King-Sized Pop: The Album That Catapulted Adam and the Ants to Stardom
David Chiu
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I was a club DJ at a concert Club which showcased International National regional and local Acts. From 1975 till 1987 I was DJ five to seven days a week and also ran an open mic on Sunday afternoons. I also worked in record stores selling new and used records by the mid-seventies I had mashed a pretty good-sized collection with albums now numbering over 10,000 and 45 around the 5000 mark. I was one of these collectors who read every bit of text on every record in every album sleeve. In fact that’s how I educated myself. When I was old enough to be trusted I was left at a music store while my parents shop in a strip mall. I would voraciously read the stacks of all the new albums that came in noting record labels album producers songwriters and musicians and even recording locations for future use. Having Bender rock and roll baby born in 1951 and raised to cultural Consciousness by the Advent of rock and roll in the mid-fifties I’ve been graduated true that loss. Up till the Beatles came and then grew more Progressive as time went on. By the late sixties I was a psychedelic freak also enjoying the music of Frank Zappa and the Mothers King Crimson Moody Blues. When I got my first record store job and immediately became the buyer at the new store because no one else knew as much as I did I experienced a musical epiphany one day well trying to find something in the store Stacks to listen to that we weren’t bored of listening to every day. That’s when I opened my first Jimmy Reed album. I was also a secret closet country-and-western listener to having grown up on the sounds of the steel guitar in the late fifties.

I continue to work at record stores selling new product until 1975 when I started working in a used Record Shop. This allowed me access too many many albums I had missed the first time around and thousands of promotional forty-fives that would end up flooding our bins is local college students rated their College radio station storage lockers.

In the late seventies I joined many musicians music fans and collectors who were bored with the current music scene in embracing the underground do-it-yourself Punk movement I particularly was drawn to rockabilly and eventually started my own country rockabilly Blues Fusion band. In the late seventies I was working days in the record storage and nights as a DJ in the Club. Because we featured touring Acts I did not have to play music all night long. I started usually by 8 o’clock and finished at 2:30 in the morning. I would play up until the first set in the night and then play between sets depending on whether there were two or three scheduled sets by the bands for the evening. Some nights we would clear the house after the first show and I would play a lot longer. I became known for Taking Chances on music and with a lot of support for my boss I was able to match the music of the Bands To The Music I was playing. In fact I never really played for the crowd. I always played for the musicians on stage. They would hang around at the bar between sets and listen to the music that I played. I figured if I inspired them playing music that I knew they would enjoy their performances would improve. I’m proud to say I received much positive feedback from the Bands. I also received a lot of good feedback from the crowds and because of my status working and record stores during the days I was able to snatch the newest import 45 or albums and had access to a lot of promotional 45 and 12 inch singles that were not commonly available.

I first picked up on Adam and the Ants because I was reading English rock magazines that we’re following the punk New Wave and New Romantic Movement. I was months ahead of local radio in playing import forty-fives often as much as a year in advance. When Adam and the Ants appeared they touch something very special inside of me. By that point in my search for outstanding new music I was looking for something that was truly innovative in a pop sense. As noted in your article they did bring a rockabilly sense to the New Romantic Movement in addition to those African drums pounding which was a nod to the burgeoning World music scene. They were exciting as hell and I literally could not keep Dog-Eat-Dog off the turntable. In fact they,inspired me so much that when I took a rare night off for a Halloween dance at another club that was promoting a rock and roll Halloween, I managed to piece together an outfit that at least somewhat helped me resemble Adam Ant. My hair was cut in a rockabilly style at the time all I had to do was add a brightly colored scarf around my head put a couple of lines of lipstick across the bridge of my nose with the blousy shirt I had borrowed from my girlfriend and some riding boots from a roommate I was the hit of the dance. During that evening I must have danced with 15 different women. It was a good night I’ll always have a very soft spot in my heart for Adam and the Ants.

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