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Sid Vicious

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John Simon Ritchie-Beverley (May 10, 1957 – February 2, 1979), better known as Sid Vicious, was an English punk rock musician and member of the band the Sex Pistols. He died of a heroin overdose at the age of 21.

In November 1977 Ritchie met American groupie Nancy Laura Spungen and they immediately began a relationship (Spungen had come to London looking for Jerry Nolan of The Heartbreakers). She was a heroin addict, and inevitably Ritchie, who already believed in his own “live fast, die young” image, soon shared the dependence. Although deeply in love, their often violent and rocky relationship had a disastrous effect on the Sex Pistols. Both the group and Ritchie visibly deteriorated during their 1978 American tour. The Pistols broke up in San Francisco on January 14 during a concert at the Winterland Ballroom when Lydon walked off the stage. Ritchie left shortly afterwards, and with Spungen acting as his “manager” he embarked on a solo career, during which he performed with musicians including Mick Jones of The Clash, original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, Rat Scabies of The Damned and the New York Dolls’ Arthur Kane and Jerry Nolan.

Meanwhile Ritchie and Spungen had become locked in their own world of drug addiction and self-destruction. Interview footage shows the couple attempting to answer questions from their bed: Spungen is barely coherent while Ritchie lapses in and out of consciousness. He also came very close to death following a heroin overdose and was hospitalised for a time.

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