It breaks my heart what happened to Sid. I assume that everybody knows the story. If not I'll fill you in with what I know from documentaries, books and just googling what happened to him. Sid used to hang around all the squats and venues in London at the same time as the Punk scene was born. When Glen Matlock left the Pistols Sid replaced him, the band went to America and toured a lot, Sid met Nancy around that time, they became drug addicts and then one fatal night at The Chelsea Hotel Nancy died. Sid was arrested for her murder and less than a year later Sid himself was dead, at 21.
You cant help but question why nobody seemed to do anything. How did they let it get so bad? What was Malcolm Mclaren doing sending the band out on tour when Sid was clearly a self harming addict? How was he allowed to go to America or even get in to America? What were the media doing? How can you photograph a drug addict and not help them? There are videos on Youtube of Sid and Nancy clearly off their face, falling asleep and crying out in desperation, how can somebody just film them? But by that point it looks like it had probably gone too far and there was little you could do. If there is one thing that everybody knows its that you cant help a drug addict unless they want you to help them.
What happened to Sid was so sad. I don't think anyone will have him in their list of greatest ever songwriters or musicians but he was still a hero, an idol, and most importantly a person. Just because he was in the public eye doesn't really mean he was different to anyone else, an addict is an addict no matter where you put them. My friend Adrian Boot took photos of Sid, he told me that he left questioning why no one was contacting Social Services, as Sid's situation was so dire.
There is nothing we can do now to help Sid or bring him back, we just have to remember his sad sad story. You can question his death all you like and get so frustrated about why no one appeared to stop him from going from cool bass playing west London squatter to heroin addict girlfriend murderer, but you cant do anything now. The only thing we can do from Sid story is learn from it. I will happily declare that I have never taken any drugs and considering that I went to music college in Camden Town and I am a working musician its not like I have never come across drugs. Thats pretty rare, I am usually the only person in a room that hasn't, its partly because I do feel like if I took any drugs I think i'd wake up the next Jim Morrison and have to learn the harmonica and move to Paris and live out of a suitcase, but partly cause I am not fucking stupid. Obviously you're not going to take drugs once and become an addict but everyone starts somewhere.
What annoys me most is the arrogance of it all. The 'it won't happen to me' attitude, and the majority of the time, it does. Addicts don't just wake up addicts do they? I understand that curiosity can be a huge part of it. I myself went through a stage of trying to understand the Acid House movement, thats obviously quite hard to do if you don't take E. I can assure anyone reading this that Voodoo Ray sounds shit when your listening to it in your bedroom in 2016 at 11 o'clock on a Tuesday morning. I did eventually give up on Acid House and just told myself it was a 'you just had to have been there to get it' scene.
Oscar Wilde died cause of drugs, so what makes stupid recreational users think they can handle it if Wilde couldn't? Johnny Thunders, Malcolm Rut, Judy Garland, Hendrix, the break up of The Smiths, The Clash Whitney fucking Housten. How many more Sid Vicous' do we have to watch fall before people stop being curious?
To round things off, I am not sitting on a high horse here, I am just an observer and this is just my opinion. Next time someone offers you a balloon and you sit there trying to catch your breath or someone offers you a pill and Voodoo Ray starts to sound good have a word with yourself. If Oscar Wilde couldn't handle it what makes you think you can?
RIP Sid Vicous.