Name: Stuart Goddard, a.k.a. Adam Ant
Home: London, England
Occupation: New Wave rock star
“My first motorcycle was a Triumph T120R Bonneville, which I bought off a Hells Angel. It was a 1967 model with a beautiful gold-and-cream tank. It had the gray seat with black round the sides and white piping. When you see a Triumph going past you, and the sound of it ... they’re just special. And the people who ride them absolutely love them! In the end I sold it to Jay Leno. I went on his TV show to do an interview and all he wanted to talk about was bikes!
“My dad had bikes. He was a riding instructor in Israel after the war. I remember as a kid going down to Birchington in Kent with my dad driving a Riley 1.5 and seeing all the mods and rockers surrounding the car as we drove along, and my dad having a go at them! I always liked the whole rocker stance more than the mod thing, though. When I was about five I got a green plastic highway patrol jacket because I wanted to be like a biker.
“I didn’t have a driver’s license until I moved to Los Angeles. My dad tried teaching me to drive in a little yellow Fiat 500 with a crash gearbox. I hated it and it put me off driving. But when I moved to L.A. in 1990 I had to drive, so I passed my test and then got a bike license.
“I had a Harley Heritage for a while, but it was too bloody big. It’s embarrassing if you drop it and can’t pick it up again! I had a Harley Hummer 125 next. That was a lovely little bike. It had a beautiful cream-and-blue fuel tank with the old-fashioned Harley logo on it.
“I currently have a new, limited-edition Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 by Nick Clements and it’s lovely. I mean, you can put your money in the bank or you can invest it in something of beauty. I’ll be using the Enfield in photo sessions for some of the bands on my record label. And when I’ve got some time in the summer, it’ll be nice to get out and go for a bit of a ride. It’s a work of art, that bike.
“To me it’s like buying a Gretsch guitar. I’ve got a lot of guitars and I use them all in my work. Some are good for photo sessions—they can be really good props—and the Enfield is the same. There’s always been a strong connection between bikes and music. I’ve incorporated a lot of the biker culture into my work, but in quite a subtle way. I think it’s a fascinating history. I wrote a song called ‘Anger, Inc.’ which was about the birth of the Hells Angels.
“At the end of the day, biking’s just boys being boys, isn’t it? There’s always that side of you that wants to be the teenager—and there’s that outlaw mentality as well, which really appeals to me.”