Friday, November 03, 2006

Sid Vicious~ My Way

"Sid couldn't punch his way out of a bag of crisps!"~ John Lydon

Sid Vicious is really over-rated, getting turned onto drugs at an early age by his mum, he was a dealer by the time he was 14. Lemmy Kilmster claims that Sid then known by his real name Simon John Ritchie, used to deal LSD at Hawkwind shows. Ritchie got his tuff punk stage name from Pistols lead John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) as an ironic joke involving the name of John Lydon's pet hamster "Sid," which had apparently bitten Ritchie and subsequently been dubbed "Vicious" by him. There's also a theory the "Vicious" part came from the Lou Reed song of the same name.

Eventually after a few failed bands Sid ended up The Sex Pistols. He was asked to join the group after Glen Matlock's departure in February 1977. Manager Malcolm McLaren once claimed: If Rotten is the voice of punk, then Vicious is the look. His punk character was considered far more helpful than any knack for playing, as he was shit at the bass, didn't have an ounce of song writing ability, and couldn't sing.
Jon Savage's biography of the Sex Pistols, England's Dreaming, recounts that most of the bass parts on the band's later recordings were played by guitarist Steve Jones and at later live performances Vicious' amplifier was sometimes switched off.

It was all over for Sid when he met up with groupie Nancy Spungen and they immediately began a self-destructive relationship that ended in Spungen's mysterious death and an eventual overdose for Sid.

Somehow however out of this trainwreck that was Sid's life comes not only one of the greatest covers ever but one of the best songs of all time. During his ill-fated solo career after the Pistols Sid recorded a jumbled up punk cover of the famous Frank Sinatra song My Way. It's never been clear to me whether he knew the words and chose not to sing them or if he was so strung out on heroin he couldn't remember the words and made them up as he went along. In the end it doesn't really matter.

In any case here it is the great Sid Vicious video for My Way. If you haven't seen it before check it out. Unlike Sid's real life it has a really great ending.


Anonymous said...

Was that Steve Jones at the end holding those stone tablets?

Becca said...

I can't say for certain but it sure looks an awful lot like Steve Jones. Thanks for pointing that out.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Love this!