Writer: Ted Nugent
Producers: Lou Futterman and Tom Werman
Recorded: Summer 1975 at the Sound Pit in Atlanta, Georgia
Released: Fall 1975
Derek St. Holmes–guitar, vocal
Rob De Lagrange–bass
Cliff Davies–drums, vocals
|Album:||Ted Nugent (Epic, 1975)|
“Stranglehold” was the first track on Ted Nugent‘s first solo album, following the dismantling of his previous band, the Amboy Dukes. “I remember some of the more creative writers of the ilk claimed it would be the final nail in my coffin–quote, unquote,” Nugent remembered. “I knew better.”
Indeed he did–the Ted Nugent album reached Number 28 on the Billboard 200, quickly earning a gold record and going on to sell more than two million copies.
The epic, eight-and-a-half minute “Stranglehold,” meanwhile, became a rock radio staple and remains one of Nugent’s signature songs.
Nugent describes “Stranglehold,” with its leering, lascivious lyrics, as “the ultimate thump song. If there is a baby boom generation, I’ll take my responsibility, (since) that is such a stimulating rhythm.”
He also remembers having an argument with bassist Rob De Lagrange over the bass solo portion of the song. “He didn’t want to play an open string; he said ‘That’s not what basses do.’ I said ‘They do in this song.’ I wanted almost like an Eastern, Indian mantra kind of jam, and I had to fight to get him to play that. We got a lot of snickers from that–it’s all in one key, there’s a bass solo before the guitar solo.
Everyone thought that was hokey, but I was just ‘Shut the f**k up and let’s rock.'”
Nugent adds that “Stranglehold”–which the band was performing before it entered the studio to record the Ted Nugent album–was “the song that determined Cliff Davies would be my drummer,” since he played it better than others who Nugent had previously tried on the tune.
Nugent formed his solo band from players he knew in the Detroit area, including singer-guitarist Derek St. Holmes, who he summoned back from California. But he says there was never the pretense of democracy. “I just said ‘We’re pounding out my vision here–not only in what I say and how I conduct myself, but in the kind of cockiness of the music. So that’s what we should call it–Ted Nugent.'”