Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Fashion Is the Last Repository of the Marvelous: Why Adam Ant Is More Interesting than You Thought
An art school drop-out with daytime soaps good looks, Adam Ant enjoyed major pop stardom in the UK (10 Top 10 hits) while his videos played in constant rotation on MTV (the channel's fans voted him Sexiest Man in America). He dated Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham, appeared in a number of films, and had an even bigger run of success as a solo act. To us in the US, The Ants' version of tom-tom heavy Brit Pop was like avant bubble gum—songs like Stand and Deliver and Ant Invasion were practically innovative compared to the pop clogging stateside airwaves. And it's held up better than much of the "New Wave" of the era, too. No doubt, fairy godfather Malcolm McLaren's input helped. (The above title is taken from a McLaren quote.) Though, Ant would eventually learn that McLaren's help comes at a price.
Adam Ant also suffers from Manic Depressive Disorder. Over the years he's bravely spoken of his experiences, a subject highlighted in the documentary The Madness of Prince Charming. (A title displaying all the sensitivity we expect from the British media.) His predisposition to depression was aided and abetted by various unfortunate events in his life. (He described the feelings that resulted as being like memories implanted from an Hieronymus Bosch painting.)
Regardless, he's an interesting bloke. He comes across as charming and engaging if not entirely humble, and he's still at it, having recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Watch and you'll root for The Dandy of the Underworld, even as you resist throwing his CDs on again.
This one's all right: