Tom Morello Explains How And Why He Became Friends With Ted Nugent


There may not be any two famous rockers with more opposing political views than Ted Nugent and Tom Morello.

Nugent is one of the republican party's most vocal supporters in the music industry. He is a passionate supporter of former President Donald Trump, a proud NRA member and a frequent right-wing conspiracy theorist who has been accused of racism of numerous occasions.

The biracial Morello, with his political science degree from Harvard, has repeatedly supported populist political movements, labor union protests and, of course, co-founded one of the most militant left-wing rap/rock/metal bands of all-time in Rage Against the Machine.

Despite those differences, Morello recently told Howard Stern that he and Nugent are "good friends."

"For his 60th birthday, someone reached out to me and said we're making a video and we're asking guitar players [to say something nice]...," Morello recalled. "At the time, the Ted Nugent which was sort of known in the world in general was this kind of right wing caricature — people were not thinking of him first and foremost as the guy who shredded on 'Stranglehold.' ... But then I had to think, what is the video that I'm going to make for Ted's birthday?

"I put some thought into it, and I said, it's going to be about two things. One, 'Things That Tom Morello and Ted Nugent Have in Common,' and I went down this long list of [things like] free speech advocates, our love of rock 'n' roll, our respect for black artists who created rock 'n' roll.

"And the second was, 'Things Ted Nugent Taught an Adolescent Tom Morello About Sex.' And I went through 'Cat Scratch Fever,' these strange words, like the lyrics to the song 'Cat Scratch Fever,' the lyrics to the song 'Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,' which were utterly foreign to me (laughs), and I had to ask about on the playground...

"Anyway, so Ted called me up after that. While we certainly have differences, but I consider him a friend."

Morello isn't the only left-leaning rocker whom Nugent has befriended over the years.

Henry Rollins told the Joe Rogan podcast in 2018 that despite the fact that some of Nugent's political comments "take my breath away," he and the Motor City Madman bonded over the music during their first conversation.

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