THE AMBOY DUKES (1965–75). Bob Lenhert (vocals, replaced by John Drake, Rusty Day), Ron Medeiros (guitar, replaced by Ted Nugent), Gary Hicks (guitar, replaced by Steve Farmer), Dick Treat (bass, replaced by Bill White, Greg Arama), Gail Uptadale (drums, replaced by Dave Palmer), Rick Lober (keyboards, replaced by Andy Soloman).
The Amboy Dukes were a psychedelic rock group from Detroit, Michigan, that pioneered a proto-metal and psychedelic combination. They are perhaps best known as being the first band to give exposure to young guitarist Ted Nugent, who chafed under the restrictions of the band. The Nuge, who did not partake in the drinking, drugging, and chemical abuse of the band, nevertheless was able to translate the band’s chemically fueled leaning into spectacular solos on epic guitar workout, such as “Journey to the Center of Your Mind,” where Nugent cut loose on a psychedelic metal solo that would have made the British band Hawkwind proud. After fights over musical direction with Farmer (who wrote the lyrics, while Nugent wrote the music) the band members left one by one, and for several years Ted Nugent kept the band going as “Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes” to diminishing returns, before he retired the name and released his first solo record in 1975. The Amboy Dukes will be remembered primarily for being the birth caul of Ted Nugent, but their better and harder rocking songs such as “Journey” and “Why is a Carrot More Orange than an Orange?” are psychedelic classics. There are also many bootlegs and compilations available not listed here on various record companies, usually of questionable quality, and Nugent fans are urged to find the earlier releases.
Discography: As the Amboy Dukes: The Amboy Dukes (Repertoire, 1967); Journey to the Center of the Mind (Repertoire, 1968); Migration (Repertoire, 1969); As Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes: Survival of the Fittest Live at the Eastown Theater Detroit (Polydor, 1971); Call of the Wild (Discreet, 1973); Totoh, Fang & Claw (DiscReet, 1974).