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Album: Cat Scratch FeverReleased: 1977Charted:
Cat Scratch Fever is a real condition: it's an infectious disease caused by a cat scratch that usually affects young children. Nugent, however, changes the meaning to make it much more lustful, with the "cats" being women. The song is about sex and his rampant desire for it, or put more succinctly by Nugent, it's "about pussy."
Nugent sang lead on this - something he didn't do early in his career. Cat Scratch Fever was Nugent's third album, and featured vocal contributions from Derek St. Holmes, who also sang on Nugent's first album before being replaced by Meat Loaf for the second: Free For All. St. Holmes left for good after this album, as Nugent realized singing the songs himself was the best way to command the most attention.
Regarding his songwriting technique, Nugent says he keeps a notebook with song titles and lyric ideas, and he writes music in his dressing room before shows. When he plays his guitar and some music comes out that fits one of his titles, he puts them together and works on the song.
Nugent has a few songs where he makes a clear statement on a social or political issue ("Great White Buffalo
," "Death by Misadventure
"), but many of his songs are about sex, and he doesn't expect us to take them to heart. "I don't think a whole lot of people sit down and contemplate my lyrics," he told NME
"Oh, I don't know where they come from
But they sure do come
I hope they're coming for me
Cat Scratch Fever'...
I don't think that it is of too much consequence!"