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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
at a party given by his mother to celebrate his release on
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
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.
HE DID IT HIS WAY
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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