This was the night Michael Jackson mesmerised his audience introducing his Moonwalk for the very first time: 1983 Motown’s 25th anniversary show.
Next to perform was Adam Ant. His appearance on the show had been requested by non other than Michael Jackson himself, and despite having gone through some serious knee surgery only two weeks before, he stood up to the challenge.
It was my “moment of truth”. I was introduced by José Feliciano, who said to a clearly stunned-by-Jacko audience, “And now, from London, England – Adam Ant!”. On I went for my first ever solo outing in front of the Hollywood elite. It was my intention to introduce them to a little English, cheeky sexuality, so I wanted to be almost over-the-top and melodramatic. It was the first show on my damaged knee, so I took care to use my hips and arms more than the knees as I moved. It went pretty well, I thought, and I “danced” through the instrumental middle eight, moving over to the left-hand stairway as I’d rehearsed. Suddenly the crowd went crazy, clapping and cheering.
“Christ! I’ve cracked it!” I thought. “I’m killing them”. So I got up off the stair to sing the last two verses and looked towards the centre of the stage, and there, in a tight, glittering pencil-dress, pulling her hair up over her head like a black Marilyn Monroe, was Diana Ross! My jaw hit the floor and I thought “Please, leg, don’t give up on me”. The crowd was going nuts and so was I. Somehow my shock turned to confidence, and I slinked over to the beautiful superstar, singing “I’ve got this burning, burning, yearning inside of me” into her big, brown eyes. She was really enjoying it. As I circled her, she said, “Oh yes”, and I felt like her slave. The song ended, and before I had a chance to say anything, she scooted off! I left the stage to much applause, though.
Here is Adam Ant‘s performance of “Where did our love go” by The Supremes. Indeed, you can see his jaw dropping (at about 1:35).