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Mathew Ashman
Background information
Birth name Mathew James Ashman
Born 3 November 1960
Mill Hill, North London, UK
Died 21 November 1995
Occupation Musician
Instruments Guitar, keyboards
Years active 1970s-1995
Associated acts Adam and the Ants
Bow Wow Wow

Mathew Ashman (born in London, 3 November 1960, died 21 November 1995) was a British guitarist with Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, who also contributed to Andy Taylor's second solo album Dangerous released in 1990.


Mathew was born in 1960 and raised in Mill Hill, North London, picking up the guitar as a teenager and joining his first band soon after. By the late 1970s, Ashman had joined Adam and the Ants, a highly visual glam/new wave outfit, who issued their debut album Dirk Wears White Sox in 1979. The group then brought former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren onboard, but convinced Ashman and the rest of Adam Ant's backing band (bassist Leigh Gorman and drummer David Barbarossa) to leave and form their own group, which they did in 1980 (Ant would go on to obtain worldwide success with another backing band). Ashman's new outfit went by the name of Bow Wow Wow, and found their singer in the form of a then-14 year old schoolgirl, Annabella Lwin.

After Bow Wow Wow, Ashman was joined by former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook (and others) in the Chiefs of Relief. It took the group a few years to issue their self-titled debut, which finally appeared in 1988 with the group splitting up shortly afterwards.

Ashman then tried to assemble a new group (which consisted of Zak Stakey, Andy Taylor and future Skunk Anansie member, Cass Lewis), but the unnamed outfit broke up before any recordings could be issued. The early 1990s saw Ashman team up with another former Adam and the Ants bandmate, Kevin Mooney, in the group Max, But like Chiefs of Relief, Ashman's latest group only lasted for a single full-length 1992 album, Silence Running, before breaking up. The guitarist then joined the obscure Anglo-Swiss band The Rams (who would eventually changer their name to The Bucks), and appeared on their 1993 release, Wrecked, before once more jumping to another band, Agent Provocateur. The group managed a small amount of recording in a short amount of time, before Ashman passed away on November 11, 1995 at the age of 35, due to complications from Diabetes.

A selection of credits[]

  • Dirk Wears White Socks - Adam and the Ants
  • See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy! - Bow Wow Wow
  • Dangerous - Andy Taylor