Adamant About Antmusic

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I smoothed the edges of the poster, pressing down the corners, willing them not to curl back from the faded, yellow wall.  I’d taken special care to use poster putty, and not tape, like Mom said. 

I stood back to admire my work, and sensed Dad in the doorway, ready with a snide remark.

“Is that a man or a woman?” Dad teased.

“Daaaaad!  It’s totally a guy, I’m sooo sure!  It’s Adam Ant, don’t ya know?”

Dad chuckled and turned around to retreat to his shed outside, away from the loud music that was soon to be blasting from my Pioneer speakers.

**********

We staked out our spot among the sea of sweaty bodies, not too far from the stage.  As more people arrived, I could feel the crowd swell up behind us, nudging us in tighter and closer to our neighbors.  The downside of a general admission show, but something I could tolerate in order to see one of my favorite artists from the ‘80s. 

I found myself pressed up next to an interesting character, a guy about seven feet tall, with long black hair, a cross between a young Anthony Kiedis and Chewbacca.  When the lights dimmed, indicating the start of the show, he began to shout, arms flailing, and promptly bonked me on top of the head.

He apologized, I took it in stride, and off we went as Adam Ant seized the stage, performing a range of hits and new material, with some obscure songs peppered in.

The poster-perfect image I’d held onto all these years was brutally shattered by the reality that time has marched on.  He’s a bit older, a bit chubbier, and moving a bit slower.  But aren’t we all.

As I scrutinized each detail of his physique, I couldn’t help but find an equally disturbing truth in my own progression towards the grave. 
I settled on his mid-section, specifically the paunch of tummy that threatened to bust out from under the bottom of his signature British cavalry jacket. 
I peered down at my own 42 year-old, post-baby belly and silently vowed to start an ab workout this week.

When he launched into his hit single, “Strip,” which used to evoke hysteria in girls clamoring for a glimpse of his washboard abs, I secretly prayed, “Lord, please don’t let him strip.”

Of course, Anthony/Chewbacca next to me had no issue with ripping off his own shirt and waving his arms about, once again.  My chin lined up directly with his shoulders, so I had to bob-and-weave to avoid ending up with my nose in his right armpit. 

At least he had good abs.

Other highlights included "Antmusic," “Desperate But Not Serious,” and the massive radio hit, “Goody Two Shoes.”
As with most ‘80s shows I’ve attended, the range of emotions vacillates between high and low.  The highs of reliving the cherished music and memories that accompany.  The lows of reconciling the preserved image of the artist(s) in my mind vs. the reality of current life in the flesh.
But ultimately, the hope that comes from knowing that, in spite of this, the artists can still succeed at putting on a great show, like Adam Ant, doing what they love.
And so can I, Mommy belly, and all.

Comments

  1. Omg. I didn't know Adam ant sang dangerous but not serious. How I loved him back in the day! Thank god he didn't strip.

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    1. Yes, that would have been tragic, indeed! Ha!

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  2. I love the trajectory of this post starting with you hanging up the poster as a kid. I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of this artist before your post but you tell the story well and I'm off to find some youtube videos of him now.

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    1. Well, he was more popular in the UK than he was here, but he did have that one big radio hit. He also had a comeback in the early 90s with a song called, "Wonderful." He is a bit of a nutty character, but talented and truly interesting.

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  3. The man with the scythe is after us all...but we can have fun along the way. The transition between 'parts' of your story was really good.

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    1. Thanks and so true. I feel kind of like I'm being chased by that man...

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  4. When I was twelve, I wanted to have Adam Ant's baby. That is all.

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  5. Like, I'm sooo sure! :)

    I couldn't even guess how many concerts I've attended during my teen years and 20s. Today, I just can't do it. I'll still go see my man, Bryan Adams, but I cannot do general admission. I just really freak out with so many people.

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    1. I know, I only do general admission in special circumstances. And I need cocktails in order to handle the crowd without freaking out :)

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  6. I loved this. A few weeks ago when I was walking to work I stumbled upon the Today show Friday summer concert featuring one of my childhood favorites, and for at least 10 minutes I stood on the street all by myself, rocking out. And it was completely amazing.

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    1. There's nothing like hearing music that takes you back in time. Wish I'd been with you on that street! :)

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  7. I loved reading this! Great description of the concert! :-)

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  8. In the 80s, I grew up listening to all country all the time, so I'm not familiar with Adam Ant. But reading your post makes me want to check out his music.
    I love the way you used the image of the poster in this story.

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    1. Thank you!! Definitely check him out! I liked the Oak Ridge Boys, Juice Newton, and Charlie Daniels in the '80s.

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  9. Yes you can! Loved this. This is my fave: "As I scrutinized each detail of his physique, I couldn’t help but find an equally disturbing truth in my own progression towards the grave." Well done!

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  10. Adam ant? Oh how young I am.. never ever hear of the fella..
    You be checking out chewbaca? lol
    Great post...

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    1. I'm probably old enough to be your mother, lol. And Chewbacca pretty much left me no choice but to check him out. I mean, I'm only human :)

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  11. Oh Adam Ant...I skipped the free Loverboy concert this spring, but this posts helps me realize that I cannot pass up Styx (for free!) at the Fair this month!

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    1. Ooh, you definitely should not pass up Styx. Although a free show likely means you might run into a Chewbacca-type :)

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    2. The NY State Fair in and of itself draws far worse than Chewie! ;)

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  12. The secret is not to look down at your belly. That's why I always wear a shirt. It minimizes the possibility of a chance encounter.

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  13. Yes, stripping would not have been a good idea, methinks.

    It is sad that all of our teen heartthrobs have to go and get old and fat, right? There should be some kind of rule about that. Then again . . . we are following along, as you said.

    The Beliebers are going to be a very sad bunch in 30 years. ;)

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    1. The Beliebers are definitely going to be hating it. I don't see things turning out well for that kid, I'm sorry to say.

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  14. I love your writing and this line "As I scrutinized each detail of his physique, I couldn’t help but find an equally disturbing truth in my own progression towards the grave." Adam Ant stripping would have pushed me over the edge too!

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    1. In my mind, I still think I am about 23. Wish my body still thought so. Thank you for the compliment.

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  15. It's kind of like when we watch a movie or show as an adult that we loved as a kid, and realize it's not so great anymore. But boy, did you enjoy it when you were young!

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    1. So true. And true with foods, too. Loved Twinkies as a kid. Now, not so much. Unless they're friend. At the fair. Then, I might make an exception :)

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  16. Funny post, don't you hate when celebrities get old and gain weight. If they can't keep it together, how can we?

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    1. I know, they're celebrities, they're supposed to be perfect! :)

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  17. Why can't Adam Ant stay the same age forever? Or at least change costumes to something more figure flattering and age appropriate?

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  18. Somehow I can ignore the fact that I am getting older but when I see the rock idols of my youth they look so ANCIENT. I recently saw Duran Duran in concert and let me just say this - there is a time that you need to STOP with the skinny jeans. If 16 year old boys struggle to make these look cool, 48 year old men certainly have no chance.

    (Sidenote: How did my 14 year old self not realize these guys were gay?)

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    1. Hey, I don't think they're gay! I think they're all married with kids. Of course, they could be on the down-low. And I saw John Taylor at his book signing last October, and he looked fab! Simon, not so much. Nick looks exactly the same, buried under all that makeup. They are my favorite group from the '80s!!!

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  19. I didn't even realize he was still playing. I love when you discover a favorite artist from your youth is still on tour - you better believe I'm seeing Pearl Jam when they come to LA!

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    1. Yes, and Pearl Jam has some good new songs, too!

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  20. My very first concert where I could go without my parents and just friends was Adam Ant. And Scandal opened up for him. We had crappy seats but I had fun being at my first live concert with someone I only watched on MTV.

    I guess we all change as we get older - loved that line about the lows of the preserved image vs reality.

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  21. That's so funny! Not too long ago I saw another 80s artist on tv and couldn't believe it was the same person. Can't remember now who it was, but it was in the same "time marches on" vein. And I know it's marched on me too. I look at my band photos from 20 years ago compared to now and I long for the leaner extremities and the days before the double chin. *sigh* lol But we can still rock! I mean look at the Stones, am I right? Is Keith ever gonna slow down? Hell no! Excellent post!!

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  22. I love how you begin with the image of you as a kid, and end with the Mommy belly. This is just brilliant! I love your descriptions, the tone, and the subject. You nailed it!

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  23. Wow - what a walk down memory lane! Loved his stuff...

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