Sid Vicious was arguably the most notorious member of the Sex Pistols, but he didn’t join the band until two years after it was formed. Back in ’75 when he was 18, he went by his real name – John Simon Ritchie – and had met Vivienne Westwood with the hope of joining.
As we see in Pistol, there was a mix up between him and his friend John Lydon, who ended up getting the spot. Before he stepped in as bassist, Sid was one of the band’s biggest fans and claimed to have invented the ‘pogo,’ which is basically a forerunner of moshing.
Sid, whose mum was addicted to heroin and opiates, had a long history of drug use and was using heroin by the time he joined the band. After the band split in 1978, Sid moved to New York with his girlfriend Nancy, where they spent most of their time using drugs. Nancy was killed later that year and in ’79, after he was charged with second-degree murder, Sid died of a heroin overdose at just 21.