Vive Le Rock: Adam Ant Looks Back at His Classic Videos
On Nov. 3, the artist born Stuart Goddard turns 59. You might know him better as Adam Ant, the dandy highwayman who made a major mark on the music scene in the '80s fronting the Ants, and then went on to solo success, before disappearing from the music scene for years.
He returned early this year with the ambitious Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter, which referenced elements of his former glory while staking claims toward the future.
To celebrate Adam's birthday, we rang him up at his London office and asked him about some of his best known video clips. For those unfamiliar with Adam's story, he emerged from the British punk scene with tracks like "Car Trouble" and "Plastic Surgery," before eventually mixing Indian and pirate imagery, Burundi-style drum beats, and surf guitars with dramatic effect to bridge the gap between punk, glam, and the then-burgeoning New Romantic scene. Here's a look back and some of Adam's most memorable videos.
"That's the one that really broke Adam & the Ants," Adam says. Shot in a London nightclub with an illuminating disco floor, Adam famously encouraged his followers to "unplug the jukebox and do us all a favor." It was illustrated with a giant electrical plug. As always, Adam was over-the-top, perhaps a bit ridiculous, but undeniably entertaining and fun.
"Prince Charming," 1981
"That was the one after 'Stand and Deliver' for the second major album, so it was very important to make an impact. We had a lot riding on the Prince Charming project," Adam says. It also featured a famous leading lady, this time blonde bombshell Diana Dors in one of her final onscreen appearances as the Fairy Godmother in this Cinderella-spoof clip. "She was Britain's Marilyn Monroe," Adam says. "In one scene she was asked to walk up to this black panther and did it with no fear at all." Adam recalls the clip being quite a big production, with a lot of choreography. "It was trying to make it like an Errol Flynn film and all the images I grew up with."
"Stand and Deliver," 1981