It’s been nearly two years since the world lost the great Eddie Van Halen at the age of 65. In that time, a lot has happened but one thing remains the same — Ted Nugent will have something to say about it.
Speaking yesterday on Sirius XM’s Trunk Nation, The Nuge spent time reminiscing about his friendship with Van Halen. After describing the late guitarist as a “great man” and a “force to reckon with,” the conversation veered into Van Halen’s addiction and eventual sobriety. And that’s when Nugent made his comment.
“Let me clarify, in case Howard Stern, his lying punks are listening. Because they made up a dirty fucking lie on ‘The Howard Stern Show’, that I was jealous of Eddie and that we had a contention because of the way we played guitar. What a bunch of fucking liars. Eddie and I were dear friends. When Eddie became clean and sober, guess who his first phone call was. To me. Because I lovingly prodded him to get the drugs and alcohol and tobacco out of his life. I did it in a loving way, and he was resistant, as most people are, but we had a wonderful relationship.”
To his credit, Nugent has been a staunch opponent of drug and alcohol use his entire career and a spokesperson for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Still, it’s kind of odd to insert yourself into a person’s recovery story after they’ve passed on. That person can’t corroborate or deny Nugent’s comment at all.
This also isn’t the first time Nugent’s commented on dead rock stars and their addictions. After the passing of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Nugent made a somewhat decent comment about the impact addiction will continue to have on his surviving family members. Just last year, he said in an interview that he warned both Bon Scott and Jimi Hendrix that their addictions were going to kill them.
“I told Jimi Hendrix he was going to die, I told John Belushi was going to die, I told Keith Moon he was going to die, I told Bon Scott he was going to die! I mean, come on guys, are you kidding me?”
It’s easy to talk about the dead and their struggles once they’re gone. And who’s to know? Maybe Ted Nugent is rock’s Forrest Gump, running into all different types of influential people and warning them of the dangers associated with alcohol and drug abuse.