After all that brouhaha over Ted Nugent — you know, the guy who threatened to kill President Obama — getting invited to the State of the Union by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), the hard-talking, pants-shitting rocker was seldom seen throughout the evening.
But the one photo of Nugent that did make the rounds was publicized not from Stockman's camp, but rather from that of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the congressman who invited Nugent's seatmate — Portland musician Thomas Lauderdale.
Lauderdale, best known for founding the "little orchestra" known as Pink Martini, is the anti-Ted Nugent: A liberal, Occupy-Movement-supporting, openly gay civil rights activist who favors gun control and loves classical music.
But for all their differences, the two did apparently manage to find common ground, and, according to Lauderdale at least, had a pretty pleasant chat.
I was totally not expecting to be seated next to Ted Nugent at the State of the Union .... but it was incredible. We talked about hunting ... in Texas (where he has lived for the past 10 years) and Michigan (where he grew up). Growing up he was inspired by Dick Dale ... and later by the British Invasion bands of the mid-60s ... The Yardbirds ... The Rolling Stones. He only tours in the summer. I asked him if he did USO tours. He has ... BUT is probably the only celebrity who carried his own machine gun. (Shockingly, I don't have a machine gun of my own.) He thought this year's Grammys were too "bubblegum" and childish. And, of all of his compositions, "Fred Bear" means the most to him ... people ask for it at their funerals, their barmitzvahs, their graduations ... "It doesn't get more "wow" than that," he said. At the end of the night, he shook my hand, and wished me luck. I thought he was a real gentleman.
Unfortunately, the gap-bridging didn't carry over to the night's main event.
Following the President's speech, Nugent took to Twitter to assure his followers that he remained as headstrong as ever. "It deeply pains me to report that the prez is a master scam artist," Nugent wrote. "Didn't believe a word."
Then again, it's unclear if he was even paying attention.