Dancing with Myself
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Chosen by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 Best Music Books of 2014
“That’s what I’m talking about…Of all these memoirs, Dancing With Myself was the only one that stimulated my envy—made me want to be Billy Idol for five minutes….He’s a genuine romantic, writing in a kind of overheated journalese about his London punk rock roots…and then falling head over heels for America” (James Parker, The New York Times Book Review).
An early architect of punk rock’s sound, style, and fury, whose lip-curling sneer and fist-pumping persona vaulted him into pop’s mainstream as one of MTV’s first megastars, Billy Idol remains, to this day, a true rock ‘n’ roll icon.
Now, in his New York Times bestselling autobiography, Dancing with Myself, Idol delivers an electric, “refreshingly honest” (Daily News, New York) account of his journey to fame—from his early days as front man of the pioneering UK punk band Generation X to the decadent life atop the dance-rock kingdom he ruled—delivered with the same in-your-face attitude and fire his fans have embraced for decades. Beyond adding his uniquely qualified perspective to the story of the evolution of rock, Idol is a brash, lively chronicler of his own career.
A survivor’s tale at its heart, this sometimes chilling and always riveting account of one man’s creative drive joining forces with unbridled human desire is unmistakably literary in its character and brave in its sheer willingness to tell. With it, Billy Idol is destined to emerge as one of the great writers among his musical peers.
“I am hopelessly divided between the dark and the good, the rebel and the saint, the sex maniac and the monk, the poet and the priest, the demagogue and the populist. Pen to paper, I’ve put it all down, every bit from the heart. I’m going on out a limb here, so watch my back.” —Billy Idol
using that name on the ID card required for entry into Louise’s. But Monty Python’s Eric Idle already had this name. When Melody Maker journalist Caroline Coon interviewed me for a story she was writing about the Bromley Contingent, she asked me to spell my name. I realized I couldn’t be I-D-L-E. I had to decide right then and there. It occurred to me that I-D-O-L would work just as well. With his bleached blond hair and punk-rock pedigree, Billy Idol emerged. Tony and I were at my house one
and mistakes in business as well as in music. We studied the past lest we repeat it. One of Tony’s acquaintances was Neil Aspinall, who ran Apple for the Beatles. He started out as a roadie but became an accountant dealing with some of the band’s business after the death of manager Brian Epstein. His advice also was to hold out for the best deal. If we had “it,” it wouldn’t disappear, and if we believed in ourselves, we could have a nice, long career. So we decided that was what we should do.
different rhythms, and they somehow melded together terrifically. Jonesy has a muscular sound, and over all the years I’ve played with him, he always gets that sound no matter what guitar or amp he’s on. It’s all him; it’s in his fingers! Danny Kustow from Tom Robinson Band came in and added a different flavor of rhythm and did a few really exciting takes. Keith and I spent a while on my vocal doing three different takes, and then Keith would pull the best lines from each and construct a
Division, and noticed a small number of bands, like PiL, Simple Minds, Human League, Daniel Miller’s Soft Cell, and Cowboys International, were all finding ways to go forward with a post-punk hybrid, often incorporating other forms of music. The steady drum patterns were kept simple and direct, without too many Keith Moon roller-coaster fills or time changes. I thought it reflected the influence of disco, like Giorgio Moroder’s work with Donna Summer, that was being heard everywhere on the New
like-minded people and orgy as in Roman times. The sexual act and the drugs go hand-in-hand. Pleasure seekers of the world, unite, for we set sail and we are not coming back the same. The wedding feast is here, and I must tell of the forbidden journey where sanity is best lost. Abandon all reserve, for we orgy in the ’80s, as that is all we have. Many people were using the moment to discover their sexualities and private fantasies, and what better way to do so than to join in with rock ’n’ roll,