Carty: The last Ant feature in Record Collector (RC) was in December 2000 (AntBox) and prior to that, in early 1989 - over 15 years ago. Tell me about the process that was involved in getting this one to print.
Freek: I started writing for RC about a year and a half ago. I contacted Joel McIver who runs the "Digging For Gold" feature in the magazine. I noticed there weren't any reviews in the magazine on experimental (avant-garde) music, which is what I am mostly involved in. So I wrote in saying I wanted to do reviews on experimental music, and they said said, "sure, send something in". From that moment on I started doing reviews, which number about two or three a month.
F: I then asked Joel if I could do something for the "Digging For Gold" section as I had a lot of rare records and all sorts of weird stuff that people would perhaps be interested in reading about. So I would write 150 to 200-word pieces for that. So, I thought if they are going to accept these small bits, why not try larger articles? I said I knew enough about Adam & The Ants to be able to write a piece and they said, "go ahead". I was told to keep it roughly 4000 words.
F: I sent it in and they said, "fantastic"! I had all my covers scanned, etc. - it was quite a lot of work (but a labour of love)! And then it stalled! I kept thinking it was going to be in the next issue and it never was. So I started writing to the editor and said that the Ants were due to be re-released on CD. I said, "you have to print it now or it's going to go past its momentum". Meanwhile, I had written the reviews for the remastered Kings Of The Wild Frontier and Prince Charming albums, which were printed.
C: So the KOTWF and PC reviews in RC were your reviews?.
F: Yes. I gave Kings five stars.
C: You're biased.
F: Only slightly. I mean Dirk also got five stars, but that one wasn't written by me. Someone had beaten me to it.
C: Most of the reviews I have seen of the remasters fail to acknowledge the extra tracks. They just review the album as it was. How did RC recognise the bonus material?
F: In my opinion a review has to has three objectives; what's literally on there (objective), what I think of it (subjective) and the packaging. So it's more like if you haven't heard the album, here's what it sounds like, this is how it was in the 80s and how popular it was. I also include whether I like it or not, or stuff like if the booklet falls out.
F: I wrote a bit about the extra tracks. I think I wrote about Scorpio Writing on the PC review. It was such a strange track to find on there.
C: It was a nice discovery that.
F: It was brilliant, created by a very tired Adam and Marco, late at night. Prince Charming I gave three stars because I felt it was musically less interesting than Kings.
C: So how would you find out about the constant non-appearance of your Ants article? Would you contact RC?
F: No, I would dash downstairs and get my free copy (from the mail) and see it wasn't in there! I was waiting for this Adam & The Ants thing to appear on the front!
C: When did you get some indication that it was going to appear?
F: When I wrote to Jack Kane who was the editor of Jack's Added Value. He's the guy who puts prices to records that people send in and he turned out to be an Adam & The Ants fan, which I didn't realise. He said it was going to be in the next issue, so maybe he twisted some wrists.
C: Was anything left out of what you initially submitted for the article for space reasons?
F: I don't think so. I kept really close to the 4000 words. There were some grammar corrections and English words they changed.
C: I can't believe you had issues with English - you don't even sound Dutch!
F: There's only a limited vocabulary I have mastered to use in a magazine, so they changed a few things around. They also changed the captions of the scans. I had different captions.
C: What's your reaction to somebody doing that?
F: Well the main thing they changed was under the Young Parisians cover, which was the one signed by Adam. It had underneath, "signed on Camden Lock one misty morning", because I bought it signed from some guy who had seen Adam go by and he made him sign it. They put under it, "signed to the author", which isn't true as I've never met Adam (alas).
C: At least it's in there.
F: Yeah. And they didn't use some of the covers I sent in.
C: Is that the one you haven't got? The Young Parisians 'Eiffel Tower' sleeve?.