Adam Ant (born Stuart Leslie Goddard, 3.11.1954)
Adam Ant is an English musician best known as the lead singer of new romantic group Adam and the Ants.
Childhood: Adam Ant was born in Marylebone, London. His parents were Leslie Goddard, a chauffeur, and Betty Kathleen Smith, a cleaner. They divorced when he was seven. He attended Robinsfield Infants School and was forced to be placed under supervision by a teacher called Joanna Saloman after throwing a brick through the head's office window twice. She helped him develop his artistic skills. He later attended St Marylebone Grammar School and became a school prefect, before enrolling at Hornsey College of Art to study graphic design. He later dropped out.
Music career: Adam Ant's first band was Bazooka Joe, which famously headlined when the Sex Pistols played their first gig. He then briefly joined the band B-Sides before changing his name. The name Adam Ant came from 'Adam' being the first man and him seeing ants as being resilient creatures. He put together Adam and the Ants in 1977 with former B-Sides members Lester Square and Andy Warren, as well as drummer Paul Flanagan. His first songs were 'Deutscher Girls' and 'Plastic Surgery' which featured on the soundtrack to the cult punk film 'Jubilee' in which he starred. In 1979, the band released debut album 'Dirk Wears White Sox' with Matthew Ashman, Leigh Gorman and Dave Barbarossa. By 1980, they'd signed with CBS Records and recorded second album 'Kings of the Wild Frontier' with the line-up Marco Pirroni, Kevin Mooney, Terry Lee Miall and Chris Hughes. The album became a UK number 1 hit. They were also successful with third album 'Prince Charming' in 1981, which featured former Roxy Music bassist Gary Tibbs as a replacement to Mooney. It featured number one singles 'Stand and Deliver' and title track 'Prince Charming'. In 1982, he disbanded the group and embarked on a solo career releasing debut solo record 'Friend or Foe' in 1982. He continued to work with writing partner Marco Pirroni. He then embarked on a US tour during which several dates were cancelled due to Adam suffering a knee injury relapse. The following year he released the album 'Strip' through Columbia Records though it did not do as well in the charts as his previous records. In 1985, he appeared at the Live Aid concert playing just one song: the title track to his 'Vive le Rock' album. He later claimed to regret playing the gig. He then took a break from music and pursued an acting career appearing in films such as 1986's 'Nomads' with Pierce Brosnan, 'Slam Dance' in 1987 with Virginia Madsen and 1988's 'Out of Time' alongside Bruce Abbott. In 1990, he came back with a new album entitled 'Manners & Physique', featuring top 20 UK single 'Room At The Top', on which he collaborated with Andre Cymone. He followed that album up with 'Wonderful' in 1995 and embarked on a tour which was later cut short due to his developing glandular fever. The following year, he recorded the songs 'Lame' and 'Inseminator' for the film 'Drop Dead Rock' which Adam starred in alongside Blondie's Debbie Harry. He then demo'd various other songs including 'Tough Blokes', 'Justine', 'Picasso Meets Gary Cooper' and 'Call Me Sausage' to feature on his new Blend Records label. In 2001, he recorded the charity single of Neil Diamond's 'America' and his own 'Big Trouble' following the 9/11 attacks in New York. In 2002, he made a guest appearance on 'Mike's Bikes' EP by Kevin Mooney's new band, the Lavender Pill Mob. The following year he appeared in the 2003 documentary 'The Madness of Prince Charming' detailing Adam's career and mental illness. In 2006, he published his autobiography 'Stand & Deliver'. In 2010, he made a return to live shows with several low-key performances and launched his new label Blue Black Hussar Ltd. In 2011, he continued with intimated performances during a 'World Tour Of London' string of shows and even went to Paris for his first show abroad in nearly 16 years. He also did a BBC Radio 4 interview discussing his bipolar disorder, and later announced a new tour at a press conference that became a massive success. In 2012, he was subject of an art exhibition in London entitled 'Adam Ant - Dandy In The Underworld' featuring works from Chris Duffy, Gerard McNamara, Jill Furmanovsky and Denis O'Regan. Adam played a charity concert at the gallery. That year he and his band took to Australia for a 2-week tour. He also made several Australian TV appearances including on 'Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight' on which he played a new track 'Vince Taylor'. He also did a summer festival run starting with May's Bearded Theory festival in the UK. He appeared on a US tour that had been postponed for several months before embarking on his UK Blueblack Hussar Tour and releasing 'Cool Zombie' - the first single from his new album. In 2013, he released his first album since 1995 'Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter' which reached number 25 on the UK Albums Chart. He also recorded a track called 'Who's A Goofy Bunny Then?' as a tribute to late Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.
Personal life: Adam Ant was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 21. He took sodium valproate for some years which gave him insomnia, reduced libido, lack of concentration, hair loss and weight gain. In 2002, he was arrested after throwing a car alternator through the window of the Prince Of Wales pub in Camden and threatening security with an old starting pistol. He was fined £500 and forced to undergo further psychiatric treatment. The following year, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after attempting to smash a neighbour's door in and attempting to sleep half-naked in a café basement. He was hospitalised again in 2010. In 1975, he married Carol Mills and lived with her and her parents. During that time he developed anorexia and later tried to kill himself with an overdose of pills after which he got sent to a mental hospital. He renamed himself Adam Ant on his release, with Carol dubbing herself Eve. They were later divorced. He had a relationship with Amanda Donohoe from 1977 to 1981, Jamie Lee Curtis in 1983 and Heather Graham in the nineties. In 1997, he married Lorraine Gibson in Tennessee and had a daughter called Lily. They later separated. He doesn't watch TV but enjoys reading and has tattoos of Lord Nelson's prayer, his grandfather and an Oscar Wilde quote.
Adam Ant - People took to the streets of Soho to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Bar Italia, the coffee shop on Frith Street. A street party with perfomances by Tim Arnold, Antonio Magro Jnr, Suggs, Adam Ant and Ray Gelato. Regular customers included celebrities and local clientele that frequent the bar.. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 7th July 2014
Adam Ant - Brian Epstein honoured with Blue Plaque at the site where Epstein's company NEMS occupied offices from the height of Beatlemania in 1964 until shortly after his death in 1967 - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 29th June 2014
A Week in Video... Wakefield’s indie rockers The Cribs release ‘Leather Jacket Love Song,’ a nostalgic look back at their last decade of existence as a band. The video inter-splices archive footage of one of the brothers’ early gigs at Ossett Town Hall in Yorkshire, with the Cribs circa 2013 observing their younger selves. The Cribs’ sounds hasn’t altered a great deal over time, but their popularity seems to show no signs of wavering; their commitment to their DIY roots remains strong and even with Ryan breaking out with his new band Exclamation Pony, we reckon there’s a few years left in The Cribs yet.
Palma Violets have been causing a stir, with their accessible, psych-tinged garage rock. The video for ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’ is a vaguely trippy, home-video style shoot; footage of the band playing is mixed with footage of them driving around in a car together, looking like it’s being played back on an old TV set. The band have gained a lot of attention since playing recent slots with London based Savages. It looks like 2013 could well be their year.
It takes 65 minutes for Adam Ant to exorcise the near-18 years between this album and his previous, 1995's Wonderful - and we feel every last second of it. This was never going to be an easy listen; here's a man who has battled back and forth with mental illness - ultimately diagnosed as bi-polar - whilst, at the same time, struggled to stomach a music industry that had fallen out of love with him. Adam Ant - real name Stuart Goddard - was one of the most intelligent, adventurous pop stars of the 1980's, in a decade which wasn't short on a few innovators; but that word 'pop' was at forefront of his employers minds, and he was as disposable to them as anyone else, which meant that when the hits dried up, the relationship got bitter.
There are no hits here; the awkwardly titled Adam Ant Is The BlueBlack Hussar Marrying The Gunner's Daughter is also awkwardly written; it feels like a dam has burst in Goddard's mind pouring forth frustrations, regrets, anger and blame. The music industry is made a target from the off; 'Marrying The Gunner's Daughter' is a nautical phrase to describe being tied across a cannon and flogged, and works as a metaphor for how the artist felt he was treated at the hands of the business he once had 22 UK hits in between 1980 and 1985. He also has a pop at the English mental health support system on 'Shrink' - one of the better of the 17 tracks here, exploding into a delirious cacophony of sludgy synths and brass.
But there's plenty of introspection too; though you could accuse Goddard of bitterness at times, he does take a fair share of the burden himself. It's extremely hard for mental illness to be truly understood, with each case unique on the spectrum; no-one should blame themselves for the actions that it causes, but Goddard does admit that a lot of his problems were as a result of him struggling to grapple with his illness. The song 'Vince Taylor', for example, relates to an English singer who became more known for his public meltdowns than his music, whereas elsewhere on the album Marvin Gaye is also referenced. They are performers who had their own internal struggles, and who Goddard clearly feels he was headed the same way as. Thematically it's an album that performs exactly its creator's intention for it; it's a map of his mind that's cluttered, confused, but most importantly desperate to communicate honestly his furrow of the past couple of decades.
There’s not much in the way of big hitters to shake Les Miserables off it’s spot at the top of the UK album charts this week. The remainder of the Top 5 is still looking like a ‘who’s who’ of 2012, with Emeli Sande, Jake Bugg, Calvin Harris and Everything Everything filling the rest of the slots.
Straight outta leftfield this week is a new album from Adam Ant – a man plagued, in recent years, by a tarnished reputation. He initially announced the album title back in 2010 and then announced that it would finally be seeing the light of day back in September of last year. Entitled Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter, the album is being released on his own label, which he’s called Blueblack Hussar Records he’s previously described the album as “a live record that lends itself to performance,” which will feature “a kind of concept. It’s a very old fashioned, old school, step by step album.”
The album’s getting the deluxe release treatment, with a CD release, a gatefold vinyl release and to really appease the old school enthusiasts, a cassette release as well. Mixed reviews for the album have veered from a paltry 4 out of 10 from NME to an enthusiastic response from The Independent’s Simon Price – a long time Ant fan. It’s Ant’s first solo album since 1995’s Wonderful, so there’s a lot riding on this release in terms of his reputation and the sheer length of time it’s been in gestation.