PHONE CONVERSATION WITH SID VICIOUS
by ROBERTA BAYLEY
Sex Pistols American tour ended at Winterland in San Francisco, January14, 1978.
Two days later the band had officially broken up. On January 20, Sid Vicious boarded
a plane for London via New York. He passed out en route, an apparent drug overdose,
and was taken unconscious to Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York. The biggest
blizzard of the year had immobilized New York, so we spoke to Sid that night over
the phone. He sounded very weak, but anxious to talk. He was lonely and bored."
This is Roberta.
Sid: Oh yeah, I remember
will you come visit me in Hospital?
I would but its snowing.
dont have a car and you cant go on the trains.
Sid: Im lonely.
Were gonna come tomorrow. Do you think youll still be in tomorrow?
Sid: Im supposed to be going back to London tomorrow.
How are you feeling?
Nobodys been up to see you or anything?
so miserable outside. I guess you can see it on television.
Sid: Yeah, Im just sitting here on my own.
How long you been in there - just last night?
What happened to everybody else? Who was on the plane with you?
Sid: Boogie. (Soundman for the Sex Pistols) What happened was, I done 80 milligrams
of methadone, right? And when you get - and about 6 or 7 valiums -- and when you
get high in the air it has a much greater effect on you than it does when youre
on the ground. You know you get pissed a lot quicker in the air.
Yeah, you get drunk faster.
Sid: So, thats what happened...I wouldnt expect anyone to go on a train
all this way just to see me anyway.
Do you have a TV at least?
Yeah. What I could do with would be something to read.
Yeah, magazines or something, huh?
What I really want is like a very very large pile of Marvel comics.
Ive got some great comic books.
Sid: Yeah, so do I, but Boogies got them, the asshole.
You dont have any way to get in touch with him?
Sid: No. He said hed call me later today, but he hasnt bothered. And he
wont be bothering either. Hes a cunt.
Well, what happened with this group of yours anyway?
I left them.
Yeah, it seems like everybody left them.
Sid: Well. I dont think anybody really wanted to continue, but no one had the
guts to actually say it. So I just phoned John up and told him what I thought
of him and where I thought he was at and ummm...I mean I still think Im
pretty good. I think I was better than any of the others.
But what do Steve and Paul want to do?
Sid: I dont know. Theyll probably try and get another band together and
fail. Johns completely finished.
That seems to be the general consensus.
(Cheerfully) Does it?
Well, everybodys just saying well what can he do now and nobody can figure
out anything that he can do.
Sid: Yeah, right and hes finished as a person as well. Hes just not what
he used to be.
Well, maybe this will shake him up a little bit?
Sid: Yeah, thats what Im hoping. That itll shake him up and then
hell be able to do something, thatd be goad if he could do that, but
otherwise if it doesnt shake him up and get him out of it, then as a person,
not only will he not do anything, but also nobody will even want to know him.
Theyll say, oh didnt you used to be Johnny Rotten?
Yeah, I guess in England everybodys gonna be really upset about this. How
do you feel about it?
Sid: Im glad that its over now because it was like...I feel like I was
the only one still putting any real energy into it. Did you see our show at Frisco?
I mean John wasnt doing very much was he?
The shows got worse instead of better.
Sid: Yeah. I think the one we did in Dallas or something was
San Antonio. I thought that was best.
(Excited) What, was that the one when I got butted in the face?
No, that was Dallas. But I liked the one when you hit the guy with the guitar.
Was that the one when I was going really nuts?
Yeah, and John was jumping around a lot and the people were throwing lots of beer
cans (at the band). That was a really exciting one.
the planes go out in the morning will you go back to London tomorrow?
Sid: Well, I said I would go. Sophiell have booked the ticket.
But they may not be letting the planes go
Sid: I hope they dont in a way cause I wanna like stay in New York for
at least one day.
Yeah, you should. All kinds of people want to see you and everything. Youve
never been here before. You could have a good time. I mean youre healthy
enough to do it.
Sid: I dont know whether I am. I cant drink. I cant like
doctor said that if I drank anything like vaguely remotely like the way Ive
been drinking for the past
however long, that Ive got about six months
at the absolute outside to live, and like the drugs as well, so I more or less
cant do anything so if I went out anywhere Id just like
If I went out anywhere I wouldnt be able to resist the temptation
thatd be the trouble. Like Id end up just boozing myself out.
Well, whatre you going to do? If you go back to London, its just the
Yeah. I probably will die in six months, actually.
You have to straighten out for a while.
Sid: I cant straighten up. I just cant be straight.
You could. Just as an experiment.
Sid: I suppose I just have to. I havent figured out yet quite how Im gonna
do it cause I havent been straight in like four years. I had hepatitis
and when I got out of hospital I just really fucked myself up as badly as I could.
I dont know why, but everybody said you cant do it, so I just went
ahead and done it. Its my basic nature.
Well, your basic natures gonna get you in a lot of trouble.
Sid: My basic natures gonna kill me in six months.
DOA Film Book. 1981)
and compiled by Phil Singleton.
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