Free For All

Album: Free For All (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • This frantic rocker is a wild ride, with Ted Nugent looking at someone with beady eyes and a Cheshire grin, and declaring that anything goes. In a Songfacts interview with Nugent, he explained the meaning: "When you spend as much time on stage as I do, you're looking into the beady eyes that can cut me in two. Those lyrics just blurted out. The rhythm is like a Bo Diddley lick through a louder amp with more flail. Equal groove, but a little excessive flailage.

    I sang what I felt on stage looking into those wonderful music lovers' eyeballs. Just as spontaneous and raw as a song can be. Celebrating those people that share my music with me."
  • "Free For All" (sometimes rendered "Free-For-All") is the title track to Ted Nugent's 1976 album. It was just his second album as a solo artist, but in the last few years of his band The Amboy Dukes, he was running the show.

    Nugent didn't sing lead on many songs around this time, but he did on this one. Five songs on the album have lead vocals by Meat Loaf, whose bat had yet to escape hell. Three others feature his guitarist, Derek St. Holmes. Only "Free For All" has a Ted Nugent lead.

    Nugent certainly couldn't sing like Meat Loaf and didn't want to try - his focus was on the guitar. But there were certain song that he felt only he could express vocally, and "Free For All" was one of them. He also wanted a set of songs that he could sing in concert so he could better command the stage, and he had an inking that "Free For All" would become a live favorite.
  • The line, "Stakes are high, and so am I" isn't a drug reference - Nugent took a strong stance against drugs and alcohol. He's high on life and on the music. Another drug-free "high" song Nugent was part of is "High Enough," his hit with the group Damn Yankees.
  • Nugent performed this song in 2006 with Scott Ian, Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham, and Evan Seinfeld for the VH1 reality show Supergroup, which followed these guys as they formed a group called Damnocracy.

Comments: 12

  • L8 from SwedenIn Which movie did I hear Free-for-all?
  • Kurt from Wisconsin Ted claims that he doesn't do drugs but isn't the nicotine he slams down in chew a drug though legal?
  • Lts from Boston, Ma"Why isn't he in the rock and roll hall of fame?"

    Because the rock and roll hall of fame is stupid.
  • Glenn Williams from Detroit, MiI grew up in the same neighborhood as Ted in Detroit just a few blocks from him. I was about 10 years younger and never hung around with him but he was a legend in our neighborhood for good and bad reasons.
  • Marcus T from Santa Clarita CaliforniaWhen Free for All was being produced band members Derek St Holmes, Rob Grange and Cliff Davies wanted some recognition and wanted to be called Ted Nugent and the Band. Ted's manager said no and the band quit before the album was completed. Needing to lay down a few vocal tracks for the album they brought in Meatloaf and paid him 1000 bucks. He received no credit on the album whatsoever. Both Holmes and Meatloaf are on the album. Biggest mistake Ted ever made was not keeping that band together. They were a tight group. Ted's Stranglehold album was the best
  • Martin from Rockford, Ilit is not a fact that meatloaf sings all the songs except for free for all. Free for all is the only song Ted sings. Derek St Holmes sings dog eat dog, light my way, and turn it up.
  • Pat from St. Paul, MnVery last line of the song - "Beat me, beat me, come on eat me." Classic.
  • David from Petaluma, Ca@Geo
    He should be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but like any other such event ie: Oscars, Academy Awards, Grammy's, if you are a rebel, and Ted sure is, no amount of talent will get you inducted or so honored. But if you ask Ted I bet he would say something like "f--k'em they just don't like me and my guns. I am happy someone like Ted, in his celebrity position, stands up vehemently to the press and anyone else who questions his motives and rights to own guns and hunt for food. Ted kills no animal he isn't going to eat.
  • Lester from New York City, NyNugey's best album. Together, I Love You So I Told You A Lie, Hammerdown, and Writing On The Wall are tremendous tunes. Meatloaf's vocals are great. I can see why Nugent's big ego couldn't handle having Meatloaf around. Ted doesn't do any of those songs in concert because he can't sing them.
  • Geo from Altoona, PaTed Nugent is an advocate against drugs and alcohol...and an avid hunter...the biggest question is ...Why isn't he in the rock and roll hall of fame.????
  • Guilliermo from New York, NyI know it's not all about me, but.... when I 1st heard this song, I was a Jr. in High School (as I'm sure was much of Nugent's target audiance. To me Cat Scratch, Wang Dang etc., and this, were veritable anthems of, it's-ok-to-lust. The opening riff may as well have been the hormones raging through an adolescent body.
  • Sled from St. Louis, Mo"It's a free-for-all and the height of sin"
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