By Draco Malfoy,
Sid Vicious, aka John Simon Ritchie, was born in London, England on May 10, 1957. The legendary member of the Sex Pistols was known for his self-injury done live on stage and a popular and visible icon of the punk movement. He was raised by his mother, Anne Beverly, who was troubled and had a history of heroin abuse.
Sid became part of the Sex Pistols in February of 1977. He couldn't play music and usually had his amp turned down to near-zero because of this. It still did not matter. He was popular. He was a symbol of disaffected youth and the punk revolution. Photographer Dennis Morris said of Sid in a pictorial history of the band, Never Mind the Bollock's, "Deep down he was a shy person. I think he was frightened of the audiences.... Sometimes he showed no emotion at all."
By 1975 he had begun to self-injure. Sid later boasted that his body was covered in scars from self-inflicted cuts. It is also believed that around 1975 he also strangled a cat and assaulted a pensioner. Morris said of a meeting at McLaren's office after a tour, "Sid walked in with this knife stuck in his leg. We said 'Sid, you've got a knife in your leg'. He said 'uh, have I?' and pulled it out. He was so doped up all the time, especially on heroin, he never felt it."
Sid had a relationship with a very troubled woman, Nancy Spungen, who was the person who introduced him to heroin. She had abused drugs and had attempted suicide multiple times over the years. Their relationship has been described as codependent. Morris said, "When they were together he was like a kitten, but without her he would go crazy."
On tour in the USA in 1978 Sid was without Nancy and was increasingly agitated. Morris said, "[Sid] was erratic. No one knew why. It seemed he missed Nancy. Sometimes he wouldn't eat at all. He'd drink heavy and take lots of drugs." He self-injured on stage by slashing his chest and engaged in acts of violence on stage.
On October 12, 1978 Sid Vicious's girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, was found dead in their room in a hotel in New York City. Sid had supposedly stabbed her to death. Ten days later Sid attempted suicide by repeatedly slashing his forearm with a knife and screaming, "I want to join Nancy, I didn't keep my part of the bargain," according to author Malcom Butt.
Sid died on February 2, 1979 of a heroin (which he obtained from his mother at a party because she feared he would be arrested buying drugs on the street) overdose while out on bail.