Today would have been the 55th birthday of Punk & Sex Pistols legend John Simon Ritchie, better known as ‘Sid Vicious’.
Ritchie who later took his stepfathers surname ‘Beverley’ was given the nickname “Sid Vicious” by John Lydon, after being bit by Lydon’s pet hamster, Sid.
Sid was not an original member of the band and it was only following the departure Glen Matlock in February 1977 that Vicious was asked to join the group. According to various publications the decision was made due to him being present at every one of their gigs. Manager Malcolm McLaren once claimed “if Johnny Rotten is the voice of punk, then Vicious is the attitude.”
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!!!
The 27th of this month will also mark 35 years since the release of the bands second single ‘God Save The Queen’. Launched less than 2 weeks before The Queens Silver Jubilee in 1977, the song caused much controversy and prompted widespread outcry, resulting in the hit being banned by the BBC and every independent radio station, making it the “most heavily censored record in British history”.
Unfortunately In February 1979 Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose. However in February 2006, he was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the 4 other members of the Sex Pistols.
The Sex Pistols are considered responsible by many for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. It was in the Summer of 1977 in the back room of a semi-derelict, Dickensian squat in the ancient, run-down West End of Leicester, a scrawny punk with barely enough cash to feed himself and afford the occasional luxury of a hard earned pint, dreamed of saving towards buying that ferry ticket to Elysium; the Hook of Holland, to the start of a new life.
With a smoking pan of molten lead off a one-ringed stove the punk with his hands, tight T-shirt and ripped jeans caked in a patina of black paint and lead dust, would slink off down to the local pub venue to traffic his rare, illicit wares in a miasma of noise and darkness at the chaotic Penetration gig selling cast lead badges; Motorhead, Sex Pistols, Iron Maiden, safety pins and ‘toilet seats’ and the like & It was here the story of Alchemy1977 began….