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You can’t go home you have to come to the Scala!” was the order from friends late one drunken night in April, whilst intending to retreat to bed. All I could make out that was going on at the Scala was The Glitter Band plus ‘surprise guests’. What a treat it turned out to be that one of the surprises was Adam Ant and backing band, also to be joined briefly by Angie Bowie for a rendition of Goody Two Shoes! Armed with dictaphone I kept repeating to Tara Rez of The Duel how wonderful it would be if Adam would agree to a short interview. It was when she emerged from backstage with the news that he had said yes that I suddenly realised how drunk and unprepared I was, so many thanks to Tara for her help and to Adam for entertaining us despite being tired and hungry.
Adam looked well and was in good form so I was sad to hear that he had been sectioned just weeks after meeting him following his continued battle with bipolar disorder but smiled at his message to fans. "Ant fans - please send me postcards at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Fulham Road. Please don't come down here as it may upset the staff who have been really pleasant. I am having a well earned rest at Her Majesty's Pleasure and am painting and continuing being an art student. I have a great view and am considering gigs later in the year."

LORRAINE: Adam, I have loved you since the days of Plastic Surgery. We’re going back a long time.  I’m not prepared at all. Tara is going to help me. It was a big surprise that you were out today.

ADAM: Yeah.

LORRAINE: What’s brought you out? Is this a permanent band, or … what’s happening tonight?

ADAM: I’ve finished my album, my new album,

LORRAINE: With this band?

ADAM: No, I’ve done the album, and then I’m putting a band together to play it. And I’m going to start thinking about doing some live work. And I think the best way to do it after fifteen years is to do it in one-offs. I’ve been doing gigs under London Bridge, just to see if I can do it.

LORRAINE: So what’s inspired you now? What’s kicked you off now?

ADAM: Just that it’s time to do the next record.

LORRAINE: I loved the set, actually.

ADAM: Magnificent stuff.

TARA: You’ve got great stage presence!

ADAM: Yeah. I’ve got a good band and we haven’t really rehearsed together so we’re doing it off-the-cuff.

TARA: Some of the songs you’ve played tonight, are they off the new album?


TARA: How would you describe your new album?

ADAM: A bunch of stories. I’m a diarist. More like Samuel Pepys.

LORRAINE: Do you keep a diary, a day-to-day diary?

ADAM: I keep a journal. I don’t keep a diary because I don’t think things happen every day that merit a constant theme. I just get told that I try to record and report the important events in my life. And it’s a good idea, it’s a discipline.

LORRAINE: Obviously, with the death of Malcolm McLaren yesterday, we’re going back to the old days. How did the early Punk thing affect you? Did it have a lasting affect throughout your life?

ADAM: Yes, I find that I’ve still got a very low boredom threshold. I don’t like people copping out and doing it for the cash, so I try to change it a bit, make it look good, make the set pieces look stylish, that’s what Malcolm always said. It’s a devastating loss to culture. Culture will take two years to realize it. They never appreciated Malcolm when he was alive, and hopefully they will now he’s dead.

LORRAINE: I did read a piece that was more or less blaming Sid and Nancy’s heroin addiction on Malcolm, that’s not how you see it?

ADAM: No. That’s fantasy. I was there, I know the truth. That wasn’t the case. Sid and Nancy were a disaster waiting to happen. Sid was an extremely talented guy. Malcolm had the education, Malcolm had the knowledge, Malcolm had the history behind him. The fact is, he played it down really.

TARA: Most talented people do play it down, don’t they?

ADAM: Yes.

TARA: Can we look forward to more gigs from you?

ADAM: Other than unannounced ones, we’ll see how it goes,  put the band together, one night at a time.

TARA: If they’re unannounced, how are we going to know about them?

ADAM: By announcing them, they become gigs. They become commercial entities.

TARA: I’ve been hearing about you playing the last two weeks. People have said, “Adam played there!” along with Angie (Bowie).  Hopefully you’ll do more with her. She’s a magical woman.

ADAM: I think she’s a very underrated force in the Glam movement. She’s responsible for David Bowie’s costumes on Ziggy (Stardust).  She made them out of curtains. She’s lovely. She just doesn’t get credit for it. She should be credited, and she isn’t. She’s still an incredible person. She’s fantastic, she’s got a good heart, and she’s brave. She’s still doing the work and she’s out there.

TARA: Last time I heard you were going to make a comeback, I read that (and I know you’re hungry), and it made me laugh, apparently you were going to make a comeback but then you heard that Coldplay said that you were one of the people who really inspired them. And it made you so depressed that you didn’t want to make a comeback. (Laughs).  Is that true or false?

ADAM: No. I got no beef with Coldplay. Making records these days is no easy thing. You get lucky, you work very hard, and you must believe in yourself. Most people believe in a dream, and they get to see the work, and they see it’s a lot of work, and a lot of them aren’t up to the work. Simple as that. 10% is inspiration, 90% is perspiration with me. So the idea that it’s glamorous is shit, that you come up with the content for great songs without work is ridiculous. It’s like a muscle. If you don’t work at it, it becomes small. You’ve got to get on with it. And now, there are even fewer channels to make money. You’ve got to make money live.

Finally I had to ask Adam if he had any regrets over the period in his career where the media took over…..

ADAM: No, no. Three years of shit, three years of no and “fuck off” and no money, and you’re a loser: you must have the opportunity to turn it around, which I fucking do. And I did. And I’d do it all again, probably with knobs on. Look at Nick Kent now, and look at me! There you have it, in a fucking nutshell!

Interview by Lorraine & Tara 09/04/10