May 10, 1957

May10On this day in 1957, John Simon Ritchie – a.k.a., Sid Vicious – was born in Lewisham, South East London.

Best known as the legendary bassist from the Sex Pistols, Vicious was a singer as well. Born to John and Anne Ritchie (née McDonald), Ritchie’s name would soon be changed to John Beverley after his birth father left the family and his mother remarried.

As a teenager, Sid Vicious was considered the perfect fit for the London punk group the Sex Pistols, which local S&M sex shop owner Malcolm McLaren had formed. Vicious would replace original bassist Glen Matlock in 1977, even though Vicious literally did not know how to play a note on the instrument.

Vicious became notorious for his self-destructive antics, on and off stage, his drug use and violent love/hate relationship with his young drug-addicted American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.

After the Sex Pistols broke up in 1978, Vicious would go off on his own, recording raunchy covers of Eddie Cochran and Frank Sinatra songs. He had a few popular gigs at Max’s Kansas City in New York before soon finding himself in jail. . . and then the cremator.

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