1,000 dollars, it may have just as well been priced at 10 million dollars, for my lawn cutting, car washing, leaf raking, snow shoveling, newspaper delivering, babysitting income would never cut the mustard at that price.
Fortunately my dad raised me right. When in doubt, I whip it out — my business savvy — so the answer was crystal clear; get more jobs, work harder, and make more money.
You see, the idea of giving up looking for a job, or a list of jobs one is not willing to take, were as foreign and ridiculous to me as eating dirt.
The first "help wanted" sign I saw was at a gas station near home. I got the job for a buck an hour and was determined to work hard after school each day and work every hour possible to save money for that guitar.
First night on the job, the two other guys couldn't possibly get to a customer fast enough to beat me to the punch, so I kicked butt all night long, and when I wasn't pumping gas, cleaning windshields, checking air pressure, or restocking the oil can racks, I hustled and scrubbed the bathroom, swept the floors, washed the station windows, and cleaned up nonstop. That's the way my dad taught me.
When the owner came in later that first evening, he looked around and asked who the hell cleaned everything up. I said that I had, and with a big ol grin on his face, the boss told me I would get a 100 percent raise, retro-active to my first hour on the job.
The other two guys looked shocked at each other, then asked why they hadn't been given a raise since they had worked there a much longer time. The owner somewhat scowled and smirked when he told them because they hadn't put forth any extra effort, so why should they get any extra money?
Well there ya have it America, especially you lazy bums who so embarrassingly chose to give up looking for work or won't work at jobs they consider beneath them. Have we become France?
Until America returns to the pride of excellence, productivity, and the pride of earned ownership, we will continue to spiral at high velocity down that suicidal death march of dependency that liberal democrats have brainwashed us into. I remember the real Detroit.
Entitled? Economic equality? Social justice? Are you kidding me? Those two jerks at the gas station sure would have loved to have a Barack Obama negotiate their wages for them.
You can't redistribute pride. You can't demand economic equality without earning it. You can't deserve stuff because someone else has it. And here's an emergency alert for all you bloodsuckers — you are entitled to jack squat. Earn it, or forget it.
Until the nonearners begin to earn their own way, the American dream will continue to be bastardized by scammers, con-artists and bribers somehow convincing ignorant people that they have a right to someone else's earnings. It cannot work and it is simply not true. When it is forced upon and or accepted by society, that society has signed its own death warrant.
Today I will write and record some more killer music, write more killer articles, review the artwork for my new CD, review the military logistics for my 2014 killer tour, edit my killer Spirit of the Wild TV show, check my trapline, train my dogs, conduct media interviews, work on my trucks, shoot my bow and some guns, do my post-double knee replacement surgery therapy, perform various chores on our ranch, and as always, do what I am driven to do in order to live my ultimate American dream of independence to the fullest.
Everything in my life that I have, I have earned.
Then I will jam out some killer licks on 1 of 20-some Gibson Byrdlands. They're all mine. I earned them. You want one? Earn it.
Ted Nugent is a musician and award-winning writer and author of The New York Times best-selling “Ted White & Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns and Rock 'n' Roll,” along with “Kill It and Grill It,” “BloodTrails,” and “BloodTrails II.” He also is a member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. Read more reports from Ted Nugent — Click Here Now.
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