Thank You, Adam Ant

July 14, 2011

Adam Ant

In looking back on things as Book IV of the Temple of the Exploding Head saga nears release, I puzzle over exactly how I got here. What dissimilar things came together to put all these odd ideas into my head and then, eventually, onto paper in a cohesive manner.

The simple truth is a lot of things added their influence. The League of Elder series is a veritable Rabbit Stew elements thrown together to form the bedrock of my ever-growing universe. My home in Ohio provided much of my inspiration, my wife, Erin, as well provided a grand contribution, and the usual bits stuff also added to the pot (movies I’d seen, books I’d read and the subtle weave of morning dreams that refused to fade from my memory).

But, undoubtedly, a big part of the colonial-retro look of my stories comes from one singular source: Adam Ant.

Adam Ant--Punk Rocker and Self-Styled Madman (From Prince Charming)

Growing up in the `80’s, Adam Ant was a big thing. MTV was big and Adam Ant was big too, in the ascendency of a grand career. He was all over MTV. At the time, I lived out in the Ohio countryside and didn’t get cable, so whenever I visited my friends in the city, I watched my fill of MTV to make up for the lack of it all the rest of the time. And there was Adam Ant, emblazoned all over the small screen in a leather and wool commotion.

In the mid-Eighties, Adam Ant was taking that well-travelled step from being a speck on the fringe of things, from a punk-rock freak a-la David Bowie whom all parents fear, to a force in the establishment, accepted and welcomed into the pop culture with open arms.

Adam Ant, all Pop'ed-Out in Friend or Foe, a very influential album for me

And I watched. Everything about him fascinated me. I noted the colonial-style top coat he wore, with tight leather pants, bucket boots a tailed-shock hairdo complete with bow and Indian-style face paint scratched across the bridge of his nose.

To me Adam Ant was the embodiment of cool, of sexy and fresh, or daring and bold and I wanted to be him. I wanted to be just like him. I painted my face and grew long my hair (I didn’t quite succeed and ended up with the eponymous and dreaded mullet).

Captain Davage--Ant-like in his dress

I never forgot Adam Ant’s particular look, and, as the League of Elder began to take shape in my mind, it was only natural that I emulated it and made it my own.

I hope Adam Ant continues his recent comeback from years of obscurity, mental health issues and other set backs and once again thrills young people, as he did me.

Bowl Naked

RG

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2 Responses to “Thank You, Adam Ant”

  1. I love it that you are inspired by Adam Ant, and wrote this! The greatest honor we can give to other artists is to remember them and their work–and what makes art new is merely presenting past ideas in a fresh voice so that they seem like new ideas. Adam Ant’s look is a new twist on very old fashion: ) Super cool!

  2. theleagueofelder said

    Thanks Chris. I remember I thought he was so cool. One of the few concerts I attended in high school was one of his, in Dayton with a very early INXS. I still listen to his stuff and it still makes me move.

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