I received the book Stand and Deliver:The Autobiography by Adam Ant from my UK friend Maz yesterday. Yes, she went out of her way and got it and sent it along to me since it is not easy to obtain in the US. I was so excited to get the package and to finally get to read the book! Much thanks to Maz!!!
Above: Stand and Deliver: The Autobiography by Adam Ant
I read the book almost straight through and was really intrigued by it. Adam Ant is very blunt about his life. Yes, it is his point of view on things that went on but then we all only can tell our own view of our lives and many of use would not be as forth-coming as he was in his book.
I liked hearing about his childhood and it was very interesting to me that he had a very poor childhood like a lot of the punk musicians/rock musicians who were born in the 1950s-60s seem to have had. This is not the first autobiography I have read that made me go "Damn....." when reading about a person's childhood. I have memories of reading John Lydon's Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs many years ago and having that "Damn...." moment about his childhood as well. In fact, reading Stand and Deliver makes me want to go back and reread Lydon's book.
The difference in Adam Ant's book is he went through his entire life struggling with bipolar disorder. Yes, a full on mental illness. He is actually still fighting the battle against it through he seems to be winning it these days and keeping it under control. The book shows how he used work, and yes, sex to keep the bipolar demons at bay. He would throw himself into both things to distract himself from his illness and then have huge burnouts when it finally caught up with him. He always knew he had this problem which made the struggle even harder.
He references his diary a lot since he started a diary and kept it pretty frequently throughout his career. This referencing situations he wrote about in his diary led to my favorite line in the whole book:
"Until writing this I had forgotten entirely about this episode, and rereading it in my diary now makes me think I blanked it out because it was so dumb."
That line tickled me and led to me laughing for a good minute straight. It was just such a "Ah Ha!" moment and I could see rereading about the situation (in this case an excorism) and actually thinking that myself if it had happened to me. It is a rare person who would actually write about a situation in our lives that, well, made us look totally dumb. Props to him for that.
I really liked his writing of his finally totally hitting rock bottom in his struggle with being bipolar and addressing his arrest in 2002 which was a result of being bipolar. The chapters of the book dealing with this portion of his life were really interesting because it showed how he got help told of his plans which have led up to his recent tour that he is going on.
Overall, I really loved the book and the writing style kept me reading. If you are an Adam Ant fan...you need to read this book. I know I enjoyed finding out a lot about the singer that I enjoyed as a child in the early 80s and whom I rediscovered when I was 19, and very Gothic.
How can one resist the music of the "Dandy Highwayman"?
I know I never can and you will always find me getting up to dance when "Goody Two Shoes" starts to play.