Yes, it's a work night, but by Godfrey, I ain't goin' home right after work today... I'm going to the Cannery Ballroom to see Adam Ant!
|Maybe he's born with it...Maybe it's Maybelline...|
"Is he still alive?" you're probably thinking, and the answer is yes! Eagle-eyed Kelsey saw tickets on sale for his performance off 8th Ave. in our fair city about a month ago, and signed us up for a night of Ant Music. Which was fitting, as both our interests in the eighties' throwback dates to a windfall circa 2002. When I was in tenth grade, I won a $50 gift certificate to the Tennessee Antique Mall, and $4 of that prize money went towards a-still-sealed copy of Kings of the Wild Frontier. Just like this one:
What was not to love about the cover? The subtle typographic nose-thumbing of the backwards "D"? The blurry, as-if-taken-off-the-tv image of a scowling Ant in hussar's jacket and pink lip gloss? During a particularly eighties'-centric phase of my record collecting, this was in heavy rotation along with the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, Missing Person's Spring Session M, Pet Shop Boys' Please, and New Order's Substance, among others. His kitschy, catchy lyrics and the pumping beat behind it all made Adam Ant stand out among the many synth-heavy contenders for top spot in my heart (or at least favorable placement on 90 min mix tapes). As I never did much research past buying this record, I was unaware until far later of the sexy, boundary-pushing magnetism of the lithe, pretty boy in the pirate boots. Check out this video for his solo hit, "Goody Two Shoes", in which, despite having to dance in front of a room of animatronic furniture, Ant somehow comes off breathy with sensuality:
Can you imagine, maybe in a less outrageous color scheme and with only one out-there accessory, this guy as the art room, upperclassman, coffee shop habitué you had a crush on in 10th grade? I think that might have been some of what I saw in that initial foray into his record catalog, besides the hummable tunes. Model thin and with a confrontational thousand yard stare outlined conveniently in kohl pencil and white highlighter, young Ant had a lot going for him aesthetically. In spite of the novelty of his costume-couture look and what I consider to be really solid music in his favor, a cursory scan of the Wikipedia article on his career points to burn out around the mid-point of the eighties', with his single-song-set at the 1985 mega-concert, Live Aid. I'm glad he's back in semi-fighting shape and touring to support a new album this year. While he may have lost some of his androgynous looks in the thirty years since his initial success, and the hat in this video is literally killing me with how foppishly bad it looks, the enthusiasm Adam Ant showed on a recent late night appearance on Jimmy Fallon has me holding high hopes for a fantastic show tonight.
In my idle moments this morning, I looked around on Ebay and Etsy to see what kind of Ant swag was still orbiting around, and there's more than you'd think! Here's some of the fun vintage Adam Ant concert/record items I was able to dig up:
|Vintage DEADSTOCK 80's ADAM ANT Black Strip Concert Tee. Punk/New Wave|
|35% OFF SALE Adam Ant & The Ants Size L Ants Invasion 1981|
(don't get your hopes up, it's still prohibitively expensive!)
|Punk Button Adam Ant 2.25"|
|Vintage 1980's ADAM ANT Metal Flake Bumper Sticker|
|Vintage ADAM ANT Poster 34"x 24" Holland Original|
|vintage adam ant the official calendar 1983|
|Adam and The Ants "Ant Invasion" USA tour concert muscle shirt|
The last may be my favorite, as the seller included a photo of herself in 1981 wearing the shirt under a black blazer with high waisted black trousers and eighties'-tastic rouge. I think she looks like a new wave doll in this ensemble, and hope to copy the look if I score a t-shirt at the concert tonight!
What eighties' group do you have unexpected or unapologetic nostalgia for? Have you been to any dormant-for-the-last-decade recording artist's concert lately? Did he/she live up to the hype of their former musical incarnation? Do you have any tour memorabilia from vintage acts that is just crushing in its coolness? Let's talk!
Wish me luck that I don't actually die of sleep deprivation, and I will see you back here tomorrow, hopefully in one piece! Til then.