[14.10.06] [Andrew Gallix]
AND THEY CALL THIS MAKING HISTORY
Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood) reviews Adam Ant's autobiography:
"My own first memories of Adam stem from my teenage years in Liverpool, when I went to see Derek Jarman's paean to punk, Jubilee. Named after the Queen's 25th jubilee, it starred the style icon Jordan, a beehive blonde who came to fame working in Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren's fetishist shop Sex (later Seditionaries), which made the King's Road into a mecca for the hip young gunslingers of the day. In lesser roles were Toyah Wilcox and Adam. Adam, billed as 'Kid', looked good in his Seditionaries bondage jacket and eye make-up, singing about 'Plastic Surgery' to a future pop mogul in an X Factor-style audition. The film was slated by the music press as 'hippie trash' but the accompanying soundtrack album was to provide Adam with his first release.
The part of the book that covers this period, before he became a bona fide pop star, was for me the most interesting. The film's subplot of Good Queen Bess travelling back and forward in time was an idea that gained momentum on the London creative scene. Westwood was soon to launch her pirate collection, and Adam says that he was asked by McLaren to model this new look but declined, preferring his own look -- a historical military jacket hired from costumiers Berman & Nathan. Whether McLaren actually managed Adam and the Ants in a Colonel Tom Parker-type 50/50 deal or was just paid a consultancy fee for ideas to help them is unclear. Adam writes at one point: 'We needed to get 1,000 pounds for Malcolm (he was opening a new shop with Vivienne)', which seems very odd -- the band bankrolling the 'manager'. The story that McLaren "set up" Adam, resulting in the other members of the Ants leaving to form what was to become Bow Wow Wow, has become part of the mythology of punk and the continuing industry that surrounds it...."