Sunday, February 8, 2009
Tribute to Adam Ant
Adam Ant was born after a suicide attempt by an artist born with the name of Stuart Leslie Goddard who made us believe that we could all be swashbucklers, that we could be swept away by a tide of romance and still make a valid statement against established society. The offshoot of the punk movement sometimes known as the 'Young Romantics' had a dashing charm to it that was founded on a clear view of the abyss. Adam Ant walked a knife-edge of sanity as he maintained his incredible persona as the ultimate highwayman charming the ladies while delivering blows against those who believed themselves immune to justice.
It is rather ironic to consider that most individuals would have thought that a name like Stuart Leslie Goddard would be more than appropriate for any romantic hero or anti-hero. Adam was compelled to reinvent himself, however, in order to exist at all.
His own personal downfall was characteristic of him, arrested for a rather absurd assault with a replica pistol. He paid very dearly for his disregard of reality's rules and has been struggling to regain a stable position in 'this world' for half a decade. At the same time, he has produced his autobiography, well worth a read even by those who were not fans of his music in the past. It is entitled 'Stand and Deliver' appropriately enough.
I salute the artist and the man, some one who took creativity by the horns and choreographed an intricate, dazzling dance that enraptured the world for a time... and still retains its potent magic. He was a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel of Punk, with a droll wit that concealed a profound knowledge of the cruelty of life.
If he never performs again, what he accomplished is more than enough. He struck a flame that lit the imagination of a generation. He exhibited the same sort of desperate joie de vivre of which witnesses spoke when watching certain aristocrats mount the guillotine during the Revolution in France, more concerned to exhibit personal courage and sense of exquisite style than any consideration of impending messy death. Is it real or is it nothing more than a Romantic Ideal? Adam Ant persuaded us that it WAS real, if only with the transient reality of a shooting star.
'I'm the dandy highwayman...
I spend my cash on looking flash and grabbing your attention!
The devil take your stereo and your record collection:
The way you look you'll qualify for next year's old age pension!
Stand and deliver: your money or your life!
Try and use a mirror, no bullet or a knife!
... So what's the point of robbery when nothing is worth taking?
It's kind of tough to tell a scruff the big mistake he's making!'
Thank you, Madam Stan, for your visit to my page and for reminding me that the beat of the music of ant-warriors still resounds from sea to sea. As Adam once declared, ants are one species that could survive a nuclear holocaust.