“Who could forget their first view of Adam Ant on Top of the Pops, white stripes across his face, swaggering to the beat of ‘Antmusic’ or in frilly shirt and mask for ‘Stand and Deliver’? One of the most successful pop stars of the 80s, his face adorning posters on teenager’s walls from Acton to Akron, Adam Ant was a phenomenon. Now in this frank and revealing autobiography, he tells the full story of his amazing life from his dysfunctional childhood to his key role in the punk movement and creation of a unique musical style that brought him a string of hits (both singles and albums). At one point he was so famous other stars sought his company and advice – even Michael Jackson called in the dead of night to ask about music and clothes. His many girlfriends included Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham and for a time he lived in LA, acting in fifteen films. Adam also writes honestly about his life-long battle with manic depression. His first episodes were triggered by the stress of living with a violent, alcoholic father, and he tried to commit suicide when he was at art school. A gruelling episode with a stalker in LA precipitated a mental breakdown, and a stalker in London led to his well-publicised arrest and hospitalization in 2001. At times funny and at other times tragic, this is gripping account of the turbulent life and times of one of music’s most fascinating figures.” (via Amazon)
I just finished pop icon Adam Ant´s “Stand & Deliver: The Autobiography” a book that gives you an up close and personal view of the artist Adam Ant and his real persona Stuart Leslie Goddard. For us who grew up in the 80s, Adam and The Ants were one of the coolest bands around in the beginning of 1980 and further on during 1981. The clothes, the warpaint, the songs, the videos, the concept, the images, the members. Everything was packaged in such a great way and they made an impression that lasted. The story gives us a portrayal of Adam in the very early days of the brief punk era to the rise that made him a true darling and poster boy of the MTV generation during the 80’s. But, we also get an insight into his personal complexity, his struggle with bipolar illness and the spiral downwards in erratic behaviour, suicidal thoughts and the ugly side of the tabloid press. This is of course his way of answering all the rumours about himself and setting the record straight. It´s tragic to read about his change to something pretty different from who he used to be and his artistic side. At the same time he set the boundaries himself once upon a time and wanted nothing more than being seen and heard. It´s a fine line to thread with the tabloids, the press and the pressure that comes with that. The tabloids don´t mind to help you to stardom, but they don´t mind either to make sure that your pop crown is thrown in the bin when they think the time has come. This book puts a good light on mental illness which is something we need to do in general globally. From having been in a close and personal relationship with someone suffering from bipolar illness, I really want to see that this topic is much more out in the open and people with it are truly treated properly. I hope Adam feels better today and that he has his bipolar illness under control. I reckon “Stand & Deliver: The Autobiography” is a must for any Ant fan.