Sid Vicious dies of drug overdose

February 2 1979: On this day Sex Pistols’ bassist, Sid Vicious, died in New York. This is how the Guardian reported the news.

Sid Vicious, the British punk rock star, died yesterday in New York after taking an overdose of heroin.

His naked body was found at 5.30 yesterday afternoon in the Greenwich Village flat of Michelle Robinson, a girl friend. The body was discovered by Miss Robinson and Sid Vicious' mother, Ann Beverly.

Police said that the women told them that Vicious had been using heroin at a party held at the flat to celebrate his release from gaol one day earlier. A syringe, a spoon and a substance - probably heroin residue - were found near the body, police said.

Vicious, aged 21, was released from gaol on $58,000 bail on Thursday. He was accused of killing his girl friend, Nancy Spungen, on October 12, by stabbing her in the stomach with a hunting knife.

He told friends that he was asleep when Miss Spungen, known as "Nauseating Nancy," died, and that she either committed suicide or was killed by someone else. He tried to commit suicide a few days later by cutting his wrists, but was found in time.

He was freed on bail, but had this revoked after an incident in a New York club. State Supreme Court Justice James Leff freed him again on Wednesday on the condition he made additional $10,000 bail by February 16 on a charge of assaulting Todd Smith, brother of the punk rock queen Patti Smith.

This was secured, and friends said he was "jovial, happy, and contemplating a bright future."

A police spokesman said last night that Vicious did not intend to kill himself. "It was an accident," he said New York's chief medical examiner, Dr Michael Baden, called the death "inadvertent," and said a post mortem examination would be performed.

Vicious was born John Simon Richie, and grew up in London. He first came into the public eye as bass guitarist in the Sex Pistols punk rock group.

When arrested last October, Vicious was reported to be suffering from drug addiction.

Malcolm MacLaren, who managed the Sex Pistols, said last year: "Sid had tremendous outbursts of temper and a lot of the time he was like a bull at a gate." Friends described him as very emotional, unstable and destructive.

By a Staff Reporter

The GuardianTramp

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