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Summary

"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 out on a limb here, so watch my back." (Billy Idol)

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 long-awaited autobiography, Dancing with Myself, Idol delivers an electric, searingly honest 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.

©2014 Billy Idol (P)2015 Simon & Schuster Audio

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A book for all seasons!

What made the experience of listening to Dancing with Myself the most enjoyable?

The fact that Billy himself read the book, that was a pleasant surprise when I saw they finally had made the audio version. It's great to read a book where I remember key times in his career and can now know what was happening in his life. Stories in the book have made me look back at some videos and listen to the albums with a new context.

What did you like best about this story?

It's honesty, at times shocking (but not surprising!) life events, but ultimately sad reflection and regrets on mistakes made in the past and the pain caused to those close to him.

What does Billy Idol bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

There is feeling and a sense of real intelligence. Billy Idol is underestimated, and this book helps to redress the balance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lots, particularly moments where he messes up yet again. Unfortunately there are many, but it's amazing he made it through to write this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Bored bored bored

Got as far as chapter 10 and that was a struggle. Boring. Idol hasn't the best voice for delivering a story (unless it's a bedtime one) and the content was dull - read like a diary with the odd cringy sex story.

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Always knew this Gent was different - now I know!

What did you like most about Dancing with Myself?

Open and Honest - Extraordinarily insightful and self analyzing - somehow without passing judgement, except when it's relevant to the rest of the "story".
Left me with a sense of having gotten to know parts of the William that is Billy that perhaps others hadn't been around to seen.

What did you like best about this story?

The life itself is extraordinary, it's immediacy (some could argue short-sightedness?), intermixed with genuine balls, guts, and bravado to make sure you're in a position to take what you want in a world where there's generally just one person standing up for you..

The listener gets a real sense of the Authors emotional state as the experiences are being relived. A times it's subtle, but the emotions are there on display. It's surprisingly strong stuff if you're able to pick up on it.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Cyber Punk is brought up a few times - it's great record. I have had to buy it 3 times, as a result of friends wanting to own it after hearing mine.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The relationship developments that happen as William moves through life are very pronounced. Having said that it's evident that William always had a great sense of loyalty and "doing right" by those that do right by him.
Obviously the emotional scenes towards the later chapters are tough to even listen to, and it evident that they were hard to write and read back,.Living them must have been hard on everybody involved.

Any additional comments?

Even if you're not a fan of Billy Idol, this makes a great insight into the scene at the time, and personal circumstances of a member right at the front of wave 1.
If you, like me, have been a fan through the earlier years - and loved Cyber Punk as well.. This book will blow your mind with rawness, honestly and insight.

A remarkable share.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

This autobiography gives a real in- site to William Broad & Billy Idol . From his very early child good up to the present day .
His wild days of hard drug taking and self destruction and womanizing are hard to listen to Sometimes partically the way he treated some of his close friends
But the insight into his personality and the reasoning behind a lot of his songs a fascinating and definitely well worth a listen
I've always liked his music but this is made me see it in a different light and intend to go back and listen to his albums in order they were released to better understand both the music and the man.

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King Rocker

As a big fan of Generation X and subsequent Billy Idol solo stuff, this book was something I really looked forward to listening to.. I had actually started to read the book, but once I knew Billy Idol was actually reading this autobiography on audible, it was a no brainier and I just had to listen and what a rollercoaster of a tale of life it is !
Billy takes us through everything, the , good,bad and at times ugly but what over rides all of the ups and downs is his passion, energy and often outrageous behaviour , which is utterly compelling!
Yet if you were around yourself during this time , whether be in 77 or the 80’s , you can completely relate to the narrative and understand the excesses and you can’t help admiring at times the sheer notoriety of everything, almost wishing you were there at more gigs and bumping into Billy and his crew especially over in the USA!
Apart from Billy’s rampaging lifestyle there are so many other aspects of growing up in the 60’s and 70’s , family life and influences, the origins of punk , the band members , the solo career in the US and great detail about what the songs were about and where the ideas came from all lead to an absolutely essential , richly crafted and riveting listening experience!

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Personal, heart warming and exciting.

Was really looking forward to this and it did not disappoint. Billy is a fabulous narrator and really put his heart and soul into writing this and reading it.

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love this man

I love this man on so many levels..beautifully and honestly written!!!
The creativity in expressing and he manages to transport you to see vividly his memories ...

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This book is F**kin great

great and honest read, ups, downs all covered, its roarsome,read it with yourself oh oh oh oh

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Billy's story in his own words.

Love that this is Billy's story in his own words. What a life. Oh to have stepped into his shoes for just one night in his Rebel Yell days (c.1984), at the hedonistic height of his career.

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Fascinating. Well-written and narrated.

Billy Idol - I wanted to read his book because I'd always wondered how he'd survived and nothing more. Well, now I'm a total fan. Erudite and intelligent, Billy is fascinating to listen to and takes you on a real journey. His voice is perfect for the narration: deep, husky, intelligent and someone who has obviously lived the life. What a man! I was touched at the end when he thanked the reader/listener; I felt as though he was speaking to me. A well-rounded human being who is honest and who makes you feel that you are really getting to know him. Cannot recommend highly enough.

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  • Katana Rogue
  • 25-01-16

Brutally Honest

Billy really didn't pull any punches or gloss anything over in this interesting autobiography. Having grown up listening to him, I was enchanted with the stories behind the songs and the little trivia you'd probably never know about otherwise. But it's raw for sure. While I know about the whole "sex, drugs, and rock n' roll" thing, I never imagined what a junkie he was. It made me kinda sad, in a way.

He does a great job reading it in his low, gravelly (and dare I say, sexy) voice, and it almost feels like you're kicking back, listening to him on the phone or something. It moves a bit slowly in some places, and some of his descriptives were a bit over-the-top, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Totally recommended.

7 people found this helpful

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  • A. R. Vazquez
  • 20-12-17

Hats off to a true legend of my time

Would you listen to Dancing with Myself again? Why?

As a 48 year old African American who has grown up in Urban Pittsburgh, I am a huge Billy Idol fan. As I got older, I wanted to learn more about his life and his attraction to big bass rhythms. I often give "Eyes Without a Face" as one of the best feel good bass grooves of our life time (in rock or urban music)

Who was your favorite character and why?

Idols tells his very honest story as if we were sitting at the bar. The squib of hanging in the Thailand was hilarious. I wanted to hear more. Too bad he skipped over his lapse in judgement by doing a Christmas record... Not so sure what he was thinking there.

Any additional comments?

Idol, you hade a made a huge impact on all genres of music and your staying power is amazing. We are so glad that you tried your luck in the states. Keep reinventing yourself and rocking!

6 people found this helpful

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  • N. Gibeau
  • 25-05-16

Brilliant Billy Idol

Smart honest witty and strong.
Billy Idol is an icebreaker pushing through the permafrost. Soulful and fearless Billy Idol is respectable and intelligent on his own terms. All the while tangoing with Death Mr Broad bravely remains a sensitive Punk.
Loved the book and was left wanting to shake William's in thanks for the no doubt at times excruciating effort put forth documenting his journey through hindsight 20 20 prism.
Thank you Billy

4 people found this helpful

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  • Geaux Saints
  • 02-10-15

no one could tell it better than Billy himself

absolutely love it, if you love Billy Idol then get the book Dancing with myself

9 people found this helpful

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  • Bill Bockwoldt
  • 16-05-16

it was a heartfelt, intelligent story !

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the narration. what an amazing life! Billy is way more intellectual that I would have originally guessed (sorry) and his insights were powerful. wonderful story!

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  • KC
  • 14-04-16

Cool Billy idol

There is hope for me.
Good book performance is great if you like sex drugs and rock, hard rock and roll!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lasse Hurri
  • 22-03-16

Great story of a life lived to the fullest

Good to listen while driving long distance. As a fan this gave much insight into his music and on his diy attitude which are the reasons most likely why I'm such a big fan of Billy Idol.

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  • Paul C.
  • 18-03-16

Billy Rock's

He is a true success and a Biker he is a great son and father. I like the fact he narates he's own book much better for a memoir. Billy you Rock going to see you in Vegas in May. Paul Corrado

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  • Robert
  • 18-02-16

Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll - all in excess

Sex, drugs, rock 'n roll - few have done it to excess the way Billy Idol has. Very well written and reveals enough to give me a new found increased appreciation for what he has accomplished in his career. It's also amazing that he is still alive to tell the story. Some of the big surprises are how well-read he is as well as his songwriting process. He really had a solid vision of what he wanted to achieve and pulled it off.

2 people found this helpful

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  • rick
  • 08-10-15

Now I know !

Rare treat to hear Billy read the book...his words,with his emotion. huge fan since Genx.

5 people found this helpful