16 Truly Disturbing Moments That Made Punk Rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols Live Up to His Name
16 Truly Disturbing Moments That Made Punk Rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols Live Up to His Name

16 Truly Disturbing Moments That Made Punk Rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols Live Up to His Name

Trista - October 16, 2018

16 Truly Disturbing Moments That Made Punk Rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols Live Up to His Name
Sid Vicious, of the Punk Group Sex Pistols, injects himself with heroin in 1978. Art.com

15. Vicious Suffered From Hepatitis Due to Intravenous Drug Use

Sid Vicious received a reprieve from having to demonstrate his inability to play his bass guitar from a strange source: hepatitis. The Sex Pistols were recording their only studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks: Here’s the Sex Pistols, in 1977. Vicious would doubtlessly have struggled with the recordings due to being hopelessly unable to play but was hospitalized during the entire recording period due to hepatitis.

Vicious was a frequent intravenous drug user, which often results in complications like hepatitis and was likely the source of his illness. However, his girlfriend at the time, Nancy Spungen, was a part-time sex worker and could also have exposed Vicious to the disease. Hepatitis B is spread through sharing needles and is also a sexually transmitted infection. Hepatitis C can also be spread through sharing needles.

It is not clear what strain of Hepatitis Vicious was treated for in 1977. Both B and C can become chronic, but it is far more likely with C. Hepatitis C tends to most seriously affect those infected later in life through liver failure, but with Vicious’ premature death of a heroin overdose it is unlikely he lived long enough to experience chronic effects from either strain of the disease.

16 Truly Disturbing Moments That Made Punk Rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols Live Up to His Name
A photo of Sid Vicious at his final performance. Wikimedia

16. Vicious Took His Name From a Hamster

Ironically for a punk rocker who became notorious for his violent drug-fueled antics, his namesake is a docile and timid animal. Sid Vicious, whose birth name was Simon John Ritchie, found his stage name in a rather unusual way. He was visiting his friend John Lydon, who later was famed as Johnny Rotten, the lead singer of the Sex Pistols when Lydon’s hamster bit him on the finger.

Lydon’s hamster, Sid (named after Pink Floyd’s Syd Barret), bit Vicious rather nastily leading Lydon to exclaim “Sid is really vicious!” Lydon began using the moniker Sid Vicious as a nickname for Ritchie, and it stuck. At the time, Lydon and Ritchie were living with two other men also named John, which led to them being called the “Four Johns.” In that environment, any nickname, even one from a hamster, must have been better than being one of four Johns!”

Lydon later described the hamster Sid as the “softest, furriest, weediest thing on earth” which makes it a sad and ironic namesake for a punk rocker who is most famous for his violence, drug abuse and tragically young death from a heroin overdose. The animal namesake is especially dark given Vicious’ history of strangling animals in his youth.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Grunge – The Sex Pistols’ Tragic Real-Life Story

Medium – 10 Most Disturbing Facts About Punk Rocker Sid Vicious

Ranker – 14 Insanely Punk Stories About The Ramones

Ranker – Sid Vicious’s Life Was Just As Messed Up As His Death

Far Out Magazine – Sid Vicious: Not That Talented And Probably A Murderer

Diffuser – When Sid Vicious Replaced Glen Matlock in the Sex Pistols

Far Out Magazine – Why John Lydon Regrets Asking Sid Vicious To Join The Sex Pistols

All That’s Interesting – Meet Sid Vicious, Punk Rock’s Ultimate Bad Boy, Addict, And Possible Murderer

National Post – Chrissie Hynde: ‘No One Was Particularly Surprised’ When Sid Vicious Killed Nancy Spungen

The Independent – Did Sicko Sid Really Kill Nasty Nancy?

Rock Celebrities – The Truth Behind Whether Sid Vicious Murdered His Girlfriend Nancy Spungen

Press Reader – Sex Pistol Sid’s Mum Features On Town’s Trail

Loudwire – Misfits’ Jerry Only Was With Sid Vicious the Night He Died, Doesn’t Believe He Died by Suicide

The Guardian – Sid Vicious Dies Of Drug Overdose

The Independent – The Unseen Sid Vicious: The Last Days Of A Punk Legend

Lydon, John. Rotten. London: St Martin’s Press, 1994.

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