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Sid Vicious



Sid Vicious

Well, it's 30 years ago since the man known to the public as Sid Vicious reached his final curtain. A poor, young messed up kid who worshipped Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders and David Bowie, and went on to be worshipped by many misguided souls himself.

Sid Vicious

His death was a punk landmark, telling the
original punks of '77 that the fun was over, New Wave was on the horizon, and a young boy named
John Simon Beverly has paid the price for it.

Born on May 10th 1957, Simon (as his mother referred to him) was the product of a junkie hippie mother named Anne Beverly, his father was a grenadier guard named John Ritchie,who left when Sid was young. Confusion over Sid's real surname continues to this day. A latch key kid, Sid spent much of his early life in Ibiza, returning
to the UK in the 1960's.

During his art college days in the early '70's, he frequently was trying to get his hair to stick up like his hero Bowie, even going as far as to stand with his head in a gas oven to acheive his goal. His artwork was excellent, of course, and it was at Hackney College that he met a long-haired guy named John Lydon. The two became friends, bonded by a love of music, even going
as far as busking Alice Cooper's "I Love The Dead on broken violins and guitars to the dismay
of the London Tube's commuters!

They pitched up together in a Hammersmith squat and got jobs. Sid was a pocket cutter in the
rag trade, John working at a nursery.

Sid Vicious

It was when John joined the Sex pistols that Sid (getting the name from John's hamster, who bit Sid once, prompting the comment " 'Ere John, your Sid is vicious," and the fact that our boy
wasn't vicious at all, but a sweet boy --  stopped
being an outsider, following John to gigs.

After being in the frame to be The Damned's vocalist, (he didn't show up for the audition - Dave Vanian did), he formed
The Flowers of Romance - another Lydon given name, with future Slits guitarist Viv Albertine. They rehearsed Sid's original songs,
like "Mongol Baby" and "Belsen Was A Gas," but
splintered out soon after.

He then joined up with Siouxsie Soux at June 1976's 100 Club Punk Fest for the first ever Banshees performance as a drummer.
He never used cymbals on the kit, and had never even played drums before, and apart from a blink and you'll miss it scene in the "Rock 'n' Roll Swindle' video, never did again. The resultant mess prompted Siouxsie to continue with the band, and Sid to
get his own group when released from the youth jail. During
The Damned set on the second night, he allegedly
threw a glass which splintered on a pillar and blinded a girl.

By this time, the Sex Pistols were gaining their reputation, forcing bassist
Glen Matlock to quit. Lydon bought in his best mate, Sid.

Sid showed some promise during the early months of his joining the Pistols. Recordings show his bass playing to be OK, causing chaos all the way, until Nancy Spungen arrived from the USA, immediately wanting to hook a Sex Pistol. Drugs had played a minimal part in Sid's life so far, but meeting Nancy was to seal his fate.

He fell for her, her drugs, her pushiness. mutual fights and beatings were the order of the day, this alienated his pal Rotten, and as the Pistols fell apart in the USA in January '78, it was Sid and Nancy against the world.

Sid Vicious

We all know the story: Junkie lovers, she ends up knifed, Sid is accused. I Believe there is NO WAY ON EARTH he did it. He was too stung out on Qualudes and loved her too much. The honour of killing her must go to drug dealer Rockets Redglare, who in 1991 admitted
to hotel staff he did it and supplied the heroin that killed Sid.

Sid died on February 2nd 1979, in his sleep, after overdosing
at a party given by his mother to celebrate his release on bail.
This heroin came via New York Dolls' Jerry Nolan, who received it via Rockets Redglare. He knew the shot was going to Sid, and made sure it was a HOT SHOT.....98% pure heroin....the cleanest, purest seen on N.Y streets for a long time. Some say Anne Beverly administered
it to her son so he would escape jail. Some believe Sid took it
from her bag and did it himself.

Whatever your idea of Sid in the punk world, he was a human being, a lost soul; no one could help him. He left us three great singles, a patchy live album and a ton of memories. So next time you pull on your Sid T-shirt, Remember the GUY, not heroin-induced chaos.


God Bless you Sid, 30 years on, never forgotten.

If you live in Austin and you have a loved one with a drug problem, you might want to read Promises Austin rehab reviews to give you an idea about your options.

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