The Adam Ant thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Because while there are a ton of individual threads on the man there's no one overall celebration thread for the hypergenius.

Thread created on account of this video and its notable if unofficial cameos:

Which led me to tell the Reverend to check out Adam Ant, which led to him saying:

okay ant rap omg

Which is about right.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:02 (twelve years ago) link

here's where I admit that I love "Room At the Top," as it was my first introduction to the Ant and holds up very well as a template for Andre Cymone's ideas about what a post-Prince world should sound like (not a great world, but a good one, as he showed with Jody Watley).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:06 (twelve years ago) link

Ant Rap was the first rap track I ever heard, haha! I love his mariachi-influenced solo phase - 'Goody Two Shoes' etc.

moley, Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:32 (twelve years ago) link

Heyo ahhah heyo ahhah


whatever, Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:59 (twelve years ago) link

All hail Adam.

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 14 February 2008 02:22 (twelve years ago) link

Did he take his stage name from the Hanna-Barbera character, Atom Ant? Enquiring minds want to know.

that's not my post, Thursday, 14 February 2008 04:07 (twelve years ago) link

there's probably a lot of carmodising to be done about what he was in '81, a Wood Between The Worlds of a year, the inferences of the 'dandy highwayman' in terms of nascent commodified 'heritage', resurgent aristocracy, etc, etc. but not here. the records ("Ant Rap" especially) were fucking weird, unlike anything else before or since, and he was the biggest pop star in the land. few have pulled it off so comprehensively. of course, that meant he had nowhere else to go, but the last time i heard him interviewed he seemed in control again: he may only have memories, but those are key memories.

February Callendar, Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:06 (twelve years ago) link

for the record i think the name may have had something to do with 'Adam Adamant', a timeslipped BBC character of 15 years earlier with (if memory serves) a v. similar image

February Callendar, Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:07 (twelve years ago) link

"Desperate But Not Serious" remains one of my favorite horn charts ever.

Joseph McCombs, Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:08 (twelve years ago) link

I've believed for so long that I can longer remember why I started believing it in the first place, that he originally chose his name based on the Twyford "Adamant" range of Victorian-style sinks, toilets and most specifically urinals that seemed to be most frequently found in pubs, public toilets etc. etc. around the time.

Stewart Osborne, Thursday, 14 February 2008 13:43 (twelve years ago) link

They were very nearly "Armitage and the Shanks"

Mark G, Thursday, 14 February 2008 13:51 (twelve years ago) link

Was 'Stand & Deliver' maybe cocking a pistol or two at Richard O'Sullivan's fat and shabby Dick Turpin or have I gone all counter-chronological?

NickB, Thursday, 14 February 2008 14:29 (twelve years ago) link

I want Russell Brand to do a cover of "Stand & Deliver". Actually I'd settle for a cover by Richard O'Sullivan.

snoball, Thursday, 14 February 2008 14:38 (twelve years ago) link

Richard O'Sullivan now sadly retired due to health reasons (possibly early Alzheimer's).

Dingbod Kesterson, Thursday, 14 February 2008 14:48 (twelve years ago) link

nicked from somewhere else:

He had what was thought to be a mild stroke in 2003, and has lived in the nursing home ever since, but his health isn't bad at all, he had an operation a couple of years ago and he suffers with a bit of memory loss but he's fine. He sent a card to the boss of one of my friends a few weeks ago. He did a commentary for a Carry On DVD last year but from what I've heard he doesn't plan a return to acting.

Mark G, Thursday, 14 February 2008 14:52 (twelve years ago) link

I remember his cameo in that episode of The Equalizer as an evil futurepimp!

"Now remembah!... No brooozes, No leeeezhuns"

Mackro Mackro, Thursday, 14 February 2008 16:19 (twelve years ago) link

(that's Adam Ant, not O'Sullivan)

Mackro Mackro, Thursday, 14 February 2008 16:20 (twelve years ago) link

Haha, this is amazing -- so over on the thread where I said the Reverend should check Adam out, I said something like how he was 'the secret influence on Gerard Way, kinda sorta' (which I'll stand by, he's at least part of the whole continuum). Just now I go digging up some YouTube links and I find this comment from a month ago:

relightmyfire (1 month ago)
If My Chemical Romance were made in the 80's this is what they would look and probably sound like

IT'S A SIGN. That or it's just a matter of wearing uniforms.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 16:24 (twelve years ago) link

Anyway, speaking of YouTube, some love:

'Kings of the Wild Frontier'

'Dog Eat Dog' -- looks like a TV show appearance rather than the 'real' video but said video was just a live clip anyway.


'Stand and Deliver'

'Prince Charming'

'Ant Rap'

'Goody Two Shoes'

'Desperate But Not Serious'

'Friend or Foe'


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 16:31 (twelve years ago) link

Oh, and in the WTF category:

'Momus and Adam Ant: A Story of Desperation and Seriousness'

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 16:32 (twelve years ago) link

I'm afraid to even click on that.

The Reverend, Thursday, 14 February 2008 20:58 (twelve years ago) link


So "Ant Rap" then. And anything else you've seen so far.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 21:02 (twelve years ago) link

I'm afraid to even click on that.

What I learned from that clip: on one hand, I'm not as good looking as Adam Ant, but on the other hand, I'm not as badly dressed as Momus.

snoball, Thursday, 14 February 2008 21:45 (twelve years ago) link

I liked Adam Ant a lot, but I figured it was a guilty pleasure. YOU'RE SAYING I DON'T HAVE TO LIVE IN SHAME, ANYMORE?

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 14 February 2008 21:48 (twelve years ago) link

You never should have lived in shame to begin with! RIDICULE IS NOTHING TO BE SCARED OF!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 21:51 (twelve years ago) link

What I learned from that clip is that I can no longer tell what is dsprt and what is srs.

Joseph McCombs, Thursday, 14 February 2008 21:52 (twelve years ago) link

funny i was just checking out adam ant clips for an imminent blog post, check out the early punk clip of Dirk Wears White Socks w/ Jordan on stage. There's a bunch of other great clips, the one from jubilee, car trouble, all from his DVD I guess.

dan selzer, Thursday, 14 February 2008 22:48 (twelve years ago) link

We really can't discuss the genius of Adam Ant without mentioning the genius of Marco Pirroni. I saw him being interviewed once, sitting in a comfy chair in a comfy looking English house. His take on these songs was very pop, very humorous. I recall him chuckling about 'Stand and Deliver' - he and Adam were very clued into what a 15 year old thinks is cool, and they kind of constructed the song and image with that in mind.

moley, Thursday, 14 February 2008 23:51 (twelve years ago) link

One reason he used that band name is because he wanted to imitate The Beatles. At least that's what my friend said and he read his autobiography.

CaptainLorax, Friday, 15 February 2008 01:13 (twelve years ago) link

Also, here is his Save The Gorillas version of Stand And Deliver
Save The Gorillas

CaptainLorax, Friday, 15 February 2008 01:15 (twelve years ago) link

Dirk Wears White Sox was a fantastically strange album, superficially punky but with a sort of pop sheen all over it, and with all these snarky atonal riffs and hooks which sounded really grown up and sort of scary to me, aged 7, which is when it was (naively, perhaps) bought for me by my dad (just because I loved the KOTWF and Prince Charming albums so much, I guess). Plus those lyrics! Bits about cleopatra having a huge cunt, and God having a huge dick, and about patronised spastics and shell shocked war veterans and, well, all kinds of things which are still sort of shocking really, in a way that not much other stuff from the time is, any more. And then there's cartrouble in there too, which is melodically as great a pop song as Stand And Deliver. Yep, great album.

JimD, Friday, 15 February 2008 01:20 (twelve years ago) link

There's an interesting 2006 interview with Marco Pirroni here:

moley, Friday, 15 February 2008 02:19 (twelve years ago) link

One reason he used that band name is because he wanted to imitate The Beatles. At least that's what my friend said and he read his autobiography.

-- CaptainLorax, Friday, February 15, 2008 1:13 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Link

Adam Ant's autobiography was written by Geir Hongro

whatever, Friday, 15 February 2008 02:24 (twelve years ago) link

They were seriously underground cool in the US around the time of Dirk and slightly later. Darby Crash of the Germs into them, and lots of the DC hardcore scene

curmudgeon, Friday, 15 February 2008 14:33 (twelve years ago) link

From the Marco interview...

One of the most awful things I've experienced was in a studio in New York , with the engineer doing something boring and production-y. Mick Jagger was in the room with us, at the Space Invaders machine, and because we didn't take any notice of him, he kept kicking the Space Invaders machine so we would pay attention to him. I thought, “please let it never get to this”. You're the most famous singer in the world, and I'm just the guitarist from the Ants, and you want me to pay attention to you? What do you care? You've done enough, mate. You don't need my approval. But no, it's not enough. It's never enough.

Mark G, Friday, 15 February 2008 15:15 (twelve years ago) link

here's the blog post in which I mention Adam Ant and briefly talk about the Adam Ant/Monochrome Set connections...

dan selzer, Monday, 18 February 2008 19:19 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

fucking hate grooving on anything that was popular when I was a teenager, but Kings of the Wild Frontier = one of the most amazing albums ever

J0hn D., Sunday, 22 June 2008 22:17 (twelve years ago) link

Damn right.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 23 June 2008 01:28 (twelve years ago) link

I just bought Friend Or Foe, 'cause it was oddly calling to me from the used record bins. Now I'm experiencing a slight case of buyer's regret. Desperate But Not Serious is a fun song, tho.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 23 June 2008 01:59 (twelve years ago) link

Friend or Foe is two albums too late. Dirk Wears White Sox and Kings are the albums on which any Adam Ant claims to greatness hang.

J0hn D., Monday, 23 June 2008 02:37 (twelve years ago) link

Yeah. I must return to the used CD shop.

Daniel, Esq., Monday, 23 June 2008 02:51 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...


mark e, Monday, 22 March 2010 10:54 (ten years ago) link

Ha-ha. Thanks for posting.

everything, Monday, 22 March 2010 19:16 (ten years ago) link

I was like "hey when was this then?" and the answer is 3 DAYS AGO

black jeans stained by (snoball), Monday, 22 March 2010 20:14 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

Terrific interview with Simon Price He's on spikey form.

AA: "Paul Morley, fucking message, you cunt: remember that shared review you did of Dirk Wears White Sox with Throbbing Gristle? And we both got 'berks that lurk in the corner of your psyche'. That cunt is now being commissioned by Sony to write my liner notes. So, you were wrong. Suck my dick. You're a turncoat. Go and write for Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Or go on TV and talk shit for three hours. That represents the old school. He's fucked. He's got no credibility. Fuck him. If I have a hit, he can suck my dick. You slagged me off. You tried to prevent me from doing anything. You hate punk. So, go and suck Joy Division's dick, and go and get your photo taken with Anton fucking Corbijn, in black and white so it won't show the weight you've put on, and become a fucking publican. Him, Peter Hook and Liam Gallagher should have a pub, like Coronation St: "Ee, fuckin' ave it!" But I won't be nasty, haha…"

The Man With the Magic Eardrums (Billy Dods), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 19:56 (ten years ago) link

I just don't like fucking Mr Bono. (Does an Irish accent) 'Every time I click my fingers, an African dies.' Well, stop clicking your fucking fingers, then!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:11 (ten years ago) link

I just don't like fucking Mr Bono

Then stop!

Marriage, that's where I'm a Viking! (HI DERE), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:12 (ten years ago) link

oh lol I should have read the rest of that

Adam Ant in stealing my jokes before I can make them shocker

Marriage, that's where I'm a Viking! (HI DERE), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:13 (ten years ago) link

Sadly, the interview could be appendixed to the DSM-IV for Bipolar II Disorder...

nori dusted (Sanpaku), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:23 (ten years ago) link

Simon says as much, to his credit.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:25 (ten years ago) link

Is he actually bipolar?

Walter Melon (Abbott), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:27 (ten years ago) link

From the interview:

A lot of acquaintances and admirers seem to be concerned by this comeback. They're worried that you're not up to it. This sounds like a dumb question, but… how are you?

AA: "I'm alright! I'm back to normal. I'm excited by my work. The definitions of bipolar disorder are – look it up – sexually promiscuous, dressing up funny, behaving in an unusual manner, spending lots of money erratically, and just generally being a nutcase. Well, I don't know a fucking good rock 'n' roller who doesn't fit all the criteria, so lock everybody up! Lock Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix... who would you not lock up? Cliff, maybe? I'm serious. People don't know anything about mental illness. It's bipolar disorder. Churchill called it the 'black dog'. It was 'the blues' in the old days. Being 'nuts', 'Bedlam', call me a 'nutter'. I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act, a Victorian law, which upset me because I don't think I'm nuts. I did wrong, I broke the law, OK. But they made a big fucking display of it. I was sentenced in the court where The Krays were sentenced, which I thought was a bit out of proportion, maybe they wanted to make an example of me, but that's the law. I paid the price, now get the fuck off my back. Cos I am Adam Ant, I dress up funny, that's what I do for a living, The End. They dress up funny, but they've got a shit outfit. The French police have stopped me a couple of times, and after a while I've said to them 'Those uniforms are shit, ain't they? You should be looking like fuckin' Alain Delon and you're looking like Mr Plod.' The British Police look like Teletubbies. No sense of fashion. If they got Vivienne Westwood in to design them, then we'd have something. Might happen! She's a Dame…"

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 20:30 (ten years ago) link

six months pass...

A brief but proper celebration from one who knows:

Ned Raggett, Monday, 22 November 2010 23:43 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Man, that voice is still something. Just got back from the show. He played nearly 30 songs, with tons of Dirk era tracks, the expected big hits and some deep cuts like "Red Scab" and "Lady". He may not move like he once did but it didn't matter at all. Blast of a time.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 04:43 (eight years ago) link

Saw him in Austin a couple days ago, truly an epic set. Was a little disturbed by all the 40 somethings re-living their high school years, but was still fun. He was definitely going for a more hard rocking sound than he had way back when.

Moodles, Saturday, 22 September 2012 06:19 (eight years ago) link

I agree, the band was much more of a hard rock band. Worked well on most stuff, though "Vive Le Rock" and "Room At The Top" sounded a bit odd. The 40-somethings didn't bother me too much except for the one's who dressed up. That was uncomfortable for everyone.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 14:56 (eight years ago) link

I think Dirk & Kings are two of the most underrated albums ever - they're so good, and people acknowledge that they are, but really, they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any big album from that era you can name, each in its own way.

I don't have much use for Adam after those two & the Stand & Deliver EP, bar an occasional good hook. I do remember hearing the band was great GREAT great back in the day, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he's still a great performer.

Inconceivable (to the entire world) (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Saturday, 22 September 2012 17:17 (eight years ago) link

I love Kings (and "Stand & Deliver/Beat My Guest" is easily in my top 3 A/B sides ever) but still need to hear Dirk.

da croupier, Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:33 (eight years ago) link

debating whether to see the dude in October

da croupier, Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:34 (eight years ago) link

Yes to both. (In that, hear Dirk immediately and yes, go see him.)

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:37 (eight years ago) link

Seconding Ned. Dirk is a necessary listen if you're thinking of seeing him as he played a ton of old tunes. Try to track down the remaster with the early singles appended to it.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:52 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, said remaster finally restored the original track order and two tracks cut from later reissues, "The Day I Met God" and "Catholic Day."

There was a plan at one point for a box set unearthing a huge slew of Dirk and pre-Dirk recordings but I think that fell by the wayside, more's the pity.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 September 2012 18:59 (eight years ago) link

Here were the details on said set:

As previously announced, a multi-CD box set is currently in the planning stages with Sony Music in the UK. This yet to-be-titled album will contain the DECCA demos, Putney tapes, Chelsea tapes, Muswell Hill tapes, Virtual earth demos and other rarities. This may include uncirculated tracks entitled "Hooray, I'm Hetero", "Bobby Baby", "London Sound" and many other never-heard-before tunes from the late 70s and beyond. The majority of this material will be from Adam's original tapes wherever possible.

Tentative release date for this is March, 2005. Andi Vaughan, Mark Alleyne and Marco Pirroni will compile this CD box set. In addition, production is the task of Marco Pirroni and Mark Alleyne.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:03 (eight years ago) link

That woulda been great.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:20 (eight years ago) link

Is the b-sides comp still in print? I used to have a copy but think I lost it in the last move. I wanted to play "Red Scab" and "Fall-In" and "Christian D'or" to refresh my memory of the studio versions and was sadly out of luck.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:24 (eight years ago) link

Available for $9.99 on iTunes.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:30 (eight years ago) link

Thanks! I always forget to check itunes. I've spent maybe $20 there in the near decade of it's existence.

Ned - did you catch him in LA on this tour?

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:36 (eight years ago) link

Alas, had to miss it. Not the best of months there for me in terms of shows I'd love to see! But money's been very tight, as has my schedule.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:37 (eight years ago) link

Maybe he'll tour again early next year when the new album finally comes out.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 22 September 2012 19:41 (eight years ago) link

Pre-DIRK first wave punk material isn't hard to find online, and is amazing; clearly the work of Pistols fans with talent to burn, and a 100% commitment to outrage. This is a sample, NOT included on the LP

Saw him live last year, and his set concentrated on this material. Do NOT miss him. He's really going for it and, you will bore your grandkids about how you saw Adam plain.

Soukesian, Saturday, 22 September 2012 20:04 (eight years ago) link

four months pass...

Just bought a ticket for the Bath show in April. Sickly excited.

you may not like it now but you will (Zora), Tuesday, 19 February 2013 16:36 (seven years ago) link

That's what spurred me into buying the tix...

you may not like it now but you will (Zora), Tuesday, 19 February 2013 17:23 (seven years ago) link

I hope it's good and not embarrassing. I hope it's nothing like the cool zombie video.

you may not like it now but you will (Zora), Tuesday, 19 February 2013 17:34 (seven years ago) link

If it's like the show I talked about upthread it'll be amazing. If it's mainly material from Blueblack Hussar, I'm sorry.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 19 February 2013 17:39 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

Report: it was 1/3 brilliant old stuff, 1/3 tedious new stuff, and 1/3 pop hits. Pop hits mostly murdered horribly, esp. Prince Charming, but they did a surprisingly good job with Goody Two Shoes. Song of the night for me was Ants Invasion, which must have been killer in a live set back in the day. The recorded version is insipid by comparison.

you may not like it now but you will (Zora), Sunday, 28 April 2013 10:24 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

This is a cool, weird thing

— Paul (@mondosalvo) January 11, 2021

Johnny Fever, Monday, 11 January 2021 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.