Despite protests by city councilors, Ted Nugent's Bangor show to go on

AP file photo

Ted Nugent says he didn't threaten to kill the president, but two Bangor city councilors don't want the Motor City Madman's show to be held on city property. However, the promoter says the show will go on.

BANGOR — Waterfront Concerts promoter Alex Gray said Sunday that he doesn't plan to call off Ted Nugent's Bangor performance despite remarks from two city councilors that the controversial rock star shouldn't be allowed to play in the city.

Last week, Councilor Charlie Longo emailed a letter to Gray saying that the concert series shouldn't allow Nugent to perform because of comments he made during a National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis. Longo later posted the letter to his website.

During the convention, Nugent was quoted saying, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. If you can't go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don't even know what you're made out of."

Longo argued that a man who would make such "threatening comments" doesn't belong on a Bangor stage.

"In the wake of one of the most fiery election seasons ever, I believe that this vitriolic, incendiary rhetoric has no place in our national discourse," he wrote.

On Thursday, the Secret Service agents met with Nugent and resolved questions regarding the comments, which Nugent, a staunch conservative and gun rights advocate, argued were not meant to be threatening. The Secret Service said it was satisfied by the meeting and said it would take no further action against Nugent.

On Saturday night, Councilor Joseph Baldacci posted a series of articles related to Nugent's comments on his Facebook page.

"[Nugent] has made several disturbing and violent statements against both President Obama as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," Baldacci wrote. "I don't think he should be allowed to perform on city property. I think it's not an issue of free speech, it's an issue of his threatening verbal conduct -- which is not protected by the First Amendment."

On Sunday, Gray countered that the fact that the Secret Service cleared Nugent shows his comments weren't intended to be a threat of violence against the president, but rather as a form of political speech.

"The courts have vehemently upheld political speech as free speech," Gray said.

Gray said calling off the concert would put Bangor's music scene on a "very slippery slope." Performers' agents might shy away from Bangor as a destination if they see another music act had a performance canceled because he or she said the wrong thing, Gray said.

Musicians have long expressed controversial political stances in songs and off the stage, he argued.

"I am far from a political historian, but I do know music has played a special part in civil disobedience, especially when it pertains to our government," Gray said.

Gray said he might take another look at the Nugent concert if the majority of the City Council agrees with Longo and Baldacci.

Gray said that those who are bothered by Nugent's comments can choose not to attend his concert. He said they also have the option of standing outside the gates of the concert and protesting Nugent's presence.

"That's what makes this country great," Gray said.

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I think I figured it out

I think I figured out what he meant by that statement. Say he doesn't like Obama, that's his right. Say if Obama gets elected he decides to drink enough to forget Obama's victory, it will either kill him or get him arrested for something. I did that once at the bike rally in Laconia, I just can't remember what I was trying to forget.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Dont, tell me", screeched

"Dont, tell me", screeched the parrot; let me guess. I'll bet the two councillors who would censor Ted Nugent are democrats, you know, from the party that preaches tolerance. Maybe they should rename it the Masquerade Party."

Jeff Johnson's picture

Rap

"Longo argued that a man who would make such "threatening comments" doesn't belong on a Bangor stage."

Apparently, Longo and Baldacci have never heard a live rap concert.

 's picture

A bit too much.

Don't get me wrong..I have definately rocked out to the great tunes of Ted and I admire him for his devoted stand for the right to bear arms. That said, the man is crazy. I really wish people would do their homework before they take up 'causes' and today's cause is Ted. We are not talking about a man that intelligently made realistic statements that are in any way constructive..please look up the video. The mere idea that the Secret Service had to 'have words' with him attest to that. A little background, he's a man that; couldn't marry an underage girl from HI so he became her legal guardian, he's had 8 kids with various women (giving 2 up for adoption), he's been in trouble for lack of child support, he dodged service for our country with a 1-Y and again with a 2-S, he has also been in legal trouble with his beloved hunting; baiting & killing a young deer and most recently taking a bear after already taking one earlier. btw, these are infractions that would have taken the license for hunting from the average 'Joe' for quite some time..not Ted. I guess I would say that if he's being paid to sing..then he should sing. He should definately leave his archaic, political freak-show rhetoric at home. Rock On! ?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Looks as though you've just

Looks as though you've just described the average democrat.

 's picture

Dems...

Leave it to the hypersensitive dems and their crybaby tantrums to misconstrue rhetorical language as a threat! I mean, if only all this could be solved by Ted Nugent storming the American Bastille and making things right! Welcome to Maine, brother Ted! Don't mind the pansies; they won't come to the show anyway.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Ted Nugent? I know him",

"Ted Nugent? I know him", bellowed the parrot. "He's the guy who said"; 'Reasoning with a liberal is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end'.

Jason Theriault's picture

Leave it to hypersensitive Repubs.

Leave it to hypersensitive Republicans to get mad when a concert doesn't get canceled.

Hell, it isn't even the "ride into the battlefield and chop their heads off in November." comment that gets the Secret Service's attention. They can be explained away as rhetoric.

It when you say ”If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” that gets you in trouble. That sounds like your planning an assassination attempt if the President wins.

 's picture

We should all be in jail next

[This comment was removed by the administrator]

 's picture

Oh, and I'm not a Republican

Oh, and I'm not a Republican either.

 's picture

Awwww..Jason, did you get

Awwww..Jason, did you get insulted and go tell mom? Oh, and who would disagree that I'm not a Republican? I've said time and again that I'm a Libertarian.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Only if you're thinking along

Only if you're thinking along those lines.

 's picture

maybe they should get yanni

maybe they should get yanni or kenny g. to play bangor's waterfront instead. perhaps performers should have to apply to play first, with questions concerning their political leanings being their decider. dixie chicks would be a sure vote.
"I am far from a political historian, but I do know music has played a special part in civil disobedience, especially when it pertains to our government," Gray said. the '60 demonstrated that, and you don't need to be any type of expert to know that. and they are right to be afraid of othersperforms cancelling because a performer was cancelled due to political statements. americian performers have the right of political speech, no matter who the president is.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great post Allisa, especially

Great post Allisa, especially the part about Yanni and Kenny G. Maybe Tiny Tim (remember him?) would be more to their liking.

PAUL MATTSON's picture

The PC crowd welcomes the

The PC crowd welcomes the anti American Dixie Chicks... but when it comes to a strict constitutionalists they show their true colors. Despicable.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

How true, Paul. The PC crowd

How true, Paul. The PC crowd loved the Dixie Chicks because they tried to humiliate President Bush, the last true president to occupy the oval office.

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