ADAM ANT IN AMERICA
While the Sex Pistols music icons to many musicians and fans, less can say that the Sex Pistols’ first public performance happened to be an inspiration like Adam Ant can. Ant, born Stuart Leslie Goddard, was performing with a band called Bazooka Joe as a bass player in 1975 when he became transfixed with his band’s supporting act. While the rest of Bazooka Joe was unimpressed with the then unknown Pistols, Ant was so moved that he quit the Joe’s after that night’s performance. Adam and the Ants began performing two years later.
Though there was a constant change up in the band members themselves, Adam & the Ants released three successful albums between ’79 and ’81. Their third album, ‘Prince Charming’, featured three singles in the UK top five, two of them in the number one slot. Despite their initial success, Ant disbanded from the group in 1982 and launched a solo career a few months later, taking his guitarist and songwriting partner Marco Pirroni with him. Ant’s next album, ‘Friend or Foe’, enjoyed great chart success in the UK, Australia, and the US. His hit single ‘Goody Two Shoes’ took the number one slot in Australia and the UK and No. 12 in America.
Ant also enjoyed an acting career in both the UK and America; he spent a few months on stage starring in the shows in London before entering the American TV market in the late ‘80s. Ant appeared on various American TV shows in the next few years, including ‘The Equalizer’ and ‘Tales From The Crypt’. He later moved to Hollywood, taking film roles such as ‘Nomads’ and ‘Sunset Heat’. Ant also produced a musical about music legends Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran called ‘Be Bop A Lula’.
Yet despite his success, Ant was struggling with his celebrity status. In 2002, his tour was postponed after he was arrested and fined for throwing a car alternator through a pub window and threatening patrons with an imitation firearm. A year later, he was arrested after attempting to smash in the neighbour’s patio door with a shovel, and again for falling asleep on the floor of a café basement with his pants around his ankles. He was charged with affray and criminal damage for all three arrests; he was also sentenced to six months in a psychiatric ward, where he was diagnosed with bipolar disease. While under psychiatric care, Ant began to write songs again, and had several projects under way by the time he was released, including the launch of his own record label.
Ant was well known for his strange sex appeal, particularly in America. He was named MTV’s Sexiest Man in America in 1983 and Rock Magazine’s Sexiest Man of 1984, which helped him solidify his image as a pop star and sex icon. Ant was perhaps more well received in the US in general; while the BBC banned the release of Ant’s ‘Strip’ video and show, MTV was more than happy to play it. He was also well-known for his outrageous fashion sense; his clothing received so much attention from fans that in 2011 Ant announced that he was working on a fashion label with British fashion designer Rob Lucas called Blueblack Hussar (after his upcoming album).
Since 2010, Ant has been performing live regularly in his hometown of London and working on recording a new album. With two full-length UK national tours in 2011 and a third scheduled later this year, Ant shows no signs of stopping. Ant will wrap up his current tour in the US with his last show on October 20th before returning to the UK.