Sid Vicious was born in London in 1957. His first mother Anne and father John Ritchie. Sid was born John Simon Ritchie. However John would later leave his wife and young son. John's mom would marry another man by the name of Chtristopher Beverly. Sadly Chris would die of a disease a few months later and once again Anne and young John were alone once again.
Anne was also an avid drug addict and sadly got John involved. He would later take up speed.
In the 70's John Beverly would become friends with three other kids named John. They were John Grey, John Wardle(Later Jah Wooble) and John Lydon.
Later on John Lydon would become the singer of a band called the Sex Pistols and change his name to Johnny Rotten. The Sex Pistols would become one of the biggest influences of the punk music scene (right next to the Ramones). Their music would influence so many young kids to go out and form their own bands and get their own punk identities. This lead John Beverly to change his name to Sid Vicious. He got the name after Lydon's pet hamster also named Sid took a bit out of Sid.
Sid would form his own band the Flowers of Romance including future girl Slit members and Clash members.
Sid would become a big name even before joining the Sex Pistols. One thing that made him big was his invention of the dance called the pogo which he would jump up and down constantly to support to the Pistols. Sid would later joke that he did the dance in order to crush other people watching the shows.
The second thing that got him famous was the events at the 100 Club. While being the drummer for Siouxsie and the Banshees he got known more for his random violent behaviors. He threatened the singer of the French punk band known as the Stinky Toys with a knife, He beat journalist Nick Kent with a bike chain, and he threw a glass bottle into a pillar which missed his actual target ( The singer of the Damned) and the glass shards blinded a girl in one eye.
Sid becomes a Sex Pistol:
After bassist Glen Matlock left the Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten invited Sid to be the new bass player. Sid wasn't the best bass player but he did practice to the Ramones first album and did try and keep up with the band.
Yet things would take a major down fall when American groupie/stripper Nancy Spungen came to England following Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. She would later become Sid's girl friend. This also introduced Sid to heroin in which he would become a heavy user.
Later on the Sex Pistols would do an ill fated tour of America. At this time Sid's physical and mental health was unstable. He would cut himself on and off stage, get into fights with audience members( One famous fight involving Sid hitting someone with his own bass) and also forget playing notes while playing live shows which was stressful for the band. After their gig in California, John Rotten would be fired from the group, guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook would go to Brazil, and Sid would fly back to England but would later make an emergency stop due to passing out on the plane.
Back in Europe Sid would keep busy by helping his former manager of the Sex Pistols make a movie called The Great Rock and Roll Swindle. In the film Sid would perform with Paul and Steve during a song which is the main title of the film. He would also sing "Something Else" in his underwear, "Come On Everybody" while riding on a motorcycle, roam the streets of Paris causing mayhem, and perform the famous cover of "My Way." Also Sid played live with a one night band called the Vicious White Kids which consisted of Rich Kid guitarist Steve New, White Cat and former Damned drummer Rat Scabies, Rich Kid and former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, and Sid Vicious on main vocals. They did two sets(Nancy was backup vocals on the second set) and after Sid got the money from the gig he left England for the last time to start a new life in New York with Nancy.
In New York Sid and Nancy would be living in the Chelsea Hotel. Nancy would become Sid's manager. She ended up getting Sid a few gigs at Max's Kansas City which didn't go well as planned.( But are still great performances to listen to even with the low-fi recording.)
On October 12, 1978, Sid would wake up in the Chelsea Hotel to find Nancy stabbed to death in the bathroom in her underwear. At this point Sid believed that he might have killed her. Sid would face trail but later be released for a court hearing. Till then he meet his new girl friend Michelle Robbinson but would get in trouble again after attacking Patti Smith's brother with a beer bottle. Sid would spend the next couple of night on Rykers Island.
Sid would later be released from Rykers and head back to Michelle. At his release party Sid's mom Anne got him some heroin. Sid would take that heroin later that night. During that night Sid died in his sleep of a heroin Od on Feb 2 1979. He was only 21 years old.
He was cremated and his ashes were poured on Nancy's grave.
Even though Sid could hardly play bass, he was a fast learner. But in many ways Sid really wanted to be the front man rather then the bass player.
Also it should be noted he is only on one track of Nevermind the Bollocks Here comes the Sex Pistols album. He is playing on "Bodies." Glen Matlock is played on "Anarchy in the UK" and ever other track is played by guitarist Steve Jones.
Note: While at some live recorded gig's his amp is not on, Sid's best bass performances would be his first gig April 3rd 1977 but also his last one in San Francisco.
While he wasn't much of a great bass player he was a great singer and front man.
Paul Anka the writer of the song "My Way" said that Sid's version is his favorite.h
In other Media:
Sids relationship with Nancy would be the subject of Alex Coxx's film SID AND NANCY. Gary Oldman plays the role of Sid.