It’s no secret that post-punk 1980s icon Adam Ant hasn’t had the easiest of times during a turbulent career.
The glammed-up dandy highwayman with the trademark face paint may have looked as if the world was his oyster as he topped the charts with hits like Prince Charming and Good Two Shoes, but even before he found fame he had his problems.
Born Stuart Goddard in 1954, his warring parents split up when he was seven and after a miserable childhood he went to art college, married a fellow student and moved in with her parents. It wasn’t long before he felt suffocated by a life he didn’t want, and took a ‘cry for help’ overdose that highlighted just how unhappy he was.
Once he was released from hospital, music beckoned, he adopted the Adam Ant persona and things started looking up.
He was linked with A-list stars like Amanda Donohoe, Jamie Lee Curtis and Heather Graham but it was a woman he never even met who had the biggest effect on his life.
A disturbed stalker in the United States poisoned his fish pond, tried to kill his dog and would stand naked outside his house screaming obscenities and threatening to castrate him.
It all took its toll, and in 1994 he checked himself into hospital and was diagnosed as suffering with bipolar disorder.
He started to put his life back together, married again and became a father, but the pressures soon started to pile up again and after a violent confrontation in London he was confined to a secure psychiatric ward.
These days he’s not afraid to speak out on the need for people to be more understanding about mental illness.
He told one interviewer: “I was in a very bad state of mind.
“But you don’t walk into a doctor’s surgery and say ‘I’m nuts’ – and if you do, they just fill you with antidepressants which just turn you into a Tellytubby. Antidepressants are very good, but they’re a clinical cosh, really.”
Over the last couple of years he’s being edging back into the spotlight, first with a series of low key gigs that followed the award of a Q Music Icon Award in 2008, along with Paul McCartney and Bryan Ferry.
And that’s where we find him, at the Alban Arena next Tuesday, on the latest stop for the Adam And and The Good, The Mad And The Lovely tour.
Long titles are obviously something he likes, because the album released in September goes by the title Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar In Marry9ing The Gunner’s Daughter.
The show, which features classic hits from a back catalogue that includes Stand And Deliver and Ant Music as well as material from the new set, has been described as raw, raucous and raunchy.
Tickets for Tuesday’s show are £28.50 seated, £25 standing, call 01727 844488 for more details.