By Matt Kelemen
In the U.K., Adam Ant and his band of rock ’n’ roll rogues filled a musical void left by the implosion of the Sex Pistols and ascension of The Clash to stadium status. To Americans, Adam & the Ants were less a stylistic and stylish reaction to punk than to the New Romantic godfathers, kick-starting the ’80s trend of cool kids looking across the ocean for the next big thing. Acts from Duran Duran to The Smiths walked through the door Adam & the Ants opened, and their attitude toward fashion influenced underground subcultures (new wave, goth, industrial).
Stuart Leslie Goddard actually played bass in the band that headlined the Sex Pistol’s first gig in November 1975, after which he changed his name to Adam Ant and sought a new sound. By the time “Antmusic” hit the U.S., Ant had perfected his exotic “dandy highwayman” look to go with his rhythm-heavy “Burundi beat” music. “Dog Eat Dog,” “Stand and Deliver” and “Prince Charming” became hits before Ant went solo. Now, Ant has embarked on a 22-city tour with a wardrobe that would make Captain Jack Sparrow envious.