If You Left Adam and the Ants In the '80s, It's Time to Get Reacquainted

Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. He writes about what music is circulating through his space every Monday.
I was back in London this week, and I've found that the cure-all for jet-lag is to drink Red Bull or Monster and stay awake until midnight or so. Going out to a gig the first night can definitely help stave off the premature bedtime that will certainly cause one to wake too early for any activity besides staring at the ceiling until the city wakes up.

A friend in town asked me if I wanted to go see Adam Ant play at The Scala our first night in town. I had never seen the Ants in their day, and I went ahead and took a cab over to the club. It was fucking great, I must say.

I liked Adam and the Ants a LOT when Kings of the Wild Frontier came out in 1980. With Bow Wow Wow and Siouxie and the Banshees, along with OMD and others, I suddenly had some new and different music to temper my lust for loud and fast punk rock. I suppose this 'new romantic' phase became corn-ball quite soon enough back then, but hell, it was a blast when it was a new thing to me and my friends.

The music still stands up live and on record. The Ants were another clever Malcolm McClaren presentation (with the Sex Pistols and Bow Wow Wow). Check this out:

"Dog Eat Dog" (Kings of the Wild Frontier): The heavy and layered drums of this song announced to us young punks that this band was new and different. There IS vitriol in this song, but it is packaged in a smart wrapper.

"Killer At Home" (Kings of the Wild Frontier): I remember hearing (probably bad information), that this song was about the Irish/British conflicts (The Troubles) that are now thankfully over. Anyhow, for a kid from Seattle, hearing a song that was supposedly about terror on your own street, seemed so exotic. Oh, those were innocent days.

"Stand And Deliver" (Prince Charming): Adam himself, sadly enough, has been going through some tough personal times. A good story from it though is that when he was felt to have been slandered at his local pub last year or so, he came back naked and with a pistol, screaming "STAND AND DELIVER" to his tormentors. It turns out the pistol was just a racing starters pistol, but the incident still landed him in the hands of the police for a while.

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