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Ted Nugent Called ‘An Old A–hole’ by Drive-By Truckers Guitarist

Mike Cooley and Ted Nugent
Jeff Gentner / David Livingston, Getty Images

Ted Nugent is a rock legend no matter which way you cut it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s looked up to by the genre’s younger artists.

Take the Drive-By Truckers, for instance. Given the band’s southern rock roots (their 2001 double-album ‘Southern Rock Opera’ is about Lynyrd Skynyrd and frontman Patterson Hood’s father is Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section bassist David Hood), it might be easy to assume that the Truckers would sympathize with Nugent’s loudly expressed red-state views. But in a recent editorial written for Magnet, singer and guitarist Mike “Stroker Ace” Cooley used him as an example of the type of person nobody wants to be — specifically, an “old a–hole.”

While most people who use that term to describe Nugent would probably do so for largely political reasons, Cooley’s talking more in terms of general attitude — the type of people who, as they get older, view pop culture with an increasing amount of suspicion, if not outright derision or anger. Reflecting on conversations he’s had with people his age (Cooley was born in 1966) about what he does for a living, he noted that the topic often turns to “my thoughts on the merits or lack of in today’s pop music.”

“Sometimes I think they want me to reassure them that they are not just turning into old a–holes,” mused Cooley. “Saying the same things old a–holes said about them and their music.”

Just in case you’re worried that this might describe you, Cooley went on to helpfully note, “In order to determine if you’re turning into an old a–hole, you have to accept the fact that the rate at which a society progresses can be measured by the rate at which its old a–holes die or accept their irrelevance.” In other words, “Why was your music all that anyway? If you’re thinking ‘because they played their own instruments,’ you may be becoming an old a–hole. Why? Ted Nugent plays an instrument. What is he? You guessed it.”

Admitting that he “was even young enough once to think [Nugent] had something meaningful to offer the world,” Cooley concluded with a few words of wisdom for anyone feeling old and/or superior to the younger generations coming up behind them: “Basically every generation deserves a chance to get it wrong! And if you think the one coming up is going to get it any more wrong than yours did; congratulations! You’re an old a–hole. Don’t be an old a–hole.”

Next: Nastiest Rock Feuds

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