Marco : The John Robb interview

In depth interview with the legendary Marco former Adaam And The Ants guitarist and key player in the very early days of punk rock. Marco talks to John Robb about his life from glam fan to Sex shop to the Models/Adam and The Ants/Sinead and Shakespears Sister…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad Marco says he prefers to write with other people – I really have to have somebody else as a sounding board, but they frequently won’t go for it – In fact they seem violently against it round here, it’s still fairly prehistoric in terms of attitude – people think youre some kind of deviant and shun you … (don’t believe the TV, the Dark Ages are still going on, just we now have aforesaid TV and internet to mitigate it) … I dig Pin Ups, I can’t get down with this slander. i braced myself for Marco saying he didn’t like Station To Station though, so Pin Ups is an acceptable loss under the circumstances. I braced myself in the mid-90s for an end to the ‘boredom’, but this never occured – and furthermore, retrospect reveals those ‘Boring’ years to be livid with fascination, like a mouldering cheese under a microscope … it is hereby permanent 1974 round here – Perpetual Friday night of the Mind, pregnant with promise before the ineviatble anti-climax of saturday night into sunday morning …

  2. This is totally brilliant by the way and thank you very much. I’ve listened to and read so many Marco interviews but it’s completely fresh, funny and interesting every time, he’s an incredible raconteur. Also unbelievably he’s a genuine MegaSuperstar in my firmament (KOTWF changed life etc.) but seems so unguarded and genuine, it’s as if I’m eavesdropping on a private conversation which is a bit weird but fantastic. Always new details, for instance the Biba Girls as well. I’d say there should be a film of Marco – A Man Called Marco – but it wouldn’t be as good as several two hour interviews. Coincidentally, I recently got hold of a second hand book from somewhere, and it has pics of his old apartment in it, with the diagonal radiators and so on – it doesn’t actually say it is Marco’s palce though.

    Sid ‘wasn’t very good but could go on for ages’ – I have the opposite problem …

  3. He should, Marco is crucial! We all should blow his trumpet for him. Apart from being one of the best guitarist/songwriters of the last however long, he is the interviewee par excellence. And of course, may I pay tribute to your good and esteemed self, sir. Thank you both for such a fascinating interview. I appreciate how much you dig KOTWF and praise it at every opportunity. KOTWF is a truly magical record for me. As you say, what else is like it? Something that strikes me is that it has lengthy sections without vocals or wordless vocalising. That bass/drum progression before the chorus with just kind of ambient guitar playing. So far away from the pop formula that was already congealing at that point. The film music influence (I won’t mention The March Of The MacGregors). Now a pop single is just the same all the way through, no instro breaks or anything. It’s just a big Kentucky Fried Chicken jingle repeated ad infinitum. And KOTWF is the tribal Punk sound 1980 demanded but few delivered. I wish you could’ve seen the town hall where I live in the 80s and 90s. Sadly it had fallen into dereliction (it’s been restored now), but it was so romantic as a kid. It was plastered with Pistols, PiL and Adam & The Ants graffiti. ‘Ants Invasion’ filled the entrance. Myself and my brother were listening to my older sister’s KOTWF – it was like an artefact from a vanished civilisation, we found a 1980 copyright on it and COULD NOT believe how old it was. The world it conjured was somethin else. And still is. And The Ants Catalogue (Antalogue). That was my education. I didn’t get so much out of High School, but that booklet ‘who is Udo Kier?’, you’d have heard me ask … I had been away from home for a few years, when I returned I dug out the booklet and laughed at how many things I subsequently got into – unconsciously – like they had burrowed into my brain like creatures from The Outer Limits and hatched on a time release programme.

  4. Brilliant. More please. Sublime interview. Want to know more about Vive Le Rock – you never mentioned Strip. What’s Phil Collins really like? And what about the B-sides, the Red Scab session. Adam & the Ants in both incarnations are the best blumming band(s) going. Hope ‘we’ (as in, fellow mammals) can brave a room w/ other people in it soone. Hope Big Hands is still there. No more beards when the all clear sounds. Don’t look like Alvin Stardust’s backing group (actually, that’s quite a good look for 2021 AD – at least they looked skinny and undernourished. And had pink t shirts). Pink T shirt and a gas mask or divers helmet still works as a jarring image – especially in a mundane setting. Silver plaid jacket & wolfman mask for evening dress. I’m not sure I did survive the pandemic psychologically but I think this is culturally enriching. My heart is straining with Irish ballads of the Land we used to know … Thus I raise a glass to thee and this evenings playlist begins with The Ventures, medley of Fear (One Step Beyond)/The Twilight Zone, and Dan Blocker singing Shenandoah (only know it hits me that Lloyd Webber may have drawn of some inspiration from this tune for Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – a revolting note to end on, and I beg your indulgence and hope you can find in yer heart some forgiveness for me)

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