Hours after Gov. Rick Perry kicked off his second full term in office, rocker Ted Nugent helped him celebrate at a black-tie gala, but not all attendees were pleased by the performance.
Using machine guns as props, Nugent appeared onstage as the final act of the inaugural ball wearing a cut-off T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag and shouting offensive remarks about non-English speakers, according to people who were in attendance.
Perry’s spokesman, Robert Black, downplayed the Tuesday night incident.
"Ted Nugent is a good friend of the governor’s. He asked him if he would play at the inaugural. He didn’t put any stipulation of what he would play," Black said.
Others said the appearance was inappropriate.
"I think it was a horrible choice," GOP strategist Royal Masset said. "I hope nobody approved it."
The black-tie ball was just hours after Perry was sworn into office and spoke of bipartisanship, compassion for the poor and racial and class unity.
News of Nugent’s appearance drew criticisms from civil-rights leaders.
"Whenever someone sports the Confederate battle flag, many Texans will be offended, and rightly so, because of what it symbolizes — the enslavement of African-Americans and more recently the symbol of hate groups and terrorists," Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
A hunting and gun-rights advocate, Nugent could not be reached for comment on his appearance at the inaugural because he was hunting, a spokeswoman said.