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Friday, October 12, 2007

Welcome again to Music Hum, my not regularly scheduled but unexpectedly frequent series on vintage music. In this post, I will amaze and delight you by connecting Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies to the Sex Pistols!

Remember Siouxsie?
As I mentioned last week in my post on punk icon Siouxsie Sioux, the Sex Pistols inspired a lot of musicians. Among them was a fellow named Stuart Goddard, aka Adam Ant, who played bass in a rock band that headlined the Pistols’ first concert. After seeing the Pistols perform, Adam became determined to form his own Sex Pistols-inspired group. (This was a typical reaction to a Sex Pistols concert: see Joy Division.)

The Sex Pistols inspired pretty much everyone for a while.
Photo from The Filth and the Fury/Fine Line Features

While Adam eventually formed a band known as the Ants and toured with Siouxsie, he wasn’t very successful. In 1979, he hired Sex Pistols manager and Vivienne Westwood boyfriend Malcolm McLaren to manage the Ants. McLaren paid him back the next year by walking off with all three of Adam’s Ants and turning them into the band Bow Wow Wow.

Adam may have gotten mad but he also got even. He found himself some new Ants, made a hit record (its direction possibly influenced by McLaren’s interest in world music) and became a leader of the post-punk New Romantic music scene. Captain Jack Sparrow definitely owes a debt to Adam’s tribal-slash-pirate costumes. And this is where I prove that someone at Disney was indirectly inspired by the Sex Pistols. Behold!

Adam Ant

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

I know Johnny Depp likes to talk up the Keith Richards connection but when has Keith reminded anyone else of a pirate? Please! Keith is more like the living undead. Call me when Disney does a zombie movie and I’ll do a zombie-to-Keith comparison.

For your enjoyment, I present the gorgeousness of Adam Ant in hip-swiveling action in his Antmusic video. Trust me, my peeps. Whether male or female, we all wanted to look just like Adam back then. In fact, I still kind of want to look like that! Bring on the face paint!

Meanwhile, McLaren found a teenage singer for Bow Wow Wow, the “UK Post-Punk Candy Pop Surf Legends,” as the group is now described on its MySpace page. And what would a hot new group be without a little controversy? Beauteous singer Annabella Lwin posed nude as the woman in Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe … at the age of 15. McLaren got reprimanded for exploiting a minor and Bow Wow Wow became notorious. In other words, another happy ending! I think the photo is quite beautiful. What?! She didn’t LOOK 15! Honest, officer, I thought she was legal.

The pervy Bow Wow Wow version of Manet’s Le déjeuner sur l’herbe

Annabella was like a nubile Adam Ant, so I wanted to look like her too, except less topless.

In fact, I still kind of want to look like that! Bring on the Mohawk!

Bow Wow Wow’s most famous song is I Want Candy, which was actually a cover of a 1965 song by The Strangeloves. Behold the hotness of Annabella Lwin walking into the ocean in her skimpy punked-out t-shirt dress in Bow Wow Wow’s I Want Candy video.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when director Sofia Coppola used Bow Wow Wow in Marie Antoinette. Check out the clip. Queens, clothes, dessert, Champagne, jewelry, dogs, dogs wearing jewelry, a gay hairdresser and Bow Wow Wow … all the necessities of life in two minutes and 44 seconds.

And on YouTube, someone creatively synched up the Strangeloves’ original track with some crazy vintage dance footage.

Other artists have covered “Candy” but Bow Wow Wow and the Strangeloves are all the Candy you need, unless you have a sweet tooth like me, in which case you also need this candy.

If you’ve developed a pirate passion thanks to the Adam Ant portion of this post, you should consider this diamond skull pendant I’ve put on sale. Look at his cute eyepatch! He’s only $300. If you’re interested, email me at wbjewelry (at) gmail dot com.

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22 Responses to “Music Hum: Adam Ant and Annabella Lwin”

  1. applevenusian says:

    I had a dream about Adam Ant a couple of weeks ago. Me and some girlfriends were on a private jet, headed somewhere, and I was in the back of the jet, which had this red half-moon shaped couch. I sat on one end, and on the other was a smallish man, with thick dark hair, who made a fort of sorts around himself with all his luggage. I kept looking at him and finally said, “Hey, you’re Adam Ant!” He raised his shades and said, “Oh, yes, darling, thank you, thank you,” nodding and smiling. Silly!

  2. WendyB says:

    LOL! That’s great. I had a dream earlier this week that I was giving a speech at Pamela Anderson’s son’s bar mitzvah. In the dream, the son’s name was “Max.” Don’t ask me what it means!

  3. roller coaster teacher says:

    Love candy!

  4. Miss Woo says:

    Are Bow Wow Wow wearing Westwood? I adore their outfits!

  5. Debbie Shiamay says:

    Hey the I want candy song was also sung by Aaron Carter later on right? Haha i had no idea the original was by sum1 else!!! What a cute video!

  6. riz says:

    Ha Adam Ant and Jack Sparrow – a match that’s dead on. Oh wendy, if only I weren’t a poor grad student and an upper east side princess. i would be rocking all your jewels. They really are exceptional.

  7. Meg says:

    I’m leaving your blog smarter than when I first arrived =) I love that you know about all people, your music knowledge is pretty damn cool.

  8. Mardou Fox says:

    I adore new Jean Paul Gaultier collection which is inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean :)

  9. coco says:

    now i want to see Marie Antoinette
    great post

  10. Blue Floppy Hat says:

    I didn’t know what Adam Ant’s actual name was, so the info is good to have. Ditto that Bow Wow Wow were an offshoot of sorts from the Ants…
    I have a total crush on Jack Sparrow, so I’ll grab pirate gear anytime, no matter what the inspiration allegedly is.

  11. Queen Michelle says:

    OMG I was OBSESSED by Adam Ant when I was young! I even write to Jim’ll Fix It to ask if Adam Ant could come to my school dressed as a knight on a white horse and take me away! My room was covered with photo’s. The second record I ever bought was Adam Ant.

  12. Aisha says:

    very informative post, I had no idea of any of this!

    I love that skull pendant =)

    x

  13. atelier says:

    Thanks for that post! The information you give us in it, it’s really extraordinary.

  14. Valley Girl says:

    Have I told you enough how much I love that skull pendant??? I must have it. =(

  15. LML says:

    wow! so informative – now i know all about the singers on the marie antoinette soundtracks! and i loved that I Want Candy scene – its my fav – cool post=)

  16. Moose on the Loose says:

    awesome post!

  17. krissy says:

    i suddenly don’t feel so old when i read your blog…i’m thinking we must be of a similar “vintage” (i’m 36). i can relate to all the bands you’ve written about so far and remember loving them when they were still “new”. ah…bow wow wow…they were so much fun! i had the cassette and i remember i had it in heavy rotation the summer of grade 8.

  18. jen says:

    it always bummed me out that before Darby Crash (singer of the Germs) died, he got really into adam ant, like dressed as him, the same makeup etc and while i know everyone then wanted to imitate him, i could never understand why Darby did. however now i’ve grown up and realize adam ant is not all bad but will probably never be something i can listen to without laughing.

  19. In Yr Fshn says:

    Another vintage WB post! I love Adam Ant and am ecstatic that you’ve written about him. He’s rather little man sexy.

    And as a useless addendum to Jen’s comment: Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey (from Grey’s Anatomy) named one of his twin boys Darby after the Germs frontman.
    That what happens when you are out of books and only Parade magazine is lying around.

  20. WendyB says:

    LOL @ “little man sexy.” And, Queen Michelle, I read “if Adam Ant could come to my school dressed as a knight on a white horse and take me away” out loud to my husband and he thought it was the cutest thing ever.@ Krissy, I am a slightly older vintage than you (40 in December) but close. Live it up in your late 30s!

  21. Allie says:

    Awesome post Wendy, and I too mush be around the same “Vintage” for all the bands mentioned had a major impact on my growing-up years. Learned some new factoids, reminisced… and still drooling over Adam Ant after all those years. Something about a man in war paint…

  22. Brie says:

    Thanks for directing me here. Adam Ant lovers unite!

    Did you know that Anabella from Bow Wow Wow went on to fron the 90s band Republica?

    Republic’s Ready To Go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijh2Fqd1ZPY