Adam now regularly dressed
in bondage type clothing and he wrote material and recorded a few tracks in the studio. He was at the right place
at the right time. Punk was emerging in England so his new band was immediately successful. The very first Adam
& the Ants gig was on May 10, 1977 at the ICA cafeteria. The Ants were getting popular but they couldn't get
a record contract and weren't well liked by the British press. They played a lot of gigs at the Marquee and around
London. A friend later introduced Adam to Malcolm McLaren (who discovered the Sex Pistols). McLaren became Adam's
manager for the fee of 1000 pounds. He introduced him to the Burundi beat (suggesting the need for two drummers)
and the idea of Pirate/Indian/Warrior
images. After two weeks, he said Adam was too old and couldn't dance and convinced the Ants to go with him and
become Bow Wow Wow.
'Dirk Wears White Sox'
'Dirk Wears White Sox' was released in November, 1979 just two months before Adam's band members were hijacked
by Malcolm McLaren for his newest project Bow Wow Wow . Songs included " Zerox" , "Whip My Valise",
and "Car Trouble." After the album was released, the Ants only had one concert appearance because by
February 1980, Adam found himself without a band.
The Early 1980's
Adam retained the name
"The Ants" then talked to Marco Pirroni in January 1980 about putting a new band together and the Ant/Marco
partnership remains to this day. Adam coined the phrase "Antmusic" as he didn't want to be classified.
He wanted to create an audience rather than cater to one already made. Even before assembling a new band, Adam
and Marco went to Rockfield Studio (in Wales) and re-recorded "Car Trouble" as a single. By now, Adam
had a band ~ Adam, Marco Pirroni and Chris Hughes (a.k.a. Merrick). The flip side to this single featured Jon Moss
(who later joined forces with Boy George to form the Culture Club.) From that day forward, the Ants incorporated
the famous African and Native styled drum beat that was later a foundation for Adam and the Ants' songs.
'Kings of the Wild Frontier'
The Ants were finally signed to a major record label, CBS, and they released 'Kings of the Wild Frontier'. Finally,
Adam and the Ants were slowing making the charts in the U.K. with the songs "Dog Eat Dog," "Antmusic,"
and "Kings of the Wild Frontier." Short videos clips were created featuring the band members wearing
clothing from the romantic era and were televised on the BBC. The public started taking notice. 'Smash Hits' magazine made Adam and the Ants a
full- fledged pinup idols. However, it was much harder to break the American market. In 1981, MTV was launched
in the U.S.A. and picked up Adam and the Ants videos. A major American tour followed, with only moderate success.
The Ants did win the 'Best New Artist' award at the 1981 Grammy awards. In Britain, they were sweeping the charts.
The album 'Prince Charming' was released in 1981 and included the hits 'Stand and Deliver' and 'Prince Charming'.
The Ants launched their big 'Prince Charming Revue' tour in Britain with great success. Afterwards, Adam left the
band, taking Marco, and went solo.
'Friend or Foe'
After going solo, Adam was as popular as ever in Britain. He adopted a new sound, adding horns and limiting the
use of the drums. In 1982, Adam's solo debut 'Friend or Foe' was a great success both in Britain and the U.S.A.
"Goody Two Shoes", "Place in the Country" and "Desperate But Not Serious" topped
the charts and became his biggest sellers in the U.S.A. In 1983, Adam was determined to make it big in America.
He undertook a massive American tour from coast to coast.