I’ve been in a late ’70s/early ’80s mood lately. Listening to a lot of bands from that era. Mostly New Wave and Post-Punk. Which brings us to one of the most performers from that time, Adam Ant.
First learned about Adam Ant when I was a child. Think it was from a segment on a Entertainment Tonight episode. The clip mentioned the latest craze from the U.K., which was Adam and The Ants. The program showed a scene from the music video for Ant Music, and how the fans dressed like New Romantic pirates. It was the time of Ant Music for Sex People. Of course I was intrigued.
Later in my teen years, I brought a later pressing of Kings of The Wild Frontier. By then Adam Ant’s star was slightly beginning to fade. Didn’t matter, still loved the album. In fact, I brought the album again, later on CD format. There were other classics too. Who can forget such songs, like Stand And Deliver. There’s countless others, but I went and illustrated Adam from his Prince Charming days.
Before Adam went solo, it should be noted that his band used two drummers, otherwise known as Burundi Beat. Burundi Beat was taken from African musicians. Discovered by French anthropologists, the original Burundi musicians recorded, and had musical careers of their own. Later on, Adam and The Ants, and later Bow Wow Wow used this method, incorporating double drumming. It should be noted that the British New Wave concept of Burundi Beat came from none other than the notorious Malcolm McLaren himself. Speaking of Bow Wow Wow, McLaren ever the opportunist, swiped drummers from the original Ants line-up and threw in a thirteen year old Annabella Lwin to front a new band. That’s okay – Adam hooked up with Marco Pirroni, to form the classic Ants line-up that found world domination.
Two other curious tidbits from Ant history. Pirroni was one of the first ever guitarists for Siouxsie and The Banshees. Meanwhile, before Jon Moss found success with Culture Club, he beat the skins for the Ants, as well as The Damned.
It wasn’t until years later I FINALLY had the chance to see Adam Ant live. After decades Adam Ant put his old pirate gear on, and performed the classics. It was winter of 2017. Unfortunately in my opinion, I was slightly disappointed. It felt like he rushed through the set of old Ant ditties, rushing through songs. Guess he must be tired of performing them, and you could sense he was doing it for the money. Hey; everyone has to eat, right? I had another chance to rectify the situation when I won free tickets to see Adam Ant live yet again. However, Test Dept was playing the same night at Brooklyn Bazaar. I gave my Adam Ant tickets to a friend and headed to Brooklyn for the Test Dept gig. Perhaps third time will be a charm.
Without further ado, here’s my Adam Ant sketch. Done in pen, ink, watercolor, shimmer watercolor, and a tiny bit of digital enhancement. During his Prince Charming period. Btw. The promo video had one of the last appearances by British actress Diana Dors.