An angry voice of anguish and fury screech out of two large speakers on either side of a short pub stage. The crowd full of young people stomp their feet and raise their fists. In the spotlight on the left of the stage is a young man, bloody and bruised soaking it all in while mindlessly strumming a bass guitar. Bobbing his head to the beat he starts screaming into a microphone. The underground punk scene was thriving in London at the time and needed a spokesperson. So this young man, known as Sid vicious, became the attitude of punk.
Born John Simon Ritchie on May 10, 1957, Sid had a difficult early childhood. His mother, Anne Beverly, was known for selling and using illegal drugs, such as heroin ("Sid Vicious."). She was often described as a wild spirit or a hippie of sorts. Meanwhile Ritchie’s birth father was a guard at Buckingham Palace and a semiprofessional trombone player. Shortly after Sid was born, his father left his mother to raise him alone. She eventually moved and remarried but Sid’s new step father died six months after, leaving her to raise him alone, yet again (John Simon Ritchie (1957 - 1979) - Genealogy). Sid and his mother moved fairly often, and barely had enough to support themselves. At the age of 16, Sid’s mother kicked him out on the streets because she couldn’t support him, herself and her addiction. He had nowhere to go, but she didn’t care (Sid Vicious: Little Boy Lost, 2009).
After Sid was kicked out he started attending Hackney Technical college in 1974 where he met his friend John Lydon. He started his drug habit shortly after and dropped out ("Sid Vicious."). Sid moved into a small apartment with John lydon, John Wardle, and John gray (Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials). Lydon and Sid would get money from playing Alice cooper covers on the street, and people would pay them to stop (John Simon Ritchie (1957 - 1979) - Genealogy). While rooming together, they decided to acquire nicknames instead of all going by John. John lydon became Johnny rotten, and john wardle become Jah Wobble (John Simon Ritchie (1957 - 1979) - Genealogy). Sid came from Lydon’s pet hamster. Once Ritchie was bitten and said that Sid was vicious, therefore he was dubbed with the name.
While Sid seemed like an outgoing, rambunctious young man, those who knew him claim he was quite the opposite. Jah Wobble described Sid as having a brooding quality, though he was bright, he was very dark and most likely depressed. He recalls a time while they were at Kingsway and a counselor had brought them in to discuss Sid’s suicidal tendencies, they thought it was a joke and didn’t take it seriously (Sid Vicious: Little Boy Lost, 2009). He was also described as a shy, deep, and somewhat sheepish person (John Simon Ritchie (1957 - 1979) - Genealogy). Though he came out of his shell more and more as he tried fitting the role as the attitude of punk (Sid Vicious: Little Boy Lost, 2009).
Sid started his music career in 1976...