Say what you want about Sid being a shit bassist, he would have made a fucking great front man. Just look at him! And give the RUGGED MAN SONG OF THE WEEK™ a play over there while you’re at it. Horrible live recording, but he had the goods as a rock vocalist.
According to ancient punk lore, he actually came very close to fronting a band. Twice. The Damned asked him to audition when they were first getting together. Sneaky Dave Vanian had other plans, and sabotaged the rehearsal so he could try out first. Seems Vanian (or an associate) told Sid the band had canceled at the last minute, while Captain Sensible and the boys just assumed Sid no-showed.
Then one day, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood were discussing who would make a good lead singer for this new band Malcolm was going to manage. Vivienne suggested one of the Johns who hung around the shop all the time, because he had a great look. Malcolm assumed she meant John Lydon; she really meant John Ritchie – AKA John Beverly, AKA Sid Vicious.
Would the Pistols have had the same impact without Lydon’s brilliant, confrontational lyrics? Arguably not. Still …
BONUS: Here’s an interview Judy Vermorel conducted with Sid for her book, Sex Pistols: The Inside Story. Like most 20-year-olds, Mr. Vicious is in turns insightful and moronic.
If there’s an afterlife, I want it to look like this.
San Diego Comic-Con is unfathomably massive, and we walk through the entire show floor to give you a sense of the exhibit hall’s scope and scale. Norm and Kishore take us to some of their favorite booths in one continous walk, navigating through the crowds, cosplay, and collectibles of Comic-Con 2019.
Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!
“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”
In The England’s Dreaming Tapes, Jon Savage has gone back to the source to re-create, in original interview form, the extraordinarily disparate and contentious personalities who emerged in the mid-70s as the harbingers of what became known as punk.
Here in uncut form is the story of a generation that changed the world in just a few months in 1976. In interviews with all the major figures of the time – including all four original Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Chrissie Hynde, Jordan, Siouxsie Sioux, Viv Albertine, Adam Ant, Lee Black Childerss, Howard Devoto, Pete Shelley, Syl Sylvain, Debbie Wilson, Tony Wilson and Jah Wobble – Jon Savage has produced a book huge in scope, vision and generosity of perspective.
The England’s Dreaming Tapes will surely become the final word and the must-have oral history of the music, fashion and attitude that defined this influential and incendiary era.
In his second punk documentary, filmmaker Danny “Looking for Johnny” Garcia takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of the Dead Boys front man. Included in STIV is some rare footage and lore about Stiv’s surprising career before and after the Dead Boys, as well as the hilarious stories and hijinks one associates with the punk legend who died at age 40 in 1990.