May 30, 2013

20,000 vinyl LPs 21: Adam & the Ants ~ Dirk Wears White Sox

 front cover photo by Clare Johnson
photo of front cover by Styrous©

One of the treasures in my vinyl record collection, Dirk Wears White Sox, has always intrigued me with it's image of a woman on the cover album. She is vague, diaphanous, mysterious and compelling. I have the same fascination with her as I have with the woman on the back cover of the Jorge Pardo album (see link below).

 front cover photo by Clare Johnson
photo by Styrous©

In 1978 I saw Jubilee, the British cult film directed by Derek Jarman, which stars Jenny Runacre, Ian Charleson, Amyl Nitrate (Pamela Rooke aka Suzi Pinz on the soundtrack album who does a hilarious but GREAT version of Rule Britania, see link below) and many punk rockers, including Toyah and Adam Ant. The title of the film refers to the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 1977. Naturally, I was hot on the trail for the soundtrack album. It was my first awareness of Adam and the Ants. A year or so later, I discovered Dirk Wears White Sox by The Ants.

Dirk Wears White Sox was the only LP by the original Ants lineup; it was released by Do It in 1979. The album features a young Adam Ant exploring the fusion of punk, glam, and minimalist post-punk and songs of alienation, sex, and brutality. The album offers a fascinating look at the Ants' formative years, capturing Ant's raw energy.

Adam wrote the words and music for the album and "Dirk" is a reference to is 50's British film star, Dirk Bogard (1921-99). He was a great Bogarde fan. In 1974, Bogard starred in the film Il Portiere Di Notte (in English The Night Porter). The song, Dirk Wears White Sox was inspired by that film but it was cut from the original 1979 album but released on another album years later.

 photo by Styrous©

The album featured an inner sleeve with lyrics and photos by Philip Grey.  The photos are burned out, stylized images รก la 1979 punk.

inner sleeve photos by Philip Grey
photo of inner sleeve by Styrous©

I love the title of this song
photo by Styrous©

 album credits
photo by Styrous©

the record labels were pretty cool

side one record label
photo by Styrous©

side two record label
photo by Styrous©

Original 1979 release    

Side one:
1.  Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2)
2.  Digital Tenderness
3.  Nine Plan Failed
4.  Day I Met God
5.  Tabletalk

Side two:
1.  Cleopatra
2.  Catholic Day
3.  Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)
4.  Animals and Men
5.  Family of Noise
6.  The Idea

Adam Ant – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonic
David Barbe – percussion 
Matthew Ashman – guitar, piano
Andrew Warren – bass guitar
Marco Pirroni – guitar on tracks 18 and 19
Jon Moss – drums on tracks 18 and 19

Adam Ant was born Stuart Leslie Goddard on November 3, 1954, in London, England. He studied art at the Hornsey School of Art in London. The list of musicians associated with Hornsey is astonishing. He placed a classified ad in the weekly British music paper Melody Maker in June of 1976 that read: "Beat On A Bass With The B-Sides." A few days later he met with Andy Warren and they formed the group the B-Sides. They recorded a punk version of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" but broke up right after that.

Melody Maker Magazine ads resulted in many fine collaborations:

20,000 vinyl LPs 2: Jorge Pardo
Amyl Nitrate (Suzi Pinz) singing Rule Britania on YouTube
Car Trouble can be heard on YouTube
Nine Plan Failed can be heard on YouTube
There's terrific historical info about Adam and the Ants during 1978 on the blog, Kill Your Pet Puppy.

The entire collection is for sale. Interested? Contact Styrous®



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