Here is a statement from Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones about Malcolm McLaren, who passed away on April 8th at age 64 from cancer.
“I was upset when I heard the news, as I’ve always had a soft spot for Malcolm. I knew him since I was 17 before The Pistols formed — I used to drive him around in Vivienne Westwood’s car to the tailors in London in the days of the Let It Rock clothing store. Malcolm was definitely the Brian Epstein of punk—without him it wouldn’t have happened the way it did. I stayed friends with him throughout the years despite some of our differences. He came on Jonesy’s Jukebox a couple of years ago, and that’s a good memory. But my fondest memory of Malcolm, and I loved the guy, was his birthday gift to me when I turned 21 — he got me a hooker and some heroin.”
On This Date, February 2nd, in 1979: Sex Pistols’ bassist Sid Vicious (Born Simon John Ritchie) died of a heroin overdose in New York City. He was 21 years old. Sid did not live a long life, and that is a shame. But he was such a mess when he died, it is difficult to speculate on the type of person he might have become had he never met/murdered Nancy Spungen, and eventually gotten his act together. Some people just aren’t built to last (see also Darby Crash and Kurt Cobain), so maybe it’s a moot point to even entertain such thoughts as what he might be like in his fifties, if he were alive today. I recently watched the Sex Pistols mockumentary, The Great Rock & Roll Swindle (thank you Netflix for making this possible) and really enjoyed it. The Swindle, not unlike Sid, is a huge mess, but is nevertheless wild nostalgic fun – especially for its inclusion of the videos for “Silly Thing,” sung by Pistols’ drummer Paul Cook and “Lonely Boy,” performed by guitarist Steve Jones. Those songs are awesome. You can also see Sid’s iconic rendition of “My Way,” as well as Eddie Cochran’s hits “C’Mon Everybody” and “Something Else.” Worth adding to the queue, for sure. Rest in Peace, Sid.
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) singer for the Sex Pistols and Public Image was born on this day, January 31st, in 1956. My friend Rey once told me a story of how he, as a journalist, had attempted to conduct an interview with Lydon during the days of Public Image. It didn’t go so well. Each time Rey asked a question, rather than answer, Lydon would just repeat that question back to him in a mocking voice. Rey told me that he got up and left the room several times in an attempt to terminate the interview, but the publicist insisted he continue and promised that Lydon would behave from then on. Eventually he gave up and wrote the article about what an asshole John Lydon was. Because Rey is awesome. I love that story. Happy Birthday, John!
Glen Matlock, bassist for the Sex Pistols, was born on this day, August 27th, in 1956. The Sex Pistols, including Matlock, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Favorite Sex Pistols Songs: “I Wanna Be Me,” “Pretty Vacant,” “Silly Thing.”
Sid Vicious, (born John Simon Ritchie), bassist for the Sex Pistols and infamous pop culture icon, would have celebrated his Birthday today, if he had not died in 1979. May 10th is also the Birthday of Sixties Pop Guru, Donovan(born in 1946) and some guy named Paul Hewson (born in 1960), who sings and pontificates for the band U2. Happy Birthday, guys!