The Amboy Dukes

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The Amboy Dukes
OriginDetroit, Michigan
GenresHard rock, acid rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, blues rock, garage rock
Years active1964–1975
LabelsMainstream
Polydor
DiscReet
Past members

Ted Nugent
Bob Lehnert
Gary Hicks
Dick Treat
Gail Uptadale
John Drake
Steve Farmer
Dave Palmer
Rick Lober
Bill White
Andy Solomon
Greg Arama
Rusty Day
K.J. Knight
Rob Ruzga
Rob Grange
Gabriel Magno
Vic Mastrianni
Andy Jezowski
Rev. Atrocious Theodoeius, and

Joe Vitale
 
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The Amboy Dukes
OriginDetroit, Michigan
GenresHard rock, acid rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, blues rock, garage rock
Years active1964–1975
LabelsMainstream
Polydor
DiscReet
Past members

Ted Nugent
Bob Lehnert
Gary Hicks
Dick Treat
Gail Uptadale
John Drake
Steve Farmer
Dave Palmer
Rick Lober
Bill White
Andy Solomon
Greg Arama
Rusty Day
K.J. Knight
Rob Ruzga
Rob Grange
Gabriel Magno
Vic Mastrianni
Andy Jezowski
Rev. Atrocious Theodoeius, and

Joe Vitale

The Amboy Dukes was an American rock music band of the late 1960s and early 1970s from Detroit, Michigan, best known for their one hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind." The band's name comes from the title of a novel by Irving Shulman. In the UK the group's records were released under the name of The American Amboy Dukes because of the existence of a British group.

The band went through a number of personnel changes during its active years, the only constant being lead guitarist and composer Ted Nugent. The group contributed to the foundations of heavy metal and progressive rock.

Origins[edit]

Ted Nugent, the nucleus of The Amboy Dukes, was born and raised in Detroit and started performing in 1958 at age 10. He played in a group called The Royal High Boys from 1960 to 1962 and later in group named The Lourds, where he first met future Amboy Dukes lead vocalist John Drake. Nugent played with The Lourds until his family moved to Illinois, where he founded The Amboy Dukes[1] in the Chicago area in 1964,[2] playing at The Cellar, in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, among other venues.[3] They later relocated to Nugent's hometown of Detroit. The members included the following:

The above lineup did not release any recordings. Nugent's early guitar playing style with his signature Gibson Byrdland positioned high on his chest became an iconic playing style that visually differentiated him from other players. He combined this with his natural virtuosity and frenzied playing style on lead, adding a sonic differentiation to his unusual visual approach. This gave him an edge as a performance artist. Nugent's appreciation for his guitar inspired him to compose the song "Flight of the Byrd," which was released as a single and as part of their most popular album "Journey to the Center of the Mind".

Band line-ups[edit]

The following are lists of band member line-ups that received credits on officially released studio albums. Members who may have played with the band at live dates between albums are not included:

1967[edit]

After a band shuffle for signing a deal with Mainstream Records of New York, the band members who released their debut album, The Amboy Dukes, were:

1968[edit]

Journey to the Center of the Mind saw another member line-up:

1969[edit]

Migration saw another line-up:

1970[edit]

Marriage on the Rocks/Rock Bottom saw another line-up:

1971[edit]

Survival of the Fittest Live saw another line-up:

1973[edit]

Call of the Wild saw another line-up:

1974[edit]

Tooth Fang & Claw saw another line-up:

Timeline[edit]

Later happenings[edit]

Nugent went on to have a successful solo career in the 1970s and joined the Damn Yankees supergroup in the late 1980s. Since the 2000s, Nugent (although continuing his rock career) has been a prominent activist, both for hunting and for conservative politics.

Bassist Rob Grange gelled with Nugent on the last two Dukes albums and went forward with him to help create the first four platinum albums of Nugent's solo career.

Bassist Greg Arama died in 1979. Vocalist Rusty Day died in 1982.

Steve Farmer currently teaches in Redford Township, Michigan. He also performs with backing bands at various venues in and around the Detroit area.

Rick Lober is a classically trained composer best known in the greater Detroit metro area for his frenetic style of keyboard playing. Since the early 1990s, he has been in and out of the studio, appearing as performer/songwriter on the Steve Farmer CD Journey to the Darkside of the Mind (Saint Thomas Records, STP0069) completed in 2000. He is currently working in the studio and performing live with local Detroit rock legend Jeffrey Faust and his band "The Woodsman", which performs throughout Michigan and Canada.

2009 Reunion[edit]

The original Amboy Dukes (featuring Nugent, Drake, Farmer, Lober, Soloman and White) performed April 17, 2009 at the Detroit Music Awards at The Fillmore Detroit. Their performance began with the song "Baby Please Don't Go", from their 1967 debut single. Followed by "Journey to the Center of the Mind", and ending with Mitch Ryder's "Jenny Take A Ride" (featuring original Ryder drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek). In recognition of the band's contribution to rock music history, they received a Distinguished Achievement award. As the band left the stage, Nugent thanked all his fellow band members and told the crowd "And everyone knows that The Amboy Dukes are the ultimate garage band on planet earth".[4]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Date of Official Release
Title
Label
US Chart
1967The Amboy DukesMainstream S/6104183
1968Journey to the Center of the MindMainstream S/611274
1969MigrationMainstream S/6118no chart
1970Marriage on the Rocks/Rock BottomPolydor 24-4012191
1971Survival of the Fittest LivePolydor 24-4035129
1974Call of the WildDiscReet DS 2181no chart
1974Tooth Fang & ClawDiscReet DS 2203no chart

Singles[edit]

Date of Official Release
Title
Label
US Chart
1967Baby Please Don't Go/Psalms Of AftermathMainstream 676106
1968Journey to the Center of the Mind/Mississippi MurdererMainstream 68416
1968You Talk Sunshine, I Breathe Fire/Scottish TeaMainstream 693114
1969Prodigal Man/Good Natured EmmaMainstream 700no chart
1969For His Namesake/Loaded For BearMainstream 704no chart
1969Flight of the Byrd/Ivory CastlesMainstream 711no chart
1974Sweet Revenge/Ain't It the TruthDiscReet 1199no chart

Other releases[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruno Ceriotti (2010-08-26). "Rock Prosopography 102: THE AMBOY DUKES FAMILY TREE - SHOWS LIST". Rockprosopography102.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 
  2. ^ "TED NUGENT Discusses AMBOY DUKES Reunion On WBSX-97.9X". Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Nugent's Amboy Dukes Reunite After 30 Years". Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Original Amboy Dukes, The* - The Best Of The Original Amboy Dukes at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 

External links[edit]