The Aesthetics of Punk Courtesy of Sid Vicious

With the 35th anniversary of his OD death approaching on February 2, expect a series of retrospectives on doomed Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and what he continues to mean to punk rock.

The guy was a total f**k-up.  He was violent, self-destructive and couldn’t play his bass.  When the Pistols were on their one-and-only tour of the US, Sid was such an asshole that he managed to get himself beaten up by his own bodyguard.  He then died of heroin overdose–smack that he stole from his mother’s purse–while awaiting trial on charges that he stabbed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to death.

Yet for some reason, he’s remembered with something approaching, well, fondness.  The LA Times looks at the situation.

“Sid could barely play, but he became one of the most recognized figures of a movement,” said L.A. street-art impresario Shepard Fairey, who along with longtime Pistols photographer Dennis Morris put together “SID: Superman Is Dead,” a new photography, print and installation exhibition inspired by Vicious’ life. “He was almost beautifully self-destructive, and for every 16-year-old kid who wants to do something different, there’s a visceral side to that, and we wanted to re-create it.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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