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Dancing with Myself

Narrated by: Billy Idol
Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (522 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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 of 11 people found this review helpful

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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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • KC
  • 04-14-16

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Vancouver, BC Canada
  • 02-18-16

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • rick
  • boston,ma
  • 10-08-15

Now I know !

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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • prefabsproutfan
  • 01-18-16

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 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • s c shanks
  • 05-10-18

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • 06-18-16

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Darren
  • 04-30-19

Loved it!

An open and honest account of a life lived to excess. Not many things make me laugh out loud but this did, on many occasions..... loved it!

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  • Lavendar
  • 03-09-19

this is amazing.

Truly articulate and honest. a beautiful listen. I'm pleased that Billy read it himself. I don't believe that anyone else could have read it like him! this is an amazing insight to his life.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-14-18

fuckin brilliant

loved every minute of it.... Billy idol is a revelation and a true rock legend.

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  • Cliff
  • 05-16-18

Full of Punk Attitude

This book is insightful, hilarious, dark and heartfelt. William is a wordsmith and his delivery has a snarl. I love the DIY attitude of Punk and I really think this is how Mr Broad has survived. The book is awesome. It took a while to listen to though. Every time he mentions an album or a project, I paused the book, went to YouTube or Spotify and listened to the music. It helps get a better perspective on what he is talking about. One of my favourite parts was during the acknowledgements at the end. Maybe that’s just my small mind hey. Well done William, your chemistry teacher was a twat.

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  • Tiffany
  • 01-12-18

Good punk history, a bit slow sometimes

What did you like most about Dancing with Myself?

Billy Idol's iconic voice and he doesn't hold back with a few stories I certainly wouldn't want my Mum to know about!

Would you recommend Dancing with Myself to your friends? Why or why not?

It's a bit overly descriptive sometimes - which gives it a slow feel sometimes.

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  • Guardian Hawk
  • 07-10-17

Idol by name, Idol by nature!

Absolute joy to the ears. No sugar coating. Billy tells it as it is and was!

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  • Mr. P. R. Eastwood
  • 07-06-17

Truly excellent audiobook. Crazy and shocking!

Really enjoyed this audiobook. Billy Idol reads this book passionately and details very personal experiences which can be darn right crazy! What a wild character and life led. One of the best audiobooks Ive had the pleasure of listening to. Shame it's over. Well done Billy

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  • Daniel
  • 04-08-16

if you like auto biographies listen to this

great listen great story billy has certainly lived a full on life. i wish i was a punk rocker!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John Cougar
  • 08-21-19

Unabridged? You're not kidding. No kids!

The secrets behind the whiplash smile, no holds barred self-expose by the original post-punk revelator!

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  • Julian
  • 08-13-19

Great Book

Loved it!
Warts and all story of how a young punk from Bromley managed to become an MTV and 80s poster boy as well as the living embodiment of the word excess
The author gives you a look at the Idol persona as well as peaks and valleys of stardom
Billy has written the book himself and that comes through in his honesty as well as his prose
sometimes the book sounds like a book written by a songwriter but that's cool and weirdly adds to the pleasure of listening
Billy doing the narration himself makes it really enjoyable.
recommend

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  • Wronghead
  • 04-20-19

Absolutely loved it!!

This book is fantastic story with a no hold barred attitude which is just like Billy’s life. Highly recommend!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-24-18

True Rockstar. Excellent Autobiography.

Idol's tales seems not to need much embellishment, with his own voice conveying sentiment well. One for fans or those interested in rockstar excess.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-07-18

From the horses mouth

An extraordinary life story, narrated by Billy Idol himself.
loved every minute of it. Do yourself a favor

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  • Atrophy
  • 02-22-18

Legend.

one of my favourite performers. I still love his music today. A true legend. Great book.

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  • bea
  • 07-27-17

Loved Billy's Book

Hands down possibly the best music autobiography ever by Billy Idol! So honest and well written. Highly recommend listening to the audiobook - read by Billy himself.

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  • J D Mc
  • 05-19-17

Better if Billy didn't Narrate or Write the Story

Overall, a passable story/audio book, except the writing was passe and it truly would have been better if a professional narrator, narrated the story as Billy's voice is more attuned to singing than speaking, let alone reading.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-04-17

Sex, drugs and rock at it's finest!

What a great and interesting looking into an 80's rock icon.
I really enjoyed the chapters talking about the early Gen X day and the punk movement in the UK.