“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” There are no Hall 95 Theses, no 10 Commandments and certainly no 7 Deadly Sins we live by. However, if there is one resounding ethos my mom pounded home in us, it would be to “embrace your eccentricity.” A fun anecdote: my mom always wanted a pink Cadillac but sadly it never came into fruition. When my mom and dad bought our second family Suburban, the salesman told mom she could paint it any color she wanted. I don’t think he knew who he was dealing with. So mom bought a pure white Suburban and had them custom paint it with 2 solid thick pink stripes across the middle of the body, layers of baby blue racing stripes reducing in width towards the running boards and illegally blacked out windows (see post. Bad pic but you get the idea). Adam Ant was alot like that Suburban.
Adam (named for the first human) Ant (the only species that would survive a nuclear meltdown) was certainly an oddity in the pop music 80’s zeitgeist. Punk at the roots. His initial band, Bazooka Joe, would be the act the Sex Pistols opened up for at their first show. Soon he would form Adam & The Antz. Sex Pistols manager Malcom Mclaren, whom Ant was leaning on for guidance, stole the Antz (his backing band) and formed Bow Wow Wow (underrated band). This mattered not to the Swashbuckling “Prince of New Wave.” He founded a new band, The Ants, assumed a pirate/native american identity and produced an album filled with West African Burundi rhythms that would go on to launch Ant as the unlikely teen icon and sex idol. He dared to be different. The Native American bit was an attack on the music industry equating the treatment of musicians to that of indigenous genocide.
I’ll be honest…this album is not great. It’s good but not great! Side A is pretty fantastic. But after “King of the Wild Frontier” the album gets a little lost in the pirate side of things. Antmusic was Ant’s response to Disco. A formidable stance if there ever was one. Thankfully, he succeeded in rallying the masses against it. Fast forward to the present: instead of disco we have cell phones. Disconnect and do yourself a favor. “So unplug the jukebox and do us all a favor/That music’s lost its taste so try another flavor/Antmusic, antmusic, antmusic, antmusic”
All we have is our individuality. With advancement in tech, social media and other other apparati, we have become possessed with the overconsumption of other people’s lives. This consumption has reduced and regressed us to means of almost absolute conformity in our own circles. I think it’s fascinating, however, that all the big blockbuster movies are about superheroes and people we are not or cannot become. I’m not asking you to be bionic. I’m just hoping you will stand for something. Something you believe in. Don’t be afraid to make a statement. Not just to make noise for the sake of noise but to make a difference somewhere. It’s our job as parents to help build the foundation, but you have to find your own Antmusic!
Ever thus to the Iconoclasts!
Favorite Tracks: “Dog Eat Dog” “Antmusic” “Killer in the Home” “Kings of the Wild Frontier”
Pressing: Epic NJE 37033. Original US Pressing. 1980.