Music Memory: Billy Idol, "Dancing with Myself"

The cover for the 12
The cover for the 12" single of Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself." (Album art)

This week's Music Memory comes from Patricia Johnson of Plymouth, Minn.

It's May of 1984 - I'm in a bar in Merced, California. I'm on the run from my current life and all its responsibilities. I'm indulging in all kinds of things that I shouldn't but, that year, who wasn't?

Around me in the crowd I see a hodge-podge of guys with pseudo-Prince hairstyles, and even more adopting the Miami Vice-era Don Johnson looks: slicked back hair, Ray Bans, linen suit, and hands in pockets. The theme is that there is no theme: everything is possible.

My own hair is swept up and over to one side of my head, and then propelled skyward with some kind of industrial-strength gel that must have included the properties of rubber cement. My best friend Kathy is already on the dance floor doing a spirited rendition of what we later called the "Eddie Murphy white man's dance," swinging her arms in front and behind in wide opposing arcs.

This is the moment I recall initially. If I keep up (which I usually prefer not to), I remember making out with a guy named Chazz in his car, then coming back to our table to find my wallet gone. Then the next morning in the bar parking lot, looking through the dumpster for any remains of the wallet's contents.

To this day, when I hear the wailing intro to "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol, my initial reaction is to jerk my head up and look around to see how fast I can propel myself to the dance floor!

CHAZZ! Why does Chazz seem like such an 80s name? Where are all the Chazzes and Blaines now?

Is there a song from the Teenage Kicks era that immediately transports you back to a particular time whenever you hear it? A song that will always remind you of a certain person or incident? Share it with me, and you might hear it on air!

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