"I had no singing talent whatsoever."
- Adam Faith, speech at the Museum of London, 28/10/01
Ask anyone - except perhaps your dear old nan - to say a few words about Adam Faith and chances are they'll mention 'Love Hurts'. For the stupid or forgetful, Love Hurts was a hugely successful BBC drama, aired between 1991 and 1994, starring Adam as a self-made millionaire and the lovely (if somewhat Alvin-the-Chipmunkesque) Zoe Wanamaker as the charity-working object of his affections. The series is notable for two reasons...
1) It involved Adam Faith.
2) It was a complete success.
Read that again... Adam Faith... Success... It's almost impossible to believe isn't it? Because the sad fact is that - aside from those four years of glory - the rest of Adam's career can be summed up with one word: 'unfortunately'.
Take singing: Adam was a hugely successful crooner in the early 60s. However his career hit the skids towards the end of that decade when he was arrested in South Africa for making 'anti-apartheid statements' on stage. It's not clear what the statements were - 'racial segregation is a bad thing, bu-hey- bee', perhaps - but Adam spent several days under house arrest for his troubles. He was only released when his record company, EMI, agreed to pay £20,000 in compensation to the tour's South African promoter. However, being evil, bean-counting, blood-sucking, cigar-toting, toss-faced mofos, EMI deducted a similar £20,000 from his royalties forcing him on to the streets in search of alternative employment. Poor old Adam.
With the bitter taste of failure still ringing in his musical mouth, Adam turned to the small screen, taking the title role in 'Budgie' - a series following 'a chirpy cockney, just out of prison, scraping a living on the edge of the law'. It was heartwarming. It was funny. It was thought provoking. It was filmed entirely in black and white despite colour broadcasts having begun two years earlier. It was axed. Poor old Adam.
In 1972, Faith got himself a gig producing albums for Leo Sayer and Roger Daltry. However, the records crashed and burned - and so did Faith - with his car, into a tree, one fateful August night in 1973. The accident nearly cost him his leg and his marriage while 'I Survive', an ill-conceived a come-back album launched on the back of the accident nearly stole his solvency. This despite it being co-written with Paul McCartney. The album that is, not the accident. Poor old Adam.
The 80's arrived, bringing with them yuppies, braces, and Adam Faith: financial advisor. Quite why anyone would trust their money to a skint ex-pop singer is unclear - although the cokeaddled noses of the Flaming Ferraris should be bourne in mind - yet trust him they did and by 1986 Adam's fortunes looked like finally picking up. If only his arteries hadn't been so chock full of shit. Open heart surgery ensued. The yuppie dream died. The Samaritans thrived. Financial advisors didn't. Poor old Adam.
We could go on. Let's...
His Mail On Sunday column. Axed.
The Money Channel. Imploded.
His bankruptcy. Declared.
Viewers of The House That Jack Built's eyes. Bled.
His death at the age of 62. Occurred.
It's so unfair.
Perhaps in the 60s he gave some financial advice to the Devil which proved to be less than enriching. "Right, fuck you then" Beelzebub might have boomed... "I'll show you what happens to those who advise me to buy a stakeholder pension..." and from then on, every duck Adam touched was doomed to turn into a turkey. Or a goose. Whatever's worse. Certainly not a swan. Or perhaps he broke eight mirrors at once by dropping a horse-shod black cat on them. Whatever the reason, Adam always had it tough.
He tried, Satan knows he tried. But only once did he succeed. Properly succeed. And that was with Love Hurts. The repeats are still being shown on BBC America as we write.
So, loyal readers, let us charge our glasses, slip our BBC World Video editions of series one, episode one into our VCRs (DVD: not yet available) and remember the one rug that the Evil One didn't pull out from under our hero's tapping toes. We'll laugh. We'll cry. We'll realise how much better Zoe Wanamaker's hair looks now. Kinda spikey. And above all, we'll have a fond, fitting - and above all successful - memory of the man someone once described as 'poor old Adam'.
Safe journey to the afterlife, Adam. And look out for trees.