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This review is of the German, (464 pages) hardcover autobiography of Billy Idol, “Dancing With Myself”.
Blurb: I am hopelessly torn between the good and darkness, the monk and sexaholic, the priest and the poet, the populist and demagogue. I am writing all of this down now in black and white, directly from my heart.
About the book: Billy Idol’s autobiography is filled to the brim with machismo and extremes, but with this musician, one sees that this is his way of life, which one is invited to see in over 450 pages. The accident described in the beginning of the book is enough to pull the reader into his intellectual world and tightens the following retrospect on his life. As I only got the German version, I cannot say how the original fared, but judging the German, it is plain, direct and partially very humorous. Aside loads of name dropping, which is partially loquacious, Idol tells us of the beginnings of punk rock with himself as a witness of the time. A big portion of this books is of diremption of a musician. He is imprisoned between utterly absurd and simply entertaining memories of sex, drug and alcohol escapades, which a lot of people will be jealous of and on the other side there is his psychic self-laceration because of this excess. However, as the saying goes; no good story started with “I was eating a salad”. Apart from this omnipresent theme, it’s about his extraordinary career and his music. Some repetition and clumsy formulating makes the book in my eyes even more authentic and could be blamed on the translation. Nonetheless, they don’t disrupt. Pictures from his private photo album make it a nice whole. When one comes to the last page and asks whether Billy Idol actually left his excess behind, one can only answer “hopefully”. Whether he regrets those times is a clear “yes”.
Conclusion: If this autobiography were to be filmed, I would definitely go see it. “Dancing With Myself” is a very entertaining read with a recommendation to buy.