BAND: Adam & the Ants
ALBUM: Prince Charming
From 3rd grade until 8th grade I had a pen-pal in England (who later move to New Zeland) named Wayne.
The whole concept of having a pen pal seems like such a weird and foreign concept nowadays, with the internet making it possible to connect with anyone worldwide with such little effort, but back in those days (being the late 70’s-early 80’s) it was seen as something really unique and different to have someone that was not a family member in a different country that you communicated with.
As we got older, we took to sending each other “letters on tape”, where we’d record one side with us talking, telling the details of our days, experiences at school, etc. On the other side of the cassette, we’d usually include a couple of songs from bands that we were listening to at the time. I sent Wayne songs from Styx, and Kiss, and Rush.
He sent me Adam & the Ants.
He assumed, because they were so big over in the UK, that I HAD to have heard of them. However, being the small, redneck town that it was, I had no idea who the hell he was talking about, and then came three songs from the Prince Charming album. Scorpios, Stand & Deliver, and Prince Charming.
I was baffled. I was confused as hell. But oh dear god, I was hooked. The horn and guitar blare of Scorpios felt like a rock version of the Martin Denny records my parents had. The lyrics had a different kind of “rebellion” than I was familiar with in the rock I was used to… “Be pretty and young and fearless, like the Scorpion”… hinted at danger and pride, and an awareness of being part of something bigger. I had to special order a copy of Prince Charming from the local record store, and I had only had it for a week when I placed another order for Kings of the Wild Frontier. I was hooked, and really Adam & the Ants… and later Adam Ant… was my first exposure to “alt rock”. Before I knew of the Sex Pistols, or Duran Duran, or the Cure, or Bauhaus, etc. My look during “the metal years” was equal parts Metal & Adam Ant’s “Dandy Highwayman”.
I am sure it is just a coincidence… nothing more… that my lovely wife of over 16 years is a Scorpio.