Adam Ant Still Standing and Delivering

Adam Ant has been singing "Stand and Deliver" for over four decades now and closes the main set of his current tour with it.

In the 1981 hit, the handsome singer declared himself "the dandy highwayman you're too scared to mention." But that tune was no overnight success and has anyone been intimidated by the slim front man with the uniquely herky-jerky dance moves?

The flashy Londoner whose given name is Stuart Leslie Goddard had been trying to break through since 1977 with Adam and the Ants but was slightly derailed at the beginning of the '80s when he innocently crossed paths with Sex Pistols svengali Malcolm Mclaren.

Adam asked Mclaren to give his band a listen and consider managing them to the same success he had with advising The New York Dolls and creating controversy with the short-lived Pistols.

Mclaren loved what he saw with the Ants. He liked them so much he convinced them to leave Adam and eventually back up 13-year-old mohawked Annabella Lwin in what would become Bow Wow Wow.

Careful listeners can hear creative African-based drums like the "Burundi Black" beat on BWW's "I Want Candy" as in Adam and the Ants' debut Dirk Wears White Sox and later in hits like "Antmusic" and "Dog Eat Dog."

Malcolm could steal the musicians, but Adam had the music.

The singer also had an uncanny way of finding talent, or having talent find him. One of the replacements in the Ants was the drummer Chris Hughes also known as Merrick who didn't just provide the backbeat but produced the new line-up's next two albums in '80 and '81 to great success.

Merrick later went on to work with Tears for Fears, co-writing their smash "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" as well as the hit album it came from.

When the Ants and Adam parted ways in '82, it didn't stop the singer's momentum. Merrick and guitarist/songwriter Marco Pirroni stuck around long enough to help launch his solo career with two more fan favorites, "Goody Two Shoes" and the title track from his debut solo album Friend or Foe.

Why should you care so much about Ant's music from the late-'70s through the early '80s? Because he does. Still.

Currently on the 8th gig of his three-month Antmusic 2024 US Tour, half of the 69 year-old's set is from his time in Adam and the Ants. The lionshare of the other ten or so tunes are from his first three solo records.

The poster boy of the New Romantic new wave movement during the heyday of MTV is giving the people what they want. Young and old, they are loving it.

Speaking of the early '80s, in 1983 Adam was invited to perform during the televised broadcast of the 25th anniversary of Motown. He was asked to sing the Supreme's chestnut "Where Did Our Love Go?"

Why? Adam wasn't on Motown. He had never recorded or performed that song. Had someone confused him with other Brits, namely Soft Cell who had successfully inserted that classic with their own "Tainted Love" in '81?

No. Michael Jackson, who would live-debut both "Billie Jean" and the Moonwalk on that star-studded TV show in '83 knew exactly who Adam Ant was and made sure he'd be there.

Adam's manager would later reveal that the singer got stage fright and didn't want to be part of the spectacle where Diana Ross was going to reunite with the Supremes, Michael with the Jacksons, and Smokey Robinson with the Miracles. But like any good manager, he forced his guy out there and... it wasn't great.

But about a minute into it Diana Ross herself got down to boogie with Adam, who gladly paid her the attention. Soon it was over and completely overshadowed by The King of Pop's performance.

How much did Jackson like Adam? Take a look at what he was wearing that fateful night in Pasadena, California. It's ok. Now look above at what Adam was wearing: namely the marching band drum major jacket.

When you think of Michael Jackson's outfits over the years you might think of his red leather jacket from the "Billie Jean" video or the white suit and hat from the "Smooth Criminal" video.

But you also might remember how Michael started wearing marching band jackets, like he did later that summer in ''83, backstage at the David Bowie concert at the Forum.

Or when he sported what sure looks exactly like Adam's jacket.

Which, in retrospect was a beautiful move because it is far more worthy of a rock star than whatever that was in Pasadena.

Adam has now finished visiting the midwest and is now traveling to the East coast and then the South before heading out west and wrapping up at the Cruel World Festival in.... Pasadena.

It's a full night of '80s nostalgia on this tour as The English Beat opens the show.

Europe will get their Antmusic in the fall after Adam takes a breather.

Tickets are available on Adam's website.

04/01 – Boston, MA @ The Wilbur
04/02 – Derry, NH @ Tupelo Music Hall
04/03 – New Brunswick, NJ @ State Theatre New Jersey
04/05 – Patchogue, NY @ The Patchogue Theater
04/06 – Mashantucket, CT @ Foxwoods Resort Casino
04/07 – New York, NY @ Palladium Times Square
04/09 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theater
04/10 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theater
04/12 – Durham, NC @ DPAC
04/13 – Pelham, TN @ The Caverns
04/14 – Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern
04/16 – Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theater
04/17 – San Antonio, TX @ Charlene McCombs Empire Theater
04/19 – New Orleans, LA @ The Fillmore
04/20 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
04/21 – Austin, TX @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater
04/23 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Tower Theater
04/24 – Albuquerque, NM @ Revel
04/26 – Las Vegas, NV @ Event Lawn at Virgin Hotel Las Vegas
05/02 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theater
05/03 – Salem, OR @ Elsinore Theater
05/05 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Eccles Theater
05/06 – Denver, CO @ Paramount Theater
05/08 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Pikes Peak Center
05/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theater
05/11 – Pasadena, CA @ Cruel World Festival

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Last updated: 23 Apr 2024, 06:25 Etc/UTC