The Amboy Dukes

The year was 1968. I was a junior in high school. It was a tumultuous year. We lost Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the assassin’s bullet. Detroit had major riots protesting Dr. King’s untimely and senseless death.

Detroit has also been the home of several popular music genres, rhythm and blues, soul music,  high-energy rock music which begat punk rock in England and the US) . Detroit also made a significant contribution to rock music with Bob Seger and hip-hop with Eminem (Marshall Mathers).

A band from Detroit, The Amboy Dukes released a song and an album in April, 1968, entitled “Journey To The Center of the Mind”, which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song and album became known as the progenitor of U.S. acid rock.

It was unique rock song with its center piece rock guitar runs byTed Nugent. His unique talent for multiple guitar sounds sets this recording apart from much of what was popular. Granted Jimi Hendrix was also redefining acid rock in 1968 with his compelling, “not from this planet” guitar crescendos.

The album cover and the sub-genre promoted drug use. It was ironic that Ted Nugent one of the founding principles of The Amboy Dukes was very public about his sentiments against drug use. Ted Nugent has performed more than 6,000 concerts and sold more than 30 million records.

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