“You can’t arrest me, I’m a rockstar!” The 10 most outrageous moments of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious

SEX PISTOLS and Sid VICIOUS and Johnny ROTTEN; Sid Vicious, with Gimme a fix carved in to his chest, and Johnny Rotten (John Lydon) performing on stage at Randy's Rodeo Nightclub on their final tour
(Image credit: Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Horror stories surrounding the Sex Pistols are in no short supply, neither are fans, who continue to idolise bassist Sid Vicious 44 years after he died of a heroin overdose on 2nd February, 1979. A drug addict, accused of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen’s murder, and by all accounts unable to play the bass guitar, it was his wild persona that drew him into the spotlight and ensured his status as a reckless youth idol.

Thrust upon the band in 1977 by manager Malcolm McLaren, Sid Vicious had no experience playing bass. “Sid was a singer, not a bass player,” said original bassist, Glenn Matlock. “He was a great frontman, and I think that was why the Pistols broke up in the end. John Lydon was enough for the band.”

Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols perform live at The Winterland Ballroom in 1978 in San Francisco, California.

(Image credit: Photo by Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images)

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.