The Dandy Highwayman rides again

With his outlandish dress sense, striking make-up and eccentric music, Adam Ant became one of the greatest stars of the 80’s.

But decades of mental health problems…being sectioned twice and battling depression…took their toll and he seemed to disappear into musical oblivion.

Now, however, the singer say’s he put his demons behind him, and he’s back, ready to rock ‘n’ roll again. Adam, 56, is about to tour for the first time in 15 years.

He insists he’s overcome the bipolar disorder that left him a “zombie” after a dreadful seven years when he was so depressed he couldn’t have sex or even read a book.

And when the fog of depression lifted, it was being able to enjoy books again that transformed his life. The 80’s star behind classic hits like ‘Stand and Deliver’ and ‘Prince Charming’ amongst many others said, “When I was first able to read again, I read biographies about Nina Simone and Johnny Cash. I thought I’d had a pretty hard time of it but seeing what those two went through made me realise that I hadn’t even got out of the starting blocks…it made me feel better.”

Although he’s able to joke about his struggles now, Adam says that he felt ‘mentally dead’ when he was first prescribed drugs to tackle his bipolar disorder, which gives him wild mood swings.

He had no energy and all he did was watch TV. He couldn’t read a book because his eyes would get stuck on the same line and of course, he couldn’t write any songs.

Adam said, “All the potential drug side effects that are listed…I had them all. Loss of eyesight, loss of memory…and as for sexual performance…that was a good one…Lovemaking was out of the question, forget all that.”

With the help of his doctor, Adam spent 6 months in 2007 weaning himself off the drugs and emphasises that his condition is now under control.

“The drugs they were giving me were too strong. They were meant to control epilepsy…I don’t have epilepsy…I was physically allergic to the medication.”

Adam believes he was overworked at the height of his fame, confessing that he didn’t have time to enjoy his stardom when he was regularly at Number 1 with his band Adam And The Ants. 

Adam is most famous for the Dandy Highwayman character he created for the music video, Stand and Deliver.

His next album, “The Blueblack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter”, is out next January, and also has a screen play in production based on his autobiography, also called Stand and Deliver.

Adam explains, “I want the screen play to focus on the punk years, before we hit the charts. People don’t realise how crazy it was back then. We’d have bottles thrown at us and get attacked with chains.”

“I had a gun pulled on me once in Berlin and I just went,’Go on then…shoot me’. That’s a ridiculously stupid thing to do.”

By definition, you’ve got to be a bit mad to do what I do. I’m not promoting it as an idea…but that was the reality of it…it’s always a face-off between me and the audience.”

“I’ve missed being on stage…I’ve missed touring…and now I want my crown back.”

by Wallace Mctavish 


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