Friday 23 October 2020

Jack Jones

The ultimate social distancing song? Well that's easy, innit? When Billy Idol and Tony James visited Tokyo in 1979 they went to a couple of clubs where they saw kids dancing on their own in front of a bank of mirrors. On the plane back to the UK James scribbled a few lyrics down and Idol, once back in London, hung a tune around them (it was always that way around). 

There were to be several versions of Dancing With Myself; the original demo featuring Generation X guitarist Bob Derwood Andrews - that never saw the light of day for 20 years as the band broke up the minute Derwood unplugged his amp. Idol and James then licked their wounds and regrouped (literally) - as Gen X - bringing in a raft of session guitar players including ex-Pistol Steve Jones. But they too split up - only two months after the finished version made its way on to their Kiss Me Deadly album released in January 1981.

And then Billy took it to America where he faded all the guitars and instead cranked up the percussion - turning it, you've guessed it, into a dance track. The song made him (with a little help from MTV) and he never looked back.

So which version have I gone with today? The answer is: none of the above. I hope you like it!

Chloe Feoranzo - Dancing With Myself (2019)

With thanks to Rol


  1. I'm disappointed, John. Here's me thinking this could a left-field post praising the work of the crooner Jack Jones. Or, and I was really hoping for this, a piece on the former International Brigade fighter and trade unionist. But no. I'm disappointed.

    1. Sorry, George; though watch this space - I've just Googled Jack Jones (the singer) and seen that he's been married six times. Six times! There's gotta be a blog in there somewhere...

  2. Showed this to my son. He is quite the clarinet aficionado himself. I loved it, and he liked it as well, but I think he would have enjoyed it more if he knew the original. I kind of forgot most 14 year olds don't know Billy Idol.