The Amboy Dukes were an acid/hard rock band led by Detroit-born rock guitar great Ted Nugent that became famous during the late 1960s. They are best known for the groundbreaking psychedelic classic, "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" (1968).
Formed in 1964 in Chicago, Illinois by Nugent while still in high school, the classic lineup also consisted of John Drake (vocals), Rick Lober (keyboards), Dave Palmer (drums), Bill White (bass, vocals), and guitarist/singer Steve Farmer (December 31, 1948 - April 7, 2020), who served as main songwriter along with Nugent, the band's lead guitarist who also provided backing vocals. The Amboy Dukes took their name from the title of a 1947 novel by Irving Shulman. By 1967, the band had relocated to Nugent's hometown of Detroit, signed with Mainstream Records, and released its eponymous debut album.
The Amboy Dukes debuted in early 1968 on the Pop/Rock charts with their blistering hard rock remake of Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go." The band's fame took off later that year with the Farmer/Nugent-penned "Journey To The Center Of The Mind" (1968), which became a Top 20 hit. Nugent later re-recorded this song for his 2007 album, "Love Grenade." The Amboy Dukes had two other charting songs with "You Talk Sunshine, I Breathe Fire" (1968) and "For His Namesake" (1969).
The Amboy Dukes continued to perform and record actively before finally disbanding in 1975, with numerous personnel changes along the way. Ted Nugent went on to launch a highly successful solo career and in 1989, joined the supergroup, Damn Yankees. The Amboy Dukes were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2008. Nugent and other original band members reunited the following year for a performance at the Detroit Music Awards and were honored with a Distinguished Achievement award for their contributions to rock music history.
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The Amboy Dukes
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