Sid! By Those Who Knew Him DVD/CD
In his short life and even shorter stint in the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious became the most recognizable figure in all of punk rock. People who never even heard punk music before likely has heard the name Sid Vicious. There’s even a Sid Vicious action figure!
While there has been plenty of documentaries on the Sex Pistols, it wasn’t until now that someone did one just on Sid himself. And that brings us to Sid! the DVD. This is a documentary on Sid’s life as told by some of his friends, former band mates, and people involved in the UK punk scene back in its infancy.
The movie starts by discussing the origins of the punk scene in England and how all these people met at Vivienne Westwood’s clothing store called Sex. The scene was more about fashion before these people decided they wanted to start bands and make some noise. It is here where people met Sid and befriended him as bands like the Sex Pistols and the Damned started getting together and playing some gigs.
Eventually the focus shifts to people telling stories about Sid. Some of the people who participated include Glen Matlock, Jah Wobble from PiL, the guy who booked shows at the 100 club, Dave Vanian and Rat Scabies of the Damned, the Sex Pistols USA tour manager, and others. They all recant stories about Sid’s wild antics, his musical aspirations, how he became the bass player in the Sex Pistols despite not knowing how to play the bass, his fashion sense, and of course his eventual drug addiction.
It seemed like Sid was doomed to a life of drug addiction from a young age considering his mom was allegedly a junkie who’d shoot up in front of a young Sid, who she also apparently condoned his shooting up speed in the house. When he met Nancy Spungen, in most people’s opinion it was all over. Most viewed her as the cancer that ruined Sid’s life and the reason he started doing heroin which led to the rapid downward spiral of his life to his untimely death at such a young age.
The film consists with tons of interviews with the various people who knew Sid and is mixed in with news clips, a little bit of interview footage of Sid and Nancy taken from DOA a Right of Passage, some live footage and tons of photographs. The film is about 90 minutes long and it is in the 16:9 format so it will look great on your new widescreen HDTV. The sound is standard 2.0 stereo and is very clear.
The package also comes with a full color booklet that contains a biography on Sid written by Mark Paytress. It is very well written and an interesting read that covers things about Sid’s youth not touched on in the film. It also contains a CD that has a live show from one of Sid’s short lived solo bands that also featured some New York Dolls members. The quality of the recording is fairly muddy and much, if not all of this recording has appeared on past bootleg LPs over the last couple decades. It was a nice addition to the overall quality package but you probably wouldn’t listen to it more than once.
Overall Sid! is a very interesting DVD that comes in a really nice package and would be a fine addition to any hardcore Sex Pistols fan’s collection, of which I count myself one of. It’s hard to believe it has been 30 years now since Sid’s passing, time certainly flies!