Adam Ant Biography
Last updated: 10/12/2012 02:18:41 PM
Adam Ant was born as Stuart Leslie Goddard on November 3, 1954 in Maryleborne, London, England.Adam came from a working class family background. Adam's grandfather was a full-blooded gypsy. His father was a chauffeur and his mother used to clean house for Paul McCartney. Adamwas brought up in North London as an only child. They lived in just two little rooms without the luxuries of running tap water and private washroom facilities. They lived in a fashion to which the average working class London family has become accustomed to. Adam commented "I mean there is poor and then there is really poor. There was no luxury, but there was always food on the table. If we were ever desperate, then it was always concealed from me."
His parents divorced when he was seven and he was an only child until 1974 when his father's new wife had a child. A sister was born.In school, Adam studied History, French and Art. He had a real passion for painting and drawing.He later dropped the French from his study and concentrated more on his artistic talents. Adam attended Hornsey School of Art in London. His influences came from Peter Webb, (who taught courses in Erotic Art), and Allen Jones, who concentrated on sexual imagery artwork. This had a great impact on Adam. Jones' work was tight-designed and very erotic. Women were usually dressed in high heels, with rubber outfits and whips in hand. He subsequently went on to study graphic design and eventually this led him to create all of the Ants' designs and graphics for badges, , record sleeves, posters, etc.
At a course at school, Adam met a fellow named Danny was also an illustrator and was in a band called Bazooka Joe, named after the comic strip character and the bubble gum.Adam later joined Bazooka Joe, as a bass player in the early 70's. Like members of Bazooka Joe, Adam started playing around with his own name, changing it from gig to gig. He was once called himself 'Eddie Riff' . He started writing songs and the band would add general craziness to their performances like faking cardiac arrests, and starting 'pretend fights' on stage with fake blood. Adam eventually lost interest with Bazooka Joe and in 1975, he formed his own bandcalled 'The B-sides'. He decided that he would be the front man for the band and sing himself. He wrote music and the band rehearsed a lot. But the B-Sides never performed and they had a major drawback - they never had a drummer. The songs that Adam wrote would later be the considered Antmusic.
After experimenting with various names, Stuart finally settled on Adam because he'd seen paintings of the Garden of Eden and thought it would be a nice place to be. He decided on TheAnts as insect names like the Beatles did well.
While at Art School, Adam fell in love with and married Carol Mills, a fellow student. Their wedding was held in the summer of 1975. They lived with Carol's parents in Muswell Hill. Adam was considered a good husband, went to school, did odd jobs around the house and seemed content. Carol, his happy wife even changed her name to Eve. He was working on an essay for school on fetishism and bondage. But at home, Adam acted peculiar. He stopped eating. He led a double life - a young husband residing in the suburbs and an illustrator who was focusing on erotic images and playing music as the punk scene in London started to flourish. But music took the most part of him and Adam stopped going to college.
He didn't associate with his friends anymore and hebecame ill and developed Anorexia Nervosa. He even took a large quantity of tablets, had an overdose and underwent psychiatric treatment. After his therapy, Adam told Eve that he wanted out of the marriage but still lived in the same house. Adam changed. He had a new look and when he visited some of his old school teachers, they hardly recognized him. He had changed and his main focus was now music. [Editor's note: According to Adam's interview on Howard Stern, he wasn't content with marriage at all. He found it extremely difficult to live with his wife's family and felt that he was too young and uncertain about love at this stage in life. He wanted out of the marriage.
Adam now regularly dressed in bondage type clothing and he wrote material and recorded a few tracks inthe studio. Adam was at the right place at the right time. Punk was emerging in England so his new band was immediately successful. But the focus of punk wasn't only the music but at the clothing shops and this is where Adam met Jordan. Jordan worked at Malcolm McLaren's SEXshop. The very first Adam & the Ants gig was on May 10, 1977 at the ICA cafeteria. Later, heasked Jordan to watch him play at the 'Man in the Moon' gig. She saw him perform and offered to manage the group. Adam and Jordan were fond of each other so she began working in everyaspect of the band, including writing material and singing the song "Lou." Jordan was instrumental in Adam getting the role of The Kid in the movie 'Jubilee' and helped them arrange and recordfour tracks for John Peel.
John Peel popularized the Ants but they had a hard time getting arecord contract still and weren't well liked by the British press. They played a lot of gigs at the Marquee and around London. Jordan later talked to Malcolm McLaren (who discovered the Sex Pistols) about him and introduced them. McLaren became Adam's manager for the fee of 1000 pounds. He introduced him to the Burundi beat (suggesting the need for two drummers) and the idea of pirate/Indian/warrior images. After two weeks, he said Adam was too old and couldn't dance and convinced the Ants to go with him and become Bow Wow Wow. Still, Adam admires him and considers him a prime inspiration.
'Dirk Wears White Sox' was released in November, 1979 just two months before Adam's bandmembers were hijacked by Malcolm McLaren for his newest project Bow Wow Wow . Songs included " Zerox" , "Whip My Valise" , and "Car Trouble." After the album was released, the Ants only had one concert appearance because by February 1980, Adam found himself without aband.
Adam retained the name "The Ants" then talked to Marco Pirroni in January 1980 about putting a new band together and the Ant/Marco partnership remains to this day. Adam coined the phrase"Antmusic" as he didn't want to be classified. He wanted to create an audience rather than catert o one already made. Even before reassembling a band together, Adam and Marco went to Rockfield Studio (in Wales) and re-recorded "Car Trouble" as a single. By now, Adam had an assembly. Adam, Marco Pirroni, Chris Hughes (a.k.a. Merrick). The flip side to this single featured Jon Moss (who later joined forces with Boy George to form the Culture Club.) From that day forward, the Ants incorporated the famous African and Native styled drum beat that was later a foundation for Adam and the Ants' songs.
The Ants were finally signed to a major record label - CBS and they released 'Kings of the Wild Frontier'. Finally, Adam and the Ants were slowing making the charts in the U.K. with the songs "Dog Eat Dog," "Antmusic," and "Kings of the Wild Frontier." Short videos clips were created featuring the band members wearing clothing from the romantic era and were televised on the BBC frequently. The public started taking notice. Adam and the Ants' wound up to be England's newest pop sensation. 'Smash Hits' magazine made Adam and the Ants a full- fledged pinup idols. However, it was much harder to break the American market. In 1981, MTV was launched in the U.S.A. and these easily picked up Adam and the Ants videos, and they decided to launch a major American tour which was only moderately successful. The Ants did manage to pick up the title of 'Best New Artist' award at the 1981 Grammy awards. In Britain, however, they were sweeping the charts.
The album 'Prince Charming' was released in 1981 and included such hits as 'Stand and Deliver' and 'Prince Charming'. The Ants launched their big 'Prince Charming Revue' tour in Britain with great success. A video was made to document this tour which was easily available to the public for home viewing. Afterwards, because Adam felt that certain band members lacked enthusiasm, he departed from the rest of the band, taking Marco with him and went solo.
After going solo, Adam was as popular as ever in Britain. He adapted a new sound..added horns and limiting the use of the drums. In 1982, Adam's solo debut 'Friend or Foe' was a great success both in Britain and the U.S.A. "Goody Two Shoes", "Place in the Country" and "Desperate But Not Serious" topped the charts and became his biggest sellers in the U.S.A. In 1983, Adam was determined to make it big across America. He undertook a massive American tour from coast to coast. The American audience easily succumbed to Adam's music and his gorgeous appearance.
With the efforts Marco Pirroni, Richard Burgess (drummer and producer),'Strip' was released in 1983. Adam collaborated with Phil Collins (from Genesis) who produced two tracks ('"Strip" and "Puss 'n Boots") for the album. "Puss 'n Boots" reached high in the charts in Britain. But "Strip" was banned by the BBC and Adam's popularity decreased. "Strip" was only moderately successful in America. But this did not discourage Adam.
In 1984, with a new series of musicians and recorded 'Vive le Rock'. The singles "Apollo 9" and "Vive le Rock" which was relatively successful. Adam performed the single "Vive le Rock" at Live Aid and took a break from music for a while concentrating his career onto acting.
Adam spent three months in England on stage starring in "Entertaining Mr. Sloane", produced by Joe Orton. He also had appearance on American television shows such as an episode of "The Equalizer", "Sledgehammer", "Amazing Stories" and "Tales from the Crypt". He also began taking roles in films such as 'Nomads', 'Slamdance', 'Trust Me', and 'Cold Steel'.
In 1987, Adam was recording and writing material for his newest album 'Manners and Physique'. "Room At The Top" was released as a single and made the Top 20s on the U.S. charts. 'Manners and Physique' was brought a different kind of sound to Adam's music. Produced by André Cymone, it featured synthesizers, backing vocals and a smooth pop sound.
After a well attended tour promoting his soon to be released album, 'Persuasion', MCA records decided not to release Adam Ant's album. Due to MCA Records' staff restructuring, including a new President, this album still remains unreleased to this day.
Since 1990, Adam has taken on various acting roles in several movies including 'Sunset Heat' and 'Spellcaster' (1991), 'Love Bites', 'Acting on Impulse', and 'Cyber Bandits.' Adam also produced a play in Los Angeles called 'Be Bop A Lula' in 1993. Apart from his acting roles, Adam spent time writing and recording 'Wonderful'.
This album was released in 1995 and included the singles 'Wonderful' and 'Beautiful Dream.' Adam made appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman. A 70 date British and North American tour was also scheduled, however after only 18 performances, Adam and his long time band member Marco Pirroni contacted a severe respiratory illness. So there was no alternative but to cancel his tour. Fan are still anxiously awaiting for the rescheduled concert dates. You can read the Press Release on John Hopkin's Page.
Adam Ant played the role of Caulfield in the stage performance of Joe Orton's play, Funeral Games in London, England from May 24 - June 22 at the Drill Hall, London. You can take a look at the photographs.
1997 marks the anniversary of the twentieth year of Antmusic. According to A.N.T., Adam's official club Ant News Today, he will be releasing a CD box set later this year to commemorate this anniversary. A few new songs will be featured in this collection. Adam was also in Toronto filming an HBO movie entitled 'Face Down', which will air later this year. For up-to-date information, visit the What's New page.
Adam recently appeared on British game show 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' showing off his stylish new shaved bleach blonde hairstyle. No pictures are available as of yet.
Antbox 20 was due to be released earlier this year, however, there is speculation that this will not be out anytime soon. In April, 1998 Adam became the proud father of a bouncing baby girl so one must suspect that Adam will be taking a great deal of time off. Any further information about this release or tour dates will be posted when available. Don't hold your breath though....
Antfans are anxiously awaiting the release of Antbox 2000, which is hopefully due on next year. Although Adam has not pursued any musical projects this year, he has been featured on the Canadian TV series, Nikita and he played a small role in the VH1 docudrama, Sweetwater.
Antfans are still awaiting the release of Antbox 2000, which is hopefully due out this year. Visit the What's New section for future developments. Rumour also has it that Adam will be doing some more acting this year.