Monday, March 16, 2009

A man called Ant sat deeply sighing

The other day, Neill sent me a link to this interview of Adam Ant by Marco Pirroni (the occasionally fey and often bored looking fellow in the Adam Ants videos.) Watching it, I recalled my great love for Adam Ant back in the day. I played Kings of the Wild Frontier incessantly until I moved into one of my indier-than-thou phases and rejected all things pop. Foolish, I know, but it does allow me to rediscover him every few years and provides the opportunity to look back at the videos.

Antmusic (from Kings of the Wild Frontier)
At the time, I totally missed the anti-disco story line on this one. Like all the rest, this video shows Ant's odd combination of prog rock theatricality, with a just-one-of-the-lads tongue wedged in cheek.

Stand and Deliver (from Prince Charming)
Still my absolute favorite Ant song and one of the better videos, if only for his transformation from Native American Naval Officer to proto-metrosexual. I also appreciate the heavier than usual wink and nod nature of the acting. This may be due, as Neill posits, that he was rocking some drugs on this shoot. Check the eyes at 1:47 for supporting evidence.

Prince Charming (from Prince Charming)
Here he moves from metrosexual to full kickin' bi, or maybe just a fixation on the transgendered. Theories welcome as to the Clint Eastwood, Alice Cooper, Lawrence of Arabia and Zorro transformation at the end.

Desperate but not Serious (from Friend or Foe)
For this album the make-up and sexual ambiguity are gone, as are the Ants. From now on it would just be Adam Ant. The song is great, although far moodier than prior singles, and the video, while still cheeky, lacks the anarchic weirdness of the Prince Charming videos.

Goody Two Shoes
(from Friend or Foe)
When if I first heard the lyrics "Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?," I completely missed the unsubtle innuendo. I thought, what, eat ice cream? Get the older kids to rent you R-rated horror movies? For the fans, there is make up session with Kings of the Wild Frontier get-ups, but this time with the ladies. The one in the middle looks a bit like Susannah Hoffs.

Strip (from Strip)
What a difference a few years makes! Not that he is being indirect, but my mid-teen self completely tuned in on what Ant was saying here. Thanks to the message, the cheesy production and the even cheesier video, I maintained I didn't like this one for years, nay, decades, but I must admit I enjoy it. I wish someone would clean it up and cover it, maybe an ambivalently ironic version by the Postal Service.


Anonymous said...

Is it OK to like Wonderful? Adam solo?

Tripp said...

I believe that it is in fact OK, although how do you feel it fits within the overall Ant hierarchy?