Sid Vicious Biography


Birthday: May 10, 1957 (Taurus)

Born In: Lewisham, South London

Sid Vicious was an English bassist and vocalist who became famous as a member of the rock band ‘Sex Pistols’. Born in Lewisham, England, Vicious began his career with the band ‘Flowers of Romance’. Known for his rebellious persona, self-destructive nature, and bad attitude, he was found to be an ideal candidate for the controversial punk group ‘Sex Pistols’ when they needed to replace their member Glen Matlock. Vicious worked in two of the songs in the band’s only studio album ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’. The album was a major success, peaking at the first position on the UK Albums Chart. Some of his other successful works include ‘God Save The Queen’ and ‘Holidays in the Sun’. Despite his professional successes, his personal life was a troubled one. Over the course of his career, he met Nancy Spungen, who became his girlfriend. They had a highly volatile relationship, marred with drug abuse and emotional violence. It ended on a tragic note when Nancy was found brutally killed in 1978. Shortly after, Vicious himself was found dead due to drug overdose in New York City.
Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In May

Also Known As: Spikey John, The Prince of Punk, John Simon Beverley, John Simon Ritchie

Died At Age: 21


father: John Ritchie

mother: Anne Beverley

Partner: Nancy Spungen

Died Young Bassists

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males

Died on: February 2, 1979

place of death: New York City

City: London, England

Cause of Death: Drug Overdose

More Facts

education: Hackney Technical College

Sid Vicious began his musical career as a member of the group ‘The Flowers of Romance’. However, he soon had a fight with his other band members as he sensed that they were jealous of him. To take revenge on a fellow member named Dave Vanian, he hurled a glass at the stage when Vanian was performing. However, it missed and hit a pillar, blinding a girl in one eye. This led to his arrest and later imprisonment.
Vicious then joined the band The Sex Pistols after the band members found him to be quite suitable for the group. The band expressed a lot of anger at the country’s socio-political conditions and became quite controversial after the members spewed profanities during a TV interview. This led them to be dropped by their record company twice.
Their album ‘God Save the Queen’ was meant to be an insult for Queen Elizabeth II, calling her a fascist. This led to a lot of physical attacks on the band and they often had trouble finding places to play in the UK.
Some other singles Vicious produced along with the band were ‘Holidays in the Sun’, ‘Pretty Vacant’, and ‘Somethin’ Else’. The band’s only studio album, ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here is the Sex Pistols’, was released in October 1977. The band was already quite controversial and the use of the word ‘bollocks’ only added fuel to the fire. However, it did well commercially, and peaked at the first position on the UK Albums Chart. It also entered the US Billboard 200, where it stood at the 107th position.
Later with Nancy Spungen as his manager, Vicious started a solo career and moved to the US. He drew large crowds and even used to insult the audience in some of his performances. His solo albums include ‘Sid Sings’ which was released in 1979, and ‘The Idols with Sid Vicious’ which was released in 1993, long after his death.
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Personal Life
Sid Vicious was born as John Simon Ritchie in Lewisham, South London, England on 10th May 1957. His parents were John and Anne Ritchie. He was quite rebellious from an early age and dropped out of school as a teenager.
Shortly before he left The Sex Pistols, Vicious became acquainted with a woman named Nancy Spungen, who became his manager and girlfriend. Their relationship was a tumultuous one and the two were into drug abuse as well. They moved to New York, where Vicious continued to perform. But their addiction to drugs affected their careers negatively.
Their relationship reached a tragic end when Spungen was found dead in October 1978. She was lying dead on the bathroom floor, after being stabbed with a knife. High on drugs at the time of the discovery of Nancy’s body, Vicious couldn’t remember exactly whether he killed her or not. He was charged with second degree murder. Though he was released on bail later, he had to go to prison again after getting into a fight in a New York City Club. Shortly after his release, he attended a party with his friends on the evening of 1 February 1979. He was found dead the next morning, apparently from drug overdose.
His life was portrayed in the 1986 British biopic ‘Sid and Nancy.’
Sid Vicious was posthumously inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, along with the other members of the Sex Pistols. However, the surviving members of the band refused to attend the event.
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