During a recent appearance on QFM96‘s “Torg & Elliott” radio show, outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent was asked who his best friend in rock is who “leans left” politically. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, you know, Tom Morello (of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) is a dear friend of mine, but when you really examine his pragmatic priorities, he’s a hard worker. So am I. He loves his family and protects and provides for his family. So do I. He puts his heart and soul into his craft. So do I. But anybody, with all due respect, anybody that would wear a Che Guevara shirt has lost their mind,” Ted added, referencing the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. “Che Guevara would’ve killed Carlos Santana and Tom Morello first. So we have to be smart and be co cognizant of real historical truisms, facts and evidence.
“When think that you rage against the machine — and I love the guys; I love their piss and vinegar — but let’s examine it, shall we, gentlemen?” Nugent continued. “Are they raging against the machine that built their concert facility? Are they raging against the airline industry that flies them to the concert? Are they raging against the machine that built their guitars and drums? Are they raging against the machine that built the hotels they stay in? Gimme a break.
“And I love those guys — I do love them,” Ted repeated. “They’re like the MC5 meets BLUE CHEER. I love that band.”
Morello, who is a member one of the most militant left-wing rap/rock/metal bands of all time, previously discussed his relationship with Nugent during a March 2021 appearance on “The Howard Stern Show”. Speaking about how he struck up a friendship with the otspoken conservative rocker, Tom said: “For his 60th birthday, someone reached out to me and said, ‘We’re making a video, and we’re asking guitar players (to say a few kind words). At the time, the Ted Nugent which was sort of known in the world in general was this kind of more 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?’ And I put some thought into it, and I said, ‘It’s gonna be about two things. One, it’s gonna be 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 and roll, our respect for black artists who created rock and roll. And then the second was things that Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex. And then 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, and I had to ask about on the playground. Anyway, so Ted called me up after that. And while we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend.”
During a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Morello stated about Nugent: “We have very similar views on freedom of speech. His libertarian edge and my anarchist edge overlap considerably. Sometimes, if he says something outrageous that will fire up his racist base, I’ll text him to say, ‘Dude. What are you on about?’ We’re able to talk about it as friends as opposed to people on the opposite sides of the barricade.”
Nugent, an avid supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump, has repeatedly said that the 2020 presidential election was a fraud, insisting that “hundreds of thousands of dead people” voted and claiming that machines were “rigged” to give a Donald Trump vote to Joe Biden.
Leading up to the election, Nugent teamed up with Donald Trump Jr. on the campaign trail.
Ted has called Trump “the greatest president in our lifetime,” and believes the billionaire real estate mogul represents “the heart and soul of the best American families out there.”
Four years ago, Morello referred to Trump as an “orange-faced demagogue.”