Why Adam Will Always Be My First Man

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One of my treasured discoveries from Operation Declutter has been this Adam Ant exercise book. It was part of an Adam Ant stationery set I bought in 1981, which also included a notebook, ruler, pencil sharpener and rubber. I’m proud to say I still have all of these, as well as a matching Adam Ant scrapbook.IMG_20160424_161706042

The scrapbook makes an appearance in the Sky Arts programme I filmed back in February, due to be aired in September, and holds a wealth of clippings from the early Eighties. However, apart from being defaced by my scrawl on the front (done to confirm my ownership) the above book is pristine, as is the notebook.  The rubber is still in its cellophane wrapping, such was my obsession with all things Adam.

Then, there was the music. The first single I ever bought was ‘Stand & Deliver’. I can still remember the excitement of being 10 years old, and going to Woolworths on a Saturday morning to buy it. It was to be the first of many, and thanks to an older boy at primary school, who knew all there was to know about the Dandy Highwayman, I found myself seeking out his back catalogue, and discovering Mr. Goddard’s earlier offerings. I was hooked.

Little wonder then that Saturday night, when I saw Adam & The Ants perform at the Brighton Centre, will remain a life highlight for me. Met with rapturous applause as he came on stage, and launching straight into ‘Dog Eat Dog’, Adam performed the ‘Kings of The Wild Frontier’ album in its glorious entirety. Thirty five years faded away as the Burundi Beat blasted through me, and I lost myself in the music and the performance of an often underrated pioneer.

Lasting almost two hours, the set included both of the band’s Number 1 singles as well as Adam’s solo chart topper ‘Goody Two Shoes’. Other solo offerings to make the show were ‘Desperate Not Serious’ and ‘Vive Le Rock’, but unfortunately not ‘Friend or Foe’, a favourite of mine. However, my forgiveness was swiftly forthcoming as the omission made room for early tracks such as ‘Zerox’, ‘Never Trust A Man (With Egg on His Face)’ and ‘Cartrouble’ to be IMG_20160528_210823811played. As the singer told us the latter was written with his childhood trips to Kent in mind, I found myself letting out a loud cheer, the idea of him visiting my county being far too much!

All too soon (although my knees would beg to differ, having taken a non-stop pounding throughout the gig), it was time to go. With just a handful of photos on my mobile – I was too busy enjoying the gig to snap away – but a mind full of memories, I made my way out of the venue, with a huge smile on my face and the knowledge that Adam Ant (still) rocks!

 

 

Adamant About Adam Ant

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The first record I ever bought was Adam and the Ants’ “Stand And Deliver”. I was 10 years old, and madly in love with the dandy highwayman, with the white stripe across his face! By the time Prince Charming was released as a single a few months later, along with its accompanying video, featuring Diana Dors, I was completely hooked by the beautiful man in make-up. So, it’s no surprise that whenever I hear the first “aah, hah” as the song begins, I’m immediately transported to pre-adolescence.

Last week, I happened to hear Prince Charming three times in one day; on my MP3 player on the morning commute, at work on Radio 2, and in the evening listening to Absolute 80s Radio. Hearing the song so frequently prompted a childhood memory. I can’t remember why, but I remember being sent to my room for some wrongdoing. At the age of 10, I was fortunate enough to have an old record player in my room, and sought solace by playing Prince Charming. For those of you old enough to remember them, my record player was one where you could stack the records on the spindle, where an arm held them in place. The arm had a dual purpose, in that if you pulled it back, the record that was playing would play again (or in my case, again and again and again!). Yes, I was so incensed at being sent to my room, that I left the arm back, and let the record play repeatedly, for the whole time I was being punished. I know I missed the whole of The Dukes of Hazzard whilst I was in my room, so that’s got to be at least 15 consecutive plays of Prince Charming, at the highest volume my record player could go to! I laugh now, but at the time it was me and Adam against the world, as I sang “ridicule is nothing to be scared of” at the top of my voice. Such passion and angst in one so young. It lasted at least until I was called downstairs for my tea!