Sid: Sid Vicious - Rock'n'roll Star Paperback – 31 Aug 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
It charts Vicious' days as a relatively sweet child, following his single mother around Europe, fatherless, but pleasant just the same. It then briefly charts his journey through adolescence, going from petulant schoolchild to wilful art student. The author's theory is that Sid's unconventional, unstable and fatherless childhood was responsible for his hatred of rules and authority, and there could be some truth in this.
It then details the period when Sid first became friendly with John Lydon at art college, one of the most important turning points in his life. It then charts his journey as a fan, one of the notorious 'Bromley Contingent', follwoing the Pistols every move during their early days, with Lydon at the helm, and Glen Matlock still on bass. Then this book explains how it came to pass that Sid ended up as bassist, and briefly hints at the opportunist and exploitative nature of Malcolm McLaren, though not nearly enough for my liking.
This book contains many humourous moments, including one particularly hilarious part of the young Sid's life, when he and Lydon would busk in London, Sid with an acoustic guitar he couldn't play and Lydon on an out-of-tune fiddle which he was similarly useless on. The two would then bemuse onlookers by hollering out the same Alice Cooper song on a constant cycle. This is decribed very well; one of the books definite laugh out loud moments.
However, from the moment Sid joins the Pistols, the book heads into sordid territory, almost from the word go.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The writing is good as well, peering back to young John Beverly, and his care by drug addicted mother.
The author has a very good flowing writing style which mixes just the right amount of antidotal evidence as well as factual content. What it does not do, which is a good thing, is be to over zealous with the outrageous legend of what we know to be Sid Vicious.
Instead, the author takes a very matter of fact approach and doesn't try and glorify the cartoon caricature that has become such a punk icon. This is a very eye opening and sobering read that delves deep into Sid's psyche and at times makes you wish someone back then could somehow reach out to Sid and just shake him up or help him change his ways. Then there are times when it seems completely hopeless and there wasn't anything anyone could do to help him. This book is also a very good glimps into the shocking and sometimes degrading world of 1970's punk counter culture in general and gives a very good "vibe" of what it was like. A very short read, but there isn't any fluff so it feels like you get enough and are satisfied. This is definitely recommended even if you have a passing interest in old school Punk but have a bigger interest in the human condition and subculture in general.