Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello revealed an interesting piece of trivia during his recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show – he considers conservative hard rocker Ted Nugent a friend, in spite of their widely different political views.
Nugent's conservatism is no secret. He was a proud supporter of Donald Trump and visited the White House at the Donald's invitation. Morello is as left-wing as a musician can be, and has vehemently opposed the Trump administration. In spite of that, Morello says the two have found common ground.
“For [Nugent's] 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],” Morello told Stern “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 ‘n’ roll, our respect for black artists who created rock ‘n’ roll. And then the second was things that Ted Nugent taught an adolescent Tom Morello about sex.”
The two songs in particular that were a sex ed lesson for Morello are the Nugent classic “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.”
“Anyway, so Ted called me up after that,” Morello said. “And while we certainly have differences, I consider him a friend.”
Interestingly, in a 2017 interview with The Guardian, , Morello did say that he would sometimes text Nugent when the Nuge would say some of his more outlandish quotes. “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?’” Morello said at the time. “We’re able to talk about it as friends as opposed to people on the opposite sides of the barricade.”
It's easy to see how such comments could cause some backlash online, and one Twitter user was quick to call out Morello's "white man privilege." Morello snapped back "I am not white." Morello's father is of Kenyan descent and his mother is of Italian and Irish descent.