on 11 October 2007
I have to be honest that when Adam Ant was big in the early 1980s I was aware of him, but being a toddler wasn't really a fan, that was more my twin brother who would sing Stand and Deliver, had a poster of his idol and even bought his late 1980s albums as well as his greatest hits, other than the video with Diana Dors the only other knowledge I had of Mr Ant is the unfortunate episode with the gun a couple of years back and I did know that his real name was Stuart Goddard.
Upon reading this book the first thing that hits you is the brutal honesty of Adam's tale. He doesn't hold back relating his difficult childhood, his all encompassing love for his mother, his many relationships and of course the music. There isn't an ounce of self pity depsite Adam's problems with his medical condition and its presence is keenly felt throughout this book.
I love reading biographies and have read memoirs as varied as Gandhi to Rik Mayall but this really is one of the most astonishing pieces of work I have ever read. Adam Ant is truly a remarkable man and regardless of whether you are an ant fan or not you cannot but be touched by his amazing story and the dignity of the man.
Adam I salute you - 5 stars!
on 3 November 2006
If you're looking for a comprehensive discography or Adam Ant songbook, this isn't it. However, if you're interested in getting an intimate look at the man behind the makeup, this is a great read.
Adam proves himself a terrific storyteller as he shares intimate and sometimes painful details of his life in a style that's refreshingly honest, funny, sweet, and often tragic.
From his humble beginnings in St. John's Wood to his hard-won success to the mental anguish and his passing from the spotlight, Adam pulls no punches and puts himself out there, warts and all, for all to see.
Dirt-seekers will be thrilled to find juicy tidbits about Jamie Lee Curtis, Heather Graham, and numerous other cuties who spent time with Adam. Adam also shares his side of snarky tabloid stories that painted him as a nut. Without Adam's insight into his illness, it's easy to see how the casual observer could jump to that conclusion.
With astonishing clarity and not an ounce of self-pity, Adam describes the painful episodes brought on by bipolar disorder. What comes across is a man who is sincerely working to overcome an illness that's cast a shadow over his life, his loves, and his career.
So why only 4 stars? This book could have easily earned 5 stars had Adam's account of his more recent years been captured as meticulously as his early childhood and family history. Other than the imbalance of detail between the pre- and post-fame years, this really is an enjoyable book from start to finish, even for the casual fan.
Warning! Reading this book will make you want to repurchase all those Adam Ant albums you had as a kid!
on 19 September 2006
The trials and tribulations of one of my heroes Adam Ant,from childhood to his first attempted suicide to the creation of Adam Ant to punk to pop superstardom to films and to the tragic breakdown that landed him at the Old Bailey and finally to where he is now.
Read by Adam himself on 4 cds this is Adams' life story upto recent times BUT it is an abridged version and quite a bit shorter than the actual book,at least 30% shorter if not more.
The cd version of the book is ideal if you travel and don't read whilst travelling and at 4 hrs long you'll wish you had a journey that's long as the cds,it is very hard not to keep lisenting to it and worth the money imho.
Buy the book as well you'll not regret it.
Thankyou to Adam for making his problem recognised to the public and hoping that he keeps healthy.
Adam Ant Stand & Deliver does exactly what it says on the cover
STANDS & DELIVERS
Already being a fan, I suppose there's an element of bias in my review. Adam Ant passes over none of the difficulties that he has faced, often providing details of very troubling times. However, what comes across is his desire to achieve his goals - which mostly involve entertaining people. For anyone interested in Adam Ant, I recommend this book. I already loved 'Friend or Foe', his first solo record, but knowing more of the history behind the lyrics makes it even more remarkable. Adam is pop royalty, and someone we should treasure. Here's hoping 2008 brings Adam back to the charts with a new album!
on 26 September 2006
A brutally honest account of the life of very talented man. I'm so glad Adam finally decided to write his life story as it is both upsetting and fascinating. It gives one a totally different perspective into the life of a pop star and it doesn't pull any punches.Alcoholism ,spousal abuse,stalkers,it's all here and told in a way that makes you not want to put the book down.Highly recommended to all and especially to "Antpeople" everywhere.
on 14 December 2006
Adam Ant is a natural fluent writer and his story is as energised as he. I can recommend this to all, particularly the under 30s who missed the height of his fame but who appreciate innovators in popular music. You will want to hear the music after reading it.
It isn't perfect. Occasionally he repeats or at least overlaps himself, (but this is of course slack editing) and at other times cuts away from a subject though I suspect this was down to his publisher looking for a 'good length.' In particular I believe Adam would have covered the last 15 years in more depth but it just didn't make the final cut for reasons unknown.
What he should be applauded for is his professionalism regarding the entire lack of 'slagging off' so prevalent in numerous inferior autobiographies from spoilt whingers. He is absolutely not a whinger. At one point he admits that he could kick and scream like a child, or words to that effect, yet at no point is there even the faintest whiff of self pity or being hard done by. I should hope not, you may think. This afterall is a man who could have and often did have the most beautiful women in the world after him, who made millions,(although he said in one interview if Sony had paid all the royalties he was owed he would have arrived in a rocket ship.) But what is clear in his volume, through his honesty, is the loneliness and confusion that his illness forced him to endure throughout his career. With the mania, the depths. With the achievements, the setbacks etc. This guy dealt with being more out of his tree than the gorillas he wanted to save. Yep. You get gorillas in this too.
This guy was influenced, of course. But he was, quite seriously, as innovative as the man who requested copies of all his Ant videos - Bowie and as charged as any pop musician has ever, ever been.
Check it out. He's one of a few and in some respects a genius.
on 28 September 2006
I'd been eagerly waiting for this book, I bought it as a late 35th birthday present..and read it within a day.
The albums "Kings Of The Wild Frontier", "Prince Charming", "Friend Or Foe" and "Strip" were soundtracks to my youth. (I even remember my dad having "a word" with my mum over whether "Dirk Wears White Sox" was a suitable Xmas gift for a 10 year old. Luckily the meaning to the lyrics of "Cleopatra" (subject matter oral pleasure) were lost on me at that age.)
I still watch the compilation of his videos, especially the high camp ones of the early '80s :) The songs and imagery were exciting and original, especially when compared to the pop acts of today.
The recurring theme here, as well as Adam's emotional highs and lows, only later on diagnosed as manic depression, seems to be sex. It's pretty dreadful how he treated some of his more "serious" lovers..he doesn't/didn't seem to like the idea of his lover seeing anyone else. Yet mucked around himself. (I'm sure most of us have had lovers like this!). It smacks of incredible selfishness.
Nor does he seem worried about STDs, either.
(Most 20-something males would find it hard to resist women everywhere throwing themselves at them though!!).
At least Adam is open and honest about his personal life and is prepared to put his hand up when things go wrong.
Those who have admired Adam through the years will know the story of his career so far..I look forward to his new material, he can still surprise us yet.
Keep well Adam, and keep creating!
on 12 October 2006
I have always been a massive Ants fan, ever since getting there first LP Dirk Wears White Sox back in 1980. Despite losing interest in his music once he went solo, I was still intrigued to find out more about the man and his music. As I travel a lot, I bought the audio version so I could listen in the car. It starts off going into painstaking detail about his early life in a flat with a violent father and abused mother, which was quite touching and probably helps set the scene for some of his personality problems later in life. However, although the start of the book is packed with detail, it has masses of sections which are just flipped past. The launching of Dirk and Kings albums receives a small mention, but details of a relationship with Jamie Lee Curtis or his on-stage knee problems receive much coverage. I would have loved to have heard more about his dynamic with other band members, and the thinking behind some of the crazy songs on Dirk, but alas it isnt in there. Maybe its in the book, after all the CD is abridged, but I am loathed to buy it again to find out. All in all, it was an entertaining 4 hours, that made the trip to work more bearable. It was also very well written, and oozing with humour, with his dry sarcasm and cynicism often making me chuckle. Give it a whirl if you are an Ant fan.
on 17 October 2006
Wow. There is no other artist that won my heart and soul over like Adam Ant did. My first concert ever was when I was just 13. It was Adam Ant w/ the Romantics, Aragon Ballroom, Chicago. There were girls, who had fainted, being carried out on stretchers all around me, bras floating by in the air, and screaming unlike anything I have heard since. I will be forever grateful to my parents for allowing me to go.
Anyway, I enjoyed many years of Ant music and then he disappeared. I have hated all these years with him hidden from the scene. I really missed him.
Now this autobiography comes along, and he's personally reading it? VERY COOL!
I received the cd set yesterday and after 4 hours or so I can say that I was completely & thoroughly entertained. I learned a lot too, about other musicians and the music scene in general. I used to consider Adam a fascinating icon. Now I see him as a person, a mortal. He made me laugh, gasp and cry. If you are an Ant fan, you need this! If you aren't an Ant fan, I don't "get" you, but you'll find it interesting nevertheless.
In closing, I like him even more than I already did.
on 16 May 2008
A very interesting and sometimes frankly sad history of one of the most enigmatic pop stars of the early 80s and 90s.
As well as his childhood and his rise to fame and the comedown afterwards, he talks about punk at it's peak in London in the 70s. What is also fascinating is that he talks frankly of his depression and manic episodes and the truth behind some of his relationships and sexual exploits.
This is a very well written book, honest and truthful. I rather think that writing this book helped Adam defeat some of his demons and the added epilogue which is an addition to the paperback version not in the hardback is a lovely touch, where he talks about the book signings and his ongoing road to recovery.
Before I read this book, I thought he was a good musician and I liked his music and only knew what had been written about him in the press. After reading this book I find that now not only do I now love his music, I admire and respect this man.
Well worth a read if you have any interest in punk, the early 80s/new romantic era and pop music in general.