Nugent guitarist gunning for Overdrive Entertainment
By RON WARE
CELINA, Ohio – Doing shots with a rock star might seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For Derek St. Holmes, it almost was.
When he wasn’t busy touring with Ted Nugent’s band, the longtime lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist often accepted his boss’s invitation to go hunting.
Keep in mind, this was the Motor City Madman.
“He shot me a couple times,” said St. Holmes, who will be playing Overdrive Entertainment south of Celina on Saturday night, Sept. 11, pausing. “I shot him, too. So, it’s all good.”
That may partially explain why St. Holmes, by his best estimate, has joined, quit and rejoined Nugent’s band 50 times since 1974. He sang lead on some of Nugent’s biggest songs – including “Stranglehold,” “Hey Baby,” “Dog Eat Dog” and “Great White Buffalo” – while appearing on eight albums and in thousands of shows.
Luckily, Nugent, a gun rights advocate and former NRA board member, only winged him.
St. Holmes said Nugent got him in the leg while shotgun hunting shortly after joining the band. Fourteen years later, he was standing behind Nugent on a target range when a shot ricocheted and struck his arm.
After the first incident, he remembers a deadpan Nugent telling him, “I held as long as I could.”
Amazingly, they kept hunting together. Eventually, Nugent was on the receiving end.
“He was in the woods and said he wasn’t,” St. Holmes recounted. “Pulled the trigger and got him.”
But time heals all wounds, even flesh wounds.
“He’s like my older brother,” St. Holmes said by phone from Nashville, Tenn., where’s lived for about a decade. “We get along so well now because we’re older – I’m 68, and I guess he’s 72.
“Nobody knows him like I do, and nobody knows me like he does. It’s like a family.”
When not reuniting with Nugent, St. Holmes tours on his own, primarily singing songs he first brought to life 40-some years ago. He’s billed as the special guest star at Overdrive Entertainment, with That Arena Rock Show – a ‘70s and ’80 tribute band – following him on stage.
Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com and are $30 for VIP Stage Front and $15 for general admission. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and is scheduled for outdoors but could move indoors in case of rain, Tony Barhorst of the Rumble Concert Series said. The venue is at 3769 U.S. 127, Celina.
This marks Barhorst’s first promotion at Overdrive Entertainment.
“It’s like a Field of Dreams,” he said. “It’s a multiuse entertainment complex surrounded by cornfields.”
St. Holmes also has a residency at a well-known Nashville club, 3rd and Lindsley, performing every other Tuesday, and consults young artists, mentoring them in how to dress and how to comport themselves on stage.
He might also warn them to be careful doing shots.
For additional information, go to facebook.com/RumbleConcertSeries or theoverdrive.com.