Sid Vicious, a member of the legendary punk band the Sex Pistols, is as famous for his drug use and outlandish behavior as his membership in the group. His over-the-topic antics included violence, extreme and constant drug use, self-mutilation and the abuse of both animals and people.
Vicious lived his life in the fast lane and, like many who live similar lifestyles, he died young as a result. While there continues to be debate over whether his death from a drug overdose was a suicide or accidental, neither would be surprising given the extremely tumultuous life he led.
1. Vicious Couldn’t Play the Bass
While Sid Vicious was technically the bassist in the punk band the Sex Pistols, he couldn’t actually play bass. Oddly enough, this was never really a problem. During the recording of one of the band’s albums, Vicious was in the hospital receiving treatment for hepatitis acquired from his intravenous drug use, so another musician stood in and supplied the bass parts. He only ever contributed a track to one song, “Bodies” and his work on the song is considered quite poor and out of tune.
Numerous other musicians tried to show Vicious how to play his instrument correctly. Lemmy Kilmister of the speed metal group Motorhead attempted to teach Vicious but reportedly said that he didn’t have the attention span or interest required to learn. Vicious’ fellow bandmate and guitar player Steve Jones allegedly put tape on the frets of his guitar, a method commonly used for children learning instruments, but claimed it didn’t help.
It is by no means unheard of to have a member of a band who can’t play their instrument. The Monkees were famous for not being able to perform with their own instruments, with the band miming along to backing tracks provided by studio musicians. Many other groups have a weak member or two who scrape along with their ability.