May 10, 1957 – February 2, 1979
February 27, 1958 – October 12, 1978
You were my little baby girl,
And I knew all your fears.
Such joy to hold you in my arms
And kiss away your tears.
But now you are gone, there’s only pain
And nothing I can do
And I don’t want to live this life
If I can’t live for you.
Sid Vicious was born Simon John Richie on May 10th 1957 in London. His childhood included hisunstable mother, Anne, dragging him off to the Spanish island of Ibiza at the age ofthree, and trying to survive there doing menial jobs. Oh, and on the profits she made selling grass she had scored in Morocco.Sid’s dad,John, was supposed to join them on the island, but never did and the marriage broke up. Simon and his mum returned to the UK where in 1964, Jeanette met and then married an Oxford student named Chris Beverley. Husband number 2checked out soon of liver failure. Mother and son drifted around a bit, finally ending up back in London.
In Boy George’s book, Take It Like a Man: “Saturdays, we’d parade the King’s Road in the same clothes we wore tothe clubs, full of our own superiority. We’d walk slowly from SloaneSquare to World’s End and hang around outside Malcolm McLaren (producer of theSex Pistols) and VivienneWestwood’s shop Sex, daring each other to step inside.
Sid Vicious worked there before he was a SexPistol. He was a sweet boy in those days, goofy in Hawaiian shirts andfifties pegs.”
Boy George also talks of stealing clothes afterhours, with a wire hanger through the letterbox. Heh.
It was in London, whilst studying art at Hackney College of Further Education, that Simon befriendedfuture JudgeJudy star John Lydon. It was Lydon (who became infamous under the name Johnny Rotten) that named Simon”Sid Vicious”. In the words ofMr. Lydon himself “I called him Sid after my pet, the softest furriest, weediest thing on earth, this soppy white hamster.”
Sid wasn’t in the original Sex Pistols line up and apparently was as jealous of those that were. He attended all their gigs and it was at one of these that Sidsupposedly “invented” that now standard dance of Punk: ThePogo. On the firing of Glen Matlock in 1977, Sid became the Pistols’ bass player and threw himself into the role with abandon.
Nancy Spungen was born In Philadelphia in 1958. A disturbed child, in lateryears was described as, “unbelievably thick-skinned” and one personrecalled, “one of the most unlikable people I’ve met. Everybody couldsee through her – except Sid.” She was already a junkie and working as a prostitutein London when she and Sid met at a party in 1977. According to some, it wasNancy that got him hooked on hard drugs. Sid and Nancy became inseparable, but a burden to the rest of the band.Think John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Leaving Nancy in London, The Sex Pistols went on tour in the USA. Sid’s behaviorgrew increasingly erratic.
One report from Monica Porter of The Daily Mail:
As cans, fireworks and animals’ entrailsrained down at Randy’s Rodeo in San Antonio, Texas, sheriff’s deputies armedwith revolvers and tear gas rushed to get between the group and the enragedcrowd.
The riot was sparked when Vicious brought his bass guitar down on the head ofBrian Falpin. The 19-year-old had tried to mount the stage and attackVicious for spitting at him throughout the performance.
Falpin fell, clutching his head with a scream that pierced thought the groupsdeafening music, and police carried him outside.
‘Oh dear,’ said Johnny Rotten, ‘Sydney seems to have dropped his guitar.’
Johnny Rotten gave up halfway throughthe tour, and returned to the UK. Nancy came to the USA, to be at Sid’sside.
Sid and Nancy remained in The States. Theyhad a colorful visit with Nancy’s parents for a few days. Before theymoved on, Nancy announced to her mother “I’m going to die very soon. Before my 21st birthday. I won’t live to be 21. I’m never going to be old. I don’t ever want to be ugly and old. I’man old lady now anyhow. I’m 80. There’s nothing left. I’ve already lived a whole lifetime. I’m going out. In a blaze of glory.”
The night of August 27th 1978, Sid and Nancy checked into The Chelsea Hotel New York.
Their room number was 100. The hotel has since been remodeled, and the room incorporated into thelobby.
Looks a bit more swanky these days.
Previous inhabitants include Mark Twain and Janis Joplin.
On October 12th 1978, between the hours of 4am and 9am, Nancy Spungen was killed in the bathroom of room 100 by a single stab wound to the stomach (just below the navel).
According to the crime report – Sid stated thataround1am they had an argument, Nancy was sitting on the edge of the bed, flicking theknife and he went to sleep. He woke up in the morning and the bed was wetwith blood. He thought he had pissed himself. He found Nancy on thebathroom floor – still breathing. He left, for the methadone clinic. Returning, he washed off the knife, and attempted to wash her off as well. A tidy home is a happy home. When he couldn’t get her clean, he called for help.
He said he had no recollection ofwhat happened to her.
Later he said she hit him and he hit her on thetop of the head and knocked her onto the bed. “I stabbed herbut I didn’t mean to kill her. I loved her, but she treated me likeshit.”
He also said she must have fallen on the knife and that she must have draggedherself into the bathroom. As you do.
Warning, dead pic.
Item of interest: the death room may have beenthe first floor windowfacing the street. These windows do not show up in the lobby.
UPDATE – Findadeath friend Fionna Wilson hascracked the Chelsea, and sent this image of the door from Nancy’s deathroom. Fionna says: Here it is…It’s marked 101 (not 100, as it wasthen). The cleaner kept staring at me as I hung around taking pictures.Confirmed what I suspected. Sid and Nancy’s place.
Sid was charged with second degree murder the same day andwas taken to Rikers Island.He was back on the streets a week later when some mega-lenient judge saw it fit to grant him $50,000 bail. On his release, Sid and his mother checked into the Seville Hotel and it was here on October 22nd 1978, Sid made his first suicide attempt.
He was rushed to the psychiatric ward of the Bellevue hospital, detoxed and again released by the judge, pending an evaluation. There was also the condition that he report to the police everyday and attend the methadone clinic.
Back in London – Malcolm McClaren printed upshirts with Sid’s image holding a knife, and the slogan, “She’s Dead, I’mYours.”
After being released from Rikers a second time (awesome!) where he had been put for fightingwith Patti Smith’s brother, Todd, at Hurrah music club (on 62nd andBroadway), he hooked up with an unemployed actress named MichelleRobinson. She was hot to land that catch. Oh, Sid’s mom came to NewYork as well, to help out with Sid’s legal issues… and wreak havoc.
Celebrating Sid’s release, they held a party inMichelle’s flat. Sid wore an I Love New York t-shirt and jeans. Heate spaghetti Bolognese. Around midnight he shot up heroin. He hadbeen clean for a week, and it hit him hard. He collapsed and his lips andface were blue. They wrapped a blanket around him, and he camearound. Mum said, “you gave us a fright!” Sid got up topuke, but ended up not being able to.
Having recovered, he conversed with Michelle andhis Mum for roughly two hours, and retired to bed. Mum slept on thesofa. Michelle and the love of her life, were in bed. He had no moredrugs, and no alcohol.
Mum woke around 8 a.m. to make herself a cuppa. She peeked in and saw Sid andMichelle sleeping, and heard Sid cough, and went back to snoozing. She woke againat noon and entered the bedroom to kiss Sid on the forehead. He was dead. In his sleep,nude, face up, in apartment 1A or 1B of thisbuilding.
There is a common report that Sid’s mum “ordered in” the heroin herself,like a good mum would, to save Sidfrom having to score it on his own. However, according to the police report, the heroin wasobtained by “a friend.”
There is another report that Sid asked Michelleto shoot him up with heroin, as he had the shakes. She left the room, toldMrs. Vicious – who then entered the room and shot him up. Thanks MUM!
In her own words:
Simon had a rose pink aura around his whole body. I said , ‘Jesus, son that must have been a good hit.’ He was elated, quietly so. Elated on the inside, coming out, creating the aura.”
Sid had a suicide note his pocket.
Mum wasn’t able to comply 100% with Sid’s wishes, his having been already incinerated.The Spungen family said HELL to the NO, and refused to tell her whereNancy was buried. According to legend, she found out anyway. She waited till dark, thenscrambled over the wall of the cemetery and dumped Sid on top of Nancy’s grave.
Trivia: Sid liked Chinese food because itmade a pretty pattern when he was sick.
It’s nice to see that the ChelseaHotel doesn’t shy away from the fact that Nancy died there. Unfortunately, they do state that writer Dylan Thomas died there as well. Not true. He died in St.Vincent’s Hospital – November 9, 1953
Don’t know if this is true, but here’s a greatstory: On 2 February 1980, in honor of the first anniversary of Sid’sdeath, one thousand punks marched from London’s Sloane Square in Chelseato HydePark. His mother was supposed to have taken part in the proceedings, but she wasin the hospital due to a drug overdose.
Oh yeah, and she died. In 1997. Guess how.
Thank you to Findadeath friend “David”,Amy Watkins,Natalie for the autopsy, gratitude to “Jody” for NYC Photographs, Jayne and Janet.
I do not condone murder, however, ifNancy Spungen was half as annoying as Chloe Webb portrayed her to be in themovie
Sid and Nancy…
Still a pretty good picture.