Up-close & Vicious

By Charlene Pepiot

When the Sex Pistols hit their stride in the 1970s, there was no such thing as mobile phones or social media to capture their wild tours and controversy.  Much of Sid Vicious’s life, the band’s bassist, is known from word of mouth and controversial media coverage that has given him an almost mythical status; the ultimate hero and anti-hero. Nevertheless, there remains a void in the public’s personal knowledge of his life that does not exist for today’s celebrities. Read more in Up-close & Vicious to find out more about the infamous Punk star’s life and legacy.

Lefthand image (c) Dennis Morris 

Sid Vicious was born in 1957. He was raised primarily by his mother, who was addicted to heroin and opioids. It is not surprising to know that Sid too was plagued by drug and alcohol abuse throughout his life. He joined the Sex Pistols in 1977 as their bassist and was known for his violent tendencies, allegedly beating women and strangling cats, and his disdain for the establishment before dying of a heroin overdose at the tender age of 21.

These are the facts of Sid Vicious, the raw violence and tragedy of the troubled Punk star. Photographer Dennis Morris shows how Sid Vicious portrayed himself in the public eye with his exhibit Sid: Superman is Dead showing at The Rock ‘n’ Roll Wall of Fame.

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 (c) Dennis Morris 

The exhibit captures the raging intensity of the Sex Pistol’s onstage performances to more intimate moments out of the spotlight. Through revised edits of Morris’s photographs, the pictures feature the Sex Pistols at the height of their short career. From their Swedish and infamous SPOTS (Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly) tours to their Silver Jubilee Thames jaunt.

Dennis Morris describes Sid Vicious as:

“…a hero, villain, fearless and yet somehow also an innocent. He was like a supernova or doomed Hollywood star; he shone bright, lived fast, died young. Even after the explosion of 76, Punk still needed a hero. Sid became that hero/anti-hero.” 

The exhibit will also feature a limited selection of the original Fairey prints alongside famous portraits of Sid Vicious as well as Johnny Rotten. The exhibit will be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Wall of Fame from June 27th until July 15th.

Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols remain in the public eye decades after the band played their final show. Between the t-shirts, films, hearsay and books based around Sid Vicious, you cannot get more authentic than photography of the man himself.

For more information on the exhibit click here.

Find out more about Dennis Morris on his website here.

Interested in exhibitions? Read up on some tips to host your own here.

.Cent Magazine, London. Be Inspired; Get Involved.