Sid Vicious

Born Simon John Ritchie May 10, 1957 in the Lewisham area of London, England, the controversial punk rock provocateur known as Sid Vicious burned boldly and brashly until his untimely death in 1979. Sid Vicious met John Lydon aka the future Johnny Rotten at Hackney Technical College in 1973 and the pair began hanging out at Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's now-iconic Kings Road clothing store, SEX. It was during this time that Simon Ritchie became Sid Vicious, named after an incident involving John Lydon's pet hamster Sid. Sid Vicious began busking and frequenting London rockstar hangout the Speakeasy, and during this time his violent tendencies started to materialize when he attacked NME journalist Nick Kent with a bike chain. In 1976, Sid Vicious made his musical debut as the short-term drummer of Siouxsie and the Banshees before joining the Flowers of Romance. Following the dismissal of original bassist Glenn Matlock in February 1977, Johnny Rotten encouraged Sid Vicious to join the Sex Pistols and he performed with the band for the first time at London's Screen on the Green on April 3 that year. However, owing to his lack of experience, guitarist Steve Jones contributed the majority of the bass guitar work to the band's seminal, chart-topping debut album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols – released first by Virgin Records on October 28, 1977 – although Sid Vicious did play bass on two tracks: "Holidays in the Sun" and "Bodies." He toured the US with the Sex Pistols in January 1978 but the group dissolved shortly after. With girlfriend Nancy Spungen taking the reigns as his manager, Sid Vicious ventured out as a solo artist and performed with a variety of musicians including Mick Jones of the Clash. He gave Frank Sinatra's "My Way" a punk-rock refit for Julien Temple's The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle while continuing to court a problematic reputation. On the morning of October 12, 1978, Nancy Spungen was found dead on the bathroom floor of the Hotel Chelsea room she shared with Sid Vicious in Manhattan, New York after suffering a stab wound to her abdomen. Sid Vicious was arrested and charged with her murder but died of a heroin overdose on the morning of February 2, 1979 at the age of 21 while out on bail. His short life was depicted in the 1986 biopic Sid and Nancy, directed by Alex Cox.

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Stations Featuring Sid Vicious

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