AUSTIN, Texas — Hours after Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his second full term in office, Ted Nugent helped him celebrate at a black-tie gala. But some attendees treated the show by the “Cat Scratch Fever” rocker like an infection.
Using machine guns as props, Nugent, 58, appeared onstage as the final act of the inaugural ball wearing a cutoff T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting offensive remarks about non-English speakers, said people who attended.
Perry’s spokesman, Robert Black, downplayed the Tuesday night incident.
“Ted Nugent is a good friend of the governor’s. He asked him if he would play at the inaugural. He didn’t put any stipulation (on) what he would play,” Black said.
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Others said the appearance was inappropriate.
“I think it was a horrible choice,” GOP strategist Royal Masset said. “I hope nobody approved it.”
Nugent, a hunting and gun-rights advocate, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday because he was hunting, a spokeswoman said.
The guitarist — known as the “Motor City Madman” — lived in Michigan most of his life before moving to Crawford, Texas, in 2003. He is famed for the 1977 hit “Cat Scratch Fever.”
News of Nugent’s appearance drew criticisms from civil-rights leaders.
“Whenever someone sports the Confederate battle flag, many Texans will be offended, and rightly so, because of what it symbolizes — the enslavement of African-Americans and more recently the symbol of hate groups and terrorists,” said Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas chapter of the NAACP.
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