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Sid Vicious & Nancy Spugen

Sid Vicious

English bassist and vocalist

John Simon Ritchie ( 10 May 1957 – 2 February 1979) known professionally as Sid Vicious was an English bassist and vocalist. He achieved fame as a member of the punk rockband the Sex Pistols, replacing Glen Matlock, who had fallen out of favour with the rest of the group.Quick Facts: Birth name, Also known as …

Due to intravenous drug use, Vicious was hospitalised with hepatitis during the recording of the Sex Pistols’ only studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols; his bass is only partially featured on one song – “Bodies”. Vicious later appeared as a lead vocalist, performing three songs, on the soundtrack to The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, a largely fictionalised documentary about the Sex Pistols. As the Sex Pistols were gaining attention, Vicious met Nancy Spungen, and the pair entered a relationship which culminated in Spungen’s death from an apparent stab wound while staying in New York City‘s Hotel Chelseawith Vicious. Under suspicion of murder, Vicious was released on bail; he was arrested again for assaulting Todd Smith, brother of Patti Smith, at a nightclub, and underwent drug rehabilitationon Rikers Island. He died in 1979 after overdosing on heroin.

Early life


Vicious was born John Simon Ritchie on 10 May 1957 in Lewisham, to John and Anne Ritchie. His mother dropped out of school early due to a lack of academic success and went on to join the British Army, where she met her husband-to-be, John’s father, a guardsman at Buckingham Palace and a semi-professional trombone player on the London Jazz scene.Shortly after Ritchie’s birth, he and his mother moved to Ibiza, where they expected to be joined by his father who, it was planned, would support them financially in the meantime. However, after the first few cheques failed to arrive, Anne realised he would not be coming. Anne later married Christopher Beverley in 1965, before setting up a family home back in Kent. John took his father’s first name and stepfather’s surname and was known as John Beverley.


Nancy Spungen

American girlfriend of Sid Vicious

Nancy Laura Spungen February 27, 1958 – October 12, 1978) was the American girlfriend of English Sex Pistolsbassist Sid Vicious and a figure of the 1970s punk rock scene. 

Spungen’s life and death have been the subject of controversy among music historians and fans of the Sex Pistols.Quick Facts: Born, Died …

Raised as Jewish in Philadelphia, Spungen was an emotionally disturbed child who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15. After being expelled from college, she went to London at the height of the punk rock craze and became involved with Sid Vicious.[2]Their relationship was punctuated by bouts of domestic violenceand drug abuse. The press soon labelled Spungen “Nauseating Nancy” for her shocking behavior. After the Sex Pistols disbanded, the couple moved to New York City and checked into the Hotel Chelsea where they spent their time consuming drugs.


In October 1978, Spungen was found dead in the bathroom of the couple’s room, of a single stab wound to the abdomen. Sid Vicious was charged with her murder, but died of a heroin overdose while on bail in February 1979, before the case went to trial. 
Various authors and filmmakers have speculated about Vicious’s role in Spungen’s death and the possibility that Spungen was killed by a drug dealer who frequently visited their room
Early life


Nancy Laura Spungen was born on February 27, 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital[5][page needed] to Franklin “Frank” and Deborah Spungen. She was born with severe cyanosis and nearly died of oxygen deprivationafter being choked by her umbilical cord during delivery. She appeared to have suffered no brain damage and was released from the hospital eight days after birth.[5][page needed] The Spungens were a middle-class Jewish family that resided in Lower Moreland Township, a suburb of Philadelphia.[5]Her father was a traveling salesman and her mother later owned an organic food store called The Earth Shop in nearby Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.[5][page needed]
Young Nancy was a difficult baby, throwing crying fits and temper tantrums late into childhood. At three months old, she was prescribed a liquid barbiturate by a pediatrician, but her violent behavior persisted.[5][page needed] In an interview, Deborah Spungen stated, “I know it’s normal for babies to scream, but Nancy did nothing butscream.”
She scored “superior” on an intelligence quotient test at age five, and was allowed to skip the third grade. Though she excelled academically, she had few friends during her elementary-school years.
Spungen was a temperamental child who exhibited violent behavior toward her younger sister, Susan, but was very caring towards her younger brother, David. She allegedly threatened to kill a babysitter with scissors and attempted to batter her psychiatrist, who accused her of “acting out” for attention. At age 11, she was expelled from public schoolwhen she was absent from class more than two weeks. Weary of her erratic behavior, her parents enrolled her at Devereux Glenholme School, Connecticut and Devereux Manor High School, Pennsylvania. In January 1972, she ran away from Devereux Manor and attempted suicide by slitting her wrists with scissors. When she was 15, her psychiatrist diagnosed her with schizophrenia.


Sid and Nancy
1986 film


Sid and Nancy (also known as Sid and Nancy: Love Kills) is a 1986 British biopicdirected by Alex Cox and co-written with Abbe Wool. The film portrays the life of Sid Vicious(Gary Oldman), bassist of the punk rock band the Sex Pistols, and his relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). The film also features supporting performances from David HaymanXander Berkeley, and Courtney Love.[2]

Quick Facts: Directed by, Produced by…
The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festivalin 1986, and was released theatrically in the United States later that year. Despite failing to recoup its production budget at the box office, the film was received positively by most critics and has attained cult classic status.

The film opens on 12 October 1978, with several police officers dragging Sid Vicious out of the Hotel Chelsea following the death of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Sid is soon driven to a police station and upon arrival is asked to describe what happened. Police officers become frustrated when Sid is visibly troubled and unable to speak.
A little more than a year earlier, in 1977, close friends and band members Sid and Johnny Rotten meet Nancy, a heroin-addicted groupiewho had come to London to bed the Sex Pistols. Sid dismisses her at first, as her intentions are obvious, but begins dating her after feeling sympathy for the rejection she faces from fellow punk stars and after she sells him heroin; it is implied that she introduces him to the drug. The two fall deeply in love, but their self-destructive, drug-fueled relationship frays Sid’s relationship with the rest of the band, which eventually breaks up on 17 January 1978, in the midst of a disastrous American tour which features Sid strung out of his mind, often drunk or on meth, and physically violent. Although several of his friends and acquaintances warn him of Nancy’s devastating effect on his life, Sid stubbornly ignores these warnings.
Sid, now living in New York, attempts to start a solo career with Nancy as his manager, only to be dismissed as a has-been. By now, both he and Nancy are heavily addicted to heroin, and Nancy has spiraled into a deep depression. Sid loses interest in Nancy sexually and wants out of a suicide pact he made with her. Their love affair ends tragically one night when, during an argument in which Sid announces his plans to stop using heroin and return to England to restart his life, a suicidal Nancy begs him to kill her. She attacks him and they fight in a drug-induced haze, leading to him stabbing her, although whether it was intentional is left to interpretation. They fall asleep and later Nancy awakes and stumbles into the bathroom, where she collapses and dies. Sid is bailed out temporarily by his mother who is also a heroin addict. After getting a pizza, some kids convince him to dance with them. Some time later, a taxi picks Sid up and he believes he finds Nancy alive in the back seat. The two embrace as the cab drives off. A postscript says that Vicious died of a heroin overdose, and lastly reads: “R.I.P. Nancy and Sid.”

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