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Amboy Dukes
United States

Years: 1965 - 1975
Styles: Acid Rock, Blues Rock, Garage Rock, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Founder

Ted Nugent - Lead guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1975)

Members

Bob Lehnert - Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1966)
Gary Hicks - Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1966)
Dick Treat - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1964 - 1966)
Gail Uptadale - Drums (in band: 1964 - 1966)
Rick Lober - Keyboards, Organ, Piano (in band: 1967)
Bill White - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1967)
John Drake - Vocals (in band: 1967 - 1968)
Steve Farmer - Guitar, Rhythm guitar, Vocals (in band: 1967 - 1969)
Dave Palmer - Drums, Percussion (in band: 1967 - 1970)
Greg Arama - Bass Guitar, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1970)
Andy Solomon - Horns, Keyboards, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Saxophone, Vocals (in band: 1968 - 1971)
Rusty Day - Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals (in band: 1969)
K.J. Knight - Drums, Vocals (in band: 1971 - 1972)
Rob Ruzga - Bass Guitar (in band: 1971 - 1972)
Gabriel Magno - Flute, Keyboards (in band: 1973)
Andy Jezowski - Vocals (in band: 1973 - 1974)
Rob Grange - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1973 - 1975)
Vic Mastrianni - Drums, Vocals (in band: 1973 - 1975)

Biography

RockBoar.com Picture    Detroit's Amboy Dukes are best remembered for their 1968 acid-rock classic "Journey to the Center of the Mind," as well as introducing the world to "the Motor City Madman", guitarist Ted Nugent.[1]

     Ted had heard of a Detroit group who had just broken up called "Amboy Dukes" and started using the name for his new Chicago band. "The Amboy Dukes" was actually the name of a Irving Shulman's novel about gang members and their lifestyle. In later interviews, Nugent said that although many people have given him a copy of the book, he has never actually read it.[1]

    Nugent returned to southeastern Michigan in 1967, and assembled a new Dukes line-up including vocalist John Drake, a former bandmate in the Lourds, as well as rhythm guitarist Steve Farmer, bassist Bill White, keyboardist Rick Lober and drummer Dave Palmer. The group quickly emerged as one of the hottest attractions in the Detroit. After a band shuffle for signing a deal with Mainstream Records of New York City, the band members who released their debut album, "The Amboy Dukes".[1]

    After a series of line-up shifts which saw White and Lober exit in favor of bassist Greg Arama and keyboardist Andy Solomon, in 1968 the Dukes released their album "Journey to the Center of the Mind".  The title track, which Nugent wrote the music for Steve Farmer's lyrics, was released as a single and climbed the U.S. pop chart to number 16. Despite its apparent drug related theme, Nugent himself claims to have "never smoke a joint...never done a drug in my life. I thought 'Journey to the Center of the Mind' meant look inside yourself, use your head, and move forward in life".[1]RockBoar.com Picture

    By the time the Amboy Dukes recorded their follow-up LP in 1969, vocalist Rusty Day had replaced John Drake. "Migrations", failed to equal the success of its predecessor and a third effort, "Marriage on the Rocks" was issued later that same year. It was also a disappointment, and after 1971's "Survival of the Fittest", Nugent dismissed Day and Solomon as Dave Palmer left the group to accept an engineering job at Electric Lady Studios.[1]

     "Call of the Wild" is the next album by Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes. Recorded at Sleepy Hollow Studios in Ithaca, NY in the summer of 1973, it was the first of two albums released on Frank Zappa's DiscReet label. A new rhythm section was added with Grange and Mastrianni, adding a hard driving rock beat to Nugent's compositions for the remaining Dukes albums. Jezowski was added to the vocal mix. Magno adds some inventive keyboards and even a flute. A final Dukes single was released by the new record company, "Sweet Revenge" b/w "Ain't It the Truth".[2]

    "Tooth Fang & Claw" is the final album by Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes. It was the second offering on the DiscReet label. The band consisted of NugentRob Grange on bass and drummer Vic Mastrianni. The album has the feel of the outdoors and Nugent's love for hunting and rock and roll.[2]

    By 1975, Nugent had abandoned the troubled DiscReet label and signed with Epic Records. He teamed with producer Tom Werman and Aerosmith’s managers, Leber-Krebs, who organized his live tours into commercially successful operations. The only Amboy Dukes member that continued with Nugent was bassist Grange. Nugent added vocalist Derek St. Holmes and drummer Clifford Davies and moved forward to national success.[2]

     Nugent's old friend from his Amboy Duke days, bassist Greg Arama was killed in a motorcycle accident on September 18th, 1979, at the age of 29


1. Source: http://www.classicbands.com/amboy.html
2. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Amboy_Dukes


Albums

The Amboy Dukes (Nov, 1967)
Journey to the Center of the Mind (Apr, 1968)
Migration (1969)
Marriage on the Rocks/Rock Bottom (Mar, 1970)
Call of the Wild (Feb, 1974)
Tooth Fang & Claw (Sep, 1974)

Singles & EPs

Baby Please Don't Go (Jan, 1968)
Journey To The Center Of The Mind (May, 1969)
You Talk Sunshine, I Breathe Fire (Oct, 1968)
Good Natured Emma (Feb, 1969)
For His Namesake (Apr, 1969)
Sweet Revenge (May, 1974)

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