Adam Ant’s influence on punk in the US, via Darby Crash

Darby Crash co-founded the influential LA punk band the Germs with Pat Smear. He died in December 1980.

From an interview with Darby Crash biographer Brendan Mullen

Question: What do you know about Darby’s trip to England and his subsequent obsession with Adam & The Ants? Who did Darby hang out with in England?

Mullen: He went to England for a month or so in early summer of 1980 with a woman named Amber, his latest patron, a woman he lived with for a while who picked up the tab for everything. They stayed with Amber’s friend Jordan who was a key designer-stylist in the classic Britpunk fashion look. According to Amber, Darby asked Jordan to give him what people called the “Mohawk” hairdo, although “Mohican” was actually the correct name, something Darby kept pointing out, but to no avail. Mohawk stuck in the vernacular. Mohican didn’t. Still is that way. Darby’s role model for the Big Make-Over-in-London was clearly Adam Ant and his Antpeople entourage of post-punk fashion casualties.

Here are some photos of Darby Crash sporting his Adam Ant inspired getups and his influential Mohawk haircut:

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Adam Ant in 1980

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goth style

A goth inspired outfit currently sold by Forever 21

Goth is Dead, Long Live Goth

Everyone is going goth– again. Yesterday the New York Times did a trend piece on goth that’s worth a read.

Choice quote from the article, “Google searches for “creeper” style shoes have grown by more than 530 percent between September 2010 and September 2013. “The goth trend is no longer reserved for an underground subculture,” said Heidi Ware, head of fashion editorial and creative for eBay. A choker necklace is sold on the site every 55 seconds.”

This is on the heels of the recent Kanye West album, which bares an influence of goth and Nine Inch Nails industrial sounds and Rihanna tagging photos on Instagram as “ghettogoth” and posting photos of chokers for fashion inspiration. Goth is back, but did it really ever leave?

A list of things I would like Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran to read to Me

Nick Rhodes

Nick Rhodes, Duran Duran’s synth player and legendary sparkly fashionista, could read anything in the entire world to me and I would listen with rapt attention. I’m pretty sure he has the most soothing and silky voice known to man.

Things I would like Nick Rhodes to read to me:

  • The phone book
  • VCR instructions from 1987
  • A Chinese restaurant take-out menu
  • 50 Shades of Gray
  • Duran Duran’s old Playgirl Magazine interview from 1995
  • My last rites
  • The lyrics to “Back that Ass Up” by Juvenile
  • A section from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Random Thoughts About Music While Listening to Adam Ant

Adam Ant the Ants- Kings of the Wild Frontier (Top of the Pops 1981)

A lot of people who I follow on Tumblr are teenagers who are beholden to the music of the 1960s and 1970s, and I get that. It was an amazing time in music. And I’m sure that it might seem odd to people that I post about the Monkees and then a band like Oasis or Adam Ant or Tame Impala. But to me, all of these bands are very connected and important in their own way.

Music is so interconnected that to me, liking something outside of that small parameter of time isn’t that weird. Adam obviously named the Ants as an homage to the Beatles, and his influences are clearly T. Rex, Roxy Music, Motown records, and the same music of the 50s that influenced people like the Beatles.

This particular song uses two drummers playing the Burundi style of drumming made popular by Bo Diddley in the 50s, and the guitar riffs not just on this song, but on their first album are a direct nod to “Rumble” by Link Wray, which is also, as we all know, a favorite track of Jimmy Page.

Adam’s fashion sense is also a mix of the sort of freak clothes that the GTOs and the dandies in the UK in the 60s wore, but obviously with more of a punk/ugly aesthetic.

I don’t really know my point except to say that there is good, fun, well-crafted music from every decade. The 60s gets a lot of press for being an amazing decade, but every decade has valid cultural movements that make society change for the better.

Like Syd Barrett wearing eyeliner in the 60s and then David Bowie and the glam kids following his lead, and then Adam Ant and the punks doing the same but twisting it so it was “ugly/pretty”, and then Adam Ant influencing people like Boy George to feel comfortable enough with himself to wear makeup, etc. It’s all important. If the 60s was a renaissance for the women’s movement and civil rights, I’d like to think that these male popstars being so open about their sexuality and wearing makeup and still being considered sexy and desirable and that it was OK to be a little femme was helpful in the major movement in the 80s, the gay rights movement.

And then Adam influenced the next generation of British musicians like Suede and Blur who definitely took a similar approach to gender roles in the 90s.

But like all of our 60s heroes, these are still catchy three and a half minute pop songs. This is still a person who has the same influences and background as many people from the 60s. All he was doing was just modernizing it for the times and twisting it around a bit.

I know it’s easy to get stuck in one frame of mind in terms of music, but when you really think about it, whether it’s Jimmy Page in the 70s or Adam Ant in the 80s or Blur in the 90s or Jack White, all of these dudes are all musical peers who are worthy of attention, in my opinion.

Choice Quotation

Quote

“Once inside, everybody’s a star. The social rules are simple but rigid: All you want to hear is how fabulous you look, so you tell them how fabulous they look. You talk about how bored you are, coming here night after night, but that there’s no place else to go. If you’re not jaded there’s something wrong. It’s good to come in very messed up on some kind of pills every once in a while, and weekend nights usually see at least one elaborate, tearful fight or breakdown. If you’re 18 you’re over the hill.”

-about Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, 1973

Janice Dickinson

I’ve wanted to dedicate a post to ‘The World’s First Supermodel’ Janice Dickinson for quite some time. While many people see her as a out-of-her-mind reality star, she is easily one of my favorite models of all time. In the 1970s, modeling was full of All American looking models with blonde hair and blues eyes, a la Cheryl Tiegs, Patti Hansen, Christie Brinkley, until Janice came around and shook the modeling world on its head. She was one of the first ethnic looking models to reach supermodel status and her hard-partying, rock-n-roll spirit set her apart from all of the other girls at the time.

I would definitely recommend reading her autobiography, No Lifeguard on Duty. In the book, she’s very candid about her abusive childhood, the not-so glamorous life of a new model, and of course many salacious stories about Studio 54 and the 70s party scene, her many famous flings (Jack Nicholson, Sly Stallone, Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Liam Neeson), and her substance abuse issues.

But beyond that, and as these pictures hopefully demonstrate, Janice was a fantastic model with the unique ability to look multi-ethnic and totally transform herself for every photo shoot.