So how’d things go with that much-anticipated summit between Ted Nugent and the Secret Service?
If you were expecting fireworks — understandable, given the ’70s heavy-metal star’s gift for bombast — we’re sorry to disappoint.
No charges, no arrest, and apparently no showdown of any kind came out of the Motor City Madman’s meeting with the feds, necessitated by some particularly (though not unusually) fiery comments he made at an National Rifle Association convention about chopping off the heads of Democrats and whatnot.
Nugent, 63, confirmed in a statement that “two fine, professional Secret Service agents” came to see him Thursday in Oklahoma, where he was scheduled to play Ardmore’s 2 Frogs Grill that night.
By his account, all parties concluded “that I have never made any threats of violence towards anyone. . . I thanked them for their service, we shook hands and went about our business.”
“The issue has been resolved,” Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told us. The agency, he said, “does not anticipate any further action.”
The Secret Service were apparently drawn into the matter by Nugent’s comments about the president. In his speech in St. Louis last weekend, the longtime NRA board member and bow-hunting fan not only issued his “chop their heads off” call but warned cryptically that if Barack Obama is reelected, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Say what? In a season of heightened speech sensitivity, the DNC jumped on Nugent’s remarks and demanded that Mitt Romney — who accepted Nugent’s endorsement after a phone conversation earlier this year — denounce him as well. (The GOP frontrunner issued a general demand for “civility.”)
In all, not a terrible week for Nugent, who hasn’t generated this much hype since the lyrics of “Cat Scratch Fever” shocked the nation’s parents in 1978. A stalwart conservative who styles himself as a working-class patriot, Nugent’s outspoken ways have kept him on the lecture circuit and reality TV decades after his music departed the charts. In an essay on his Web site Thursday, he characterized last weekend’s comments as, well, just the way he talks: “I spotlighted cockroaches and rallied those who care to stomp ’em out at the voting booth in November, as is my duty as an American.”
He concluded: “Metaphors needn’t be explained to educated people.”
6 p.m. This post has been updated.
Read earlier: Ted Nugent: Long past his ‘rock star’ days, how he caused a political firestorm, 4/19/12