Video Killed the Radio Star :: Billy Idol :: Dancing With Myself

Dancing With Myself, originally a Generation X song from the album Kiss Me Deadly, became an MTV-fueled hit when Billy Idol re-released a more pop friendly (sans the driving guitar and bass found in the original) version on his solo album, Don’t Stop. This is a song that I originally mistook to be a celebration of freedom, which has been stated to have actually been about masturbation.

– How many songs, especially in the 80’s, take on the self-love act? I could almost do an entire series on that, I bet.

Anyhow, at the time this video had its heyday of video play I was just starting high school. The album, Don’t Stop, was released earlier, when I was still in junior high (I remember buying a copy the same day as I also took home The Go-Go’s Beauty and the Beat); but, it was in 1983 that I remember this song, and the video, the most.

It was one of the first high school dances I attended. I think it was in a church basement, as this was before my school had built the gymnasium which would later hold all the casual dances. I was never big on proms and formals, but my friends and I loved the informal dances. Looking back, I think it was the music that drew us in, and a love of dancing that would continue on into my club days in the late eighties, and early nineties. I absolutely loved to dance.

But, I was a shy girl in my adolescence; all the bouncing around to and from various schools had shaken up my confidence, and made me often quiet and withdrawn. I had friends, good ones at that, but I was not the kind of girl who would go out and dance; or, so I thought.

This video, every time it would come on MTV I would blare the volume and dance around my room. I remember never feeling as free and good about myself as I did when I was spinning and bouncing around my bedroom, singing-a-long.

With the music, and the spinning, I felt transformed. I saw myself as something different, and pictured myself a little bit dangerous, a little bit dramatic, and a whole lot brave.

When this song played at that early dance, I don’t know, something outside of my insecurities took over. Maybe it was the body overriding the mind, or maybe Mr. Idol was infusing me with a little rebellion. I ended up out on the dance floor, dancing with myself, and losing myself in the music. It became
something I did, something that was natural to me. I never did care, after that, if a dance floor was packed or empty; if I heard a song I loved, I’d be out there dancing.

And, the dancing to this sogn, I do believe it gifted me a little bit of self-love (just not of that variety).

Dancing with Myself :: Billy Idol

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