Ted Nugent says Joan Jett “viciously attacked me personally” over Top 100 guitarist comments

Jett had defended herself against the controversial musician, arguing: "He plays tough guy, but this is the guy who shit his pants so he didn’t have to go in the Army"

Ted Nugent has responded to Joan Jett after she hit back at his criticism of her being included in a list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

Earlier this year, Nugent took issue with The Runaways legend’s placing at 87 in a list that was compiled by Rolling Stone‘s David Fricke back in 2003 (and was reposted online in 2010).

“You have to have shit for brains and you have to be a soulless, soulless prick to put Joan Jett [in there],” Nugent said about the list in question during a YouTube livestream on December 30, though he later added that he also “love[s] Joan… ‘Put another dime in the jukebox, baby’ – great rock and roller”.

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He then sought to clarify his comments in another interview. “I started off by praising Joan Jett’s genuine shit-kicker, down-to-earth, all-American rock and roll credentials,” Nugent said. “I started off by praising her. I even saluted the lesbian thing.”

He continued: “Here’s the question: how on God’s good green Earth could someone listen to what I say and then claim it’s about hate and about knocking and belittling? Joan’s awesome. I mean, The Runaways. Her whole, ‘Put another dime in the jukebox, baby’. I mean, she’s the real rock and roll McCoy.”

He went on: “But belonging on the ‘top 100 guitar player’ list anywhere on planet Earth, even ‘Boring’ Stone before genuine virtuosos of the six-string? That was my statement. I was only using Joan as an example because she happens to be a perfect one.”

Following his comments, Jett hit back in a new interview with NME this week.

“Is that his implication that he should be on the list instead of me?,” she retorted. “Well, that’s just typical – it’s what I’ve dealt with my whole life, being written off. Ted Nugent has to live with being Ted Nugent. He has to be in that body, so that’s punishment enough.

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“He’s not a tough guy. He plays tough guy, but this is the guy who shit his pants – literally – so he didn’t have to go in the Army.”

Ending her verdict on the controversial musician and outspoken conservative, she added: “This is the tough guy who’s running around America, stirring things up against each other.”

Now, Nugent has responded in a new video, which you can watch above, on his YouTube Channel.

Joan Jett (left) and The Runaways performing at New York’s CBGB’s in 1976. Credit: Getty

“I’m talking about Top 100 Guitar Players In The History Of Rock And Roll list on Rolling Stone magazine, and I mentioned Joan Jett,” he said. I love Joan Jett and mentioned how I love her. I love her music. Joan, I love you. It’s real rock and roll, awesome, plus I love lesbians. I think it’s cool. So I praised her and saluted her. I just said that Mark Farner should be on the list before Joan Jett because she’s not a real fiery guitar player.

He continued: “She plays a great chord thing and great songs. I said nothing but nice things about her. However, Joan Jett can’t be on the Top 100 Guitar Players In The History Of Rock And Roll before Rik Emmett of Triumph. She can’t be, and Joni Mitchell’s on the list but not Derek St. Holmes, not Ricky Medlocke, John Sykes, Chris Duarte, or Jimmy McCarty.

“I never mentioned myself. Let’s pretend I play keyboards. I never said I should be on that list. I love you Joan but you’re not a better guitar player than any of these guys and she just attacked me.”

Nugent added: “I said there are a lot of killer guitar players, and Joan is a good guitar player. She makes great music, it’s not adventurous as I like, but she’s awesome. So she viciously attacked me personally, saying I was jealous because I was not on it. I never mentioned I should be on it.

“With all respect Joan. I love you. I said I love her, but she’s on the greatest guitar player list, but Derek isn’t, Medlocke or Farner isn’t. Joni Mitchell is. I love you, Joni; for those who love folk music, you are the best. I’m not jealous that I’m not on.”

Jett is yet to respond to Nugent’s latest comments.

Nugent has attracted much controversy over the years, notably for arguing that America doesn’t have a gun problem, repeating baseless claims that Antifa and Black Lives Matters activists were behind 2021’s Capitol riots in Washington, saying that the Parkland shooting survivors were “pathetic” and “had no soul”, saying that he was “repulsed” by gay sex (while denying being homophobic), and for referring to former President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel” (which he later apologised for).

Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello also defended his unlikely relationship with Nugent, arguing that he “reserves the right to be friends with anybody”.

“I reserve the right to confront opinions I disagree with, with open heartedness and love, or by throwing a brick,” he told NME. “That’s up to me.

“In the case of Ted, I know he’s become this right-wing caricature but there have been several times where I have reached him on issues that you might be surprised about. But he is still crazy uncle Ted who says all sorts of shit.”

Elsewhere in our interview, Jett also shared her memories of the “fuckin’ wonderful guy” Taylor Hawkins. Her new album ‘Changeup‘ with The Blackhearts is out now.

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