Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I understand your disgust with Syd, Edna, but I will answer your first question with : yes, he HAD to wear what he did, behave as he did, etc. in order for the movement called 'punk' to attain the fame (or notoriety) that it did. I'm not saying that all the artists had to do so, or that they are better or worse because they didn't do so; but, just as The Doors were both a major force and on the fringe of classic rock, so were the Sex Pistols, not merely because of their music, but because of their antics. Anarchists, neo-punks, angry people, frustrated youth, etc. around the world see them as an important part of their lives just as Jim Morrison touches alot of people too; not only for his music but for his hedonism which appeals to alot of people at least for part of their lives.

He's not my favorite Rock celebrity, but to deny him some importance, and their songs as soon-to -be forgotten would be to highly underestimate them both, I'm sure ! Punk saved rock ! (many say)

One could also say that Lord Byron's scandalous, hedonistic and vile behavior helped the Romantic movement in poetry as well . There's no bad publicity. Certainly not the most talented of this group, he is a giant amongst its members -- largely for his antics !

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I understand your statement and I also agree on that, Kevin... but look at Johnny Rotten... he was wiser, he survived. Syd Vicious is an icon now, but that was a Malcom McLaren play... he payed very much for being so dumb. Many young people idolize young dead musicians who were so destructive.... I agree, it´s part of the paraphernalia and of the rocknroll soul itself, but there were many other punks who changed the scene: The Clash, the Ramones, The Damned, The Stranglers, The Cure, etc... and they will also be remembered by their music, not only for their short message: "No future, so I´ll kill my girlfriend and then I´ll ODed".

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think our opinions are not so far apart, but I still think that Syd, being driven by whatever demons were inside him, and having a public opportunity , and in some cases, leave, to let them out ... made a huge statement about what 'was in the air' at the time. His famous sneering face in a picture, T-shirt, etc. speaks a thousand words more about him, that time, than anything I've written, read, remembered ,listened to or seen. He's going to be as big an icon for that time as earlier ones: Nixon giving the peace sign, Armstrong on the moon, or even the Beatles. The fact that he died without doing much --just being SYD, is all the more powerful, look at James Dean. Why does anyone care now ?

Think of Syd as an anti-James Dean, if you like, but I think they probably had alot more in common than you may think, at first. Probably would be friends, even ! ::

Syd was a good punk . Real -not a poser.

Self-destructive, disillusioned kids will find something else to identify with if not dead Rock personalities. Or they'll join/start a movement again --like the punks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Certainely, Syd was THE punk... But it kinda reminds me of Lou Reed and his propaganda about heroin, Syd being a death addict... yet very punk, there you´re right.

At least he wasn´t a hypocrite as Reed, who had the nerve to say that he never was hooked on horse and that sorry kids, you really took me seriously? i was just doing some rock and roll... up to you if you thought dope was as good as I said in my songs.

And I won´t talk about the Rolling Stones coz I love them... but they surelly convinced a whole generation that to be "in" you had to be "up".

See among their lyrics... you´ll find at least twenty songs about drugs... "Sticky Fingers", my top album, has not one single song without a mention about it... (Maybe "You got to move...")

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Lou Reed as a performer is great; Lou Reed , offstage ?--nothing special . There are many like this though, and using your example, Lou Reed and the others will fade from memories more quickly than Syd, IMO. XXX, said something to me once that I agree with -- One should seperate the art from the artist. One needn't like them both.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. I like Lou Reed very much as an artist and I despice him due to his lack of moral. The Rolling Stones were not hypocrits.

I also believe that Syd had nothing of an artist, he was a poor depressive guy who happened to be at the right place right time for Malcom McLaren. He said what young unemployed punks were whilling to hear... I wouldn´t say he was an artist at all, just a puppet... yet he became an idol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's my point ,Edna. Syd was not an artist in the conventional sense, he was an anti-artist, if you will . His anti-establishmentism, anti-authority ( even Maclaren couldn't control him the way he hoped ), anti-everything except the pursuit of his own desires, WAS his art : this is the essence of 'punk' -- to disregard convention, and infact replace it with whatever the F--- you want ( unlike bohemians who still want some structure ). Even Andy Warhol saw something of this in him and what he represented. Anarchy as art.

Interestingly, offstage and in private (of course drunk and stoned ) he was reported by many to be quite a nice boy--pleasant at times--but wildly unpredictable, and as it turned out, dangerous, but more from stupidity and a drug-damaged brain, than anything else (sounds alot like Morrison ). He was a performance artist who used his life as a canvas rather than a stage or other medium.

Johnny Rotten is a fence-sitter, IMO. On one hand he says it was all a swindle, and everyone was tricked (but this would be a punk-ish thing to say too ). But on the other hand, he enjoys giving interviews and describing his place in music history. Personally, I don't think he fully understands himself what went on because he never gave himself to it completely. Rotten wanted to be taken seriously as a rock and roll star, I think, however much he may have said otherwise. A real ' punk' wouldn't care if he was a star or not. He continued on with PIL longer than anyone who was disillusioned with the whole thing would likely do . Steve Jones also kept working in a completely different style.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Taken from Rotten.com:


Sid Vicious

Sid was allegedly the bassist for the Sex Pistols, though he was never recorded in the studio and was usually unplugged when playing on stage. His favorite things included his best friend Johnny Rotten until their band broke up, his girl Nancy until he stabbed her to death with a hunting knife, and heroin until his tragicomic overdose at the age of 21. Anti-celebrity incarnate, he still died like a stupid f**king rockstar, wondering why no one was paying him lots of money to shoot drugs, swear, and try to be clever for cameras that had long since lost interest.

Rotten.com spiritualists have received a special beyond-the-grave message from Sid to all of those hordes of alienated white boys who would give anything in the world to become that most mysterious of archetypes- the famous, nihilist punk rocker: "A$ LONG AS EYE LIVE WITHIN U, PUNKZ NOT DED!@# F*CK 'THE QUEEN!'"


10 May 1957 John Simon Ritchie born, London, England.

1975 Meets John Lydon.

Feb 1977 Original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock is fired from the band. At Lydon's suggestion, they start looking for a new bassist in Sid Vicious.

4 Apr 1977 Plays his first real live show with the Sex Pistols!

Nov 1977 Meets ex-prostitute and Sex Pistols groupie Nancy Spungen.

Jan 1978 The Sex Pistols travel to America and play a whirlwind 8-show tour.

14 Jan 1978 The Sex Pistols perform their final show, Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco.

12 Oct 1978 Girlfriend Nancy Spungen found dead in their room at the Chelsea Hotel, New York City.

2 Feb 1979 Dead of a heroin overdose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, no, I remember them very well... the group was formed in 1975 by Malcom McLaren, their manager, and Johnny Rotten was the singer and leader. There was Glenn Matlock on bass, he left in 1977 and then came Syd Vicious, who wasn´t a musician but a friend of Johnny. Maybe he was the "image" of the group by then, but they split soon after (1978) and Syd tried to do a solo carreer. The frontman was Johnny Rotten...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...