Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was found dead in New York City on 2 February 1979, 40 years ago.
Attention: Nancy Spungen’s dead photo could impact your sensitivity
It was less than four months after the death of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen – and Vicious stood accused of murdering her in the bathroom of their suite at the Chelsea Hotel. But four decades on, what really happened in Room 100 still remains unclear.
The Sex Pistols bassist accused of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen before overdosing on heroin ‘didn’t stand a chance’ against the draws of fame.
Destiny is a Motherfucker: Tales from a Sex Pistol -The promotion into the junkie premier league came.
So Sid’s off to Paris with Nancy, and he’s got six big bottles of methadone he’s taking over with him. I guess he’s getting it legally now because he’s trying to kick — that old routine. Anyway, they’re filming over there and I’ve somehow got pulled into the mix to go over and be the musical director in this little studio with these French session guys. At that point, being around him and that bird ranked a little below hell on earth as a place you’d want to be.
To be fair to Sid, he was totally out of it, and methadone is a nasty fucking drug. I heard the Nazis came up with it, although I don’t know if that’s true. Either way, because you drink it in liquid form, it doesn’t have such an immediate impact, but it lasts way longer. As a result, it’s actually harder to kick than heroin is.
Nancy she had died of a stab wound to the abdomen on 12 October 1978. Vicious’s fatal relapse at his release party meant he would never be convicted of her killing – although the certainty he was responsible has long lingered.
And Vicious did initially confess to the crime, declaring “I did it … Because I’m a dirty dog”, before retracting his statement, saying he had been asleep when it happened. The quantity of barbiturates he is known to have consumed that night – 30 Tuinal tablets, a powerful sedative – would certainly support the argument he was “out cold” at the time.
Once Malcolm McLaren had got some guy to write out string charts and they’d put the orchestra on, it sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, I’d started to go downhill with the smack myself by then, so I wasn’t as interested as I should’ve been. I was actually working with The Avengers when I got the call to say that Sid had died. Obviously Nancy had gone ahead of him to see if she could find a connection in the afterlife.
Sid was not an idiot, he was quite an intelligent bloke, but once he was in the band the logic of his situation pushed him down a very dark track. With Sid’s death, it was finally clear to everyone — even Malcolm—that the band was over.