TV Party - U


TV Party - V

VICIOUS, SID - Sid! By Those Who Really Knew Him {MVD} In such a short time, one SID VICIOUS (or John Ritchie/ Beverley) went from being an Iconic Bonehead to an icon for boneheads. I always thought that the guy was a little misunderstood and too easily influenced; depending on who you listen to in this documentary, both traits were evident - along with the fucked-up, violent bonehead.
Lasting just minutes short of 90, this documentary analyses the life of Sid. You get little of his pre-teen years and are instead dropped into his life at the time he was hanging around in Sex, Let It Rock and Acme Attractions clothes shops and Smile hairdressers. The film then progresses through the formation of the SEX PISTOLS and the 100 Club Punk Fest where Sid was drumming Glitterband-style for the fledgling SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES. From there its Sid, the ‘Style Icon’, in which Jah Wobble cites Sid as the main influence on all the dumbed-down Punks circa ‘79.
One of the most interesting segments regards Sid’s personality, in which Viv Albertine (SLITS and ex-flatmate) states the reason he and she wore Doc Marten boots was because they were always running away from fights - which counters the statements of Sid’s thug mentality. Of course, there is a chapter revolving around skag-hag Nancy Spungen (who is defended in unbelievably miraculous style by a rather pompous Caroline Coon), another looking at the ill-fated and ultimately terminal trip to America and then a look at his solo career which culminates with his death and the infamous alleged party that was held the night before.
It’s all rounded out by a look at Sid’s legacy and the capitalistic fanfare of mannequins and tacky memorabilia of the man post-death.
Besides those mentioned, other contributors include Glen Matlock (the only PISTOL to contribute), Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies (DAMNED), Steve Severin (BANSHEES) and Marco Pirroni (ADAM AND THE ANTS). It’s without a doubt, those who are most interesting are Wobble and the tour manager of the US PISTOLS tour, John Tiberi, both of whom speak without the slightest hint of sensationalism. Wobble recounts several tales of humour and insight, but none as sobering as that of the first time he visited Sid’s place and saw Sid shooting speed - while his Mum shot smack. Matlock has some interesting revelations from his own perspective and Ron Watts, manager of 100 Club has something of an ‘outsiders’ opinion but one which placed him on the spot during many moments that have gone down in Vicious, and Punk, folklore.
The bonus feature is a CD, recorded live in NYC in September 1978 that also features NEW YORK DOLLS Arthur Kane and Jerry Nolan. There is also an excellent 24-page booklet that covers Sid’s life.
The overriding sense I got from the film wasn’t of some mentally under-developed thug, nor of an all-out attention seeker. Sid came across as someone rather pitiful who was completely manipulated by stronger personalities - be it McLaren or Spungen or the media hype machine - and from that manipulation grew this caricatured, obsessive monster. Marco Pirroni said similar things but went further by adding, "People should want heroes who can do stuff you can’t; not those who can’t do anything." That statement, more than virtually any other in the documentary, sums up the life of Sid Vicious. (19.08.10)