Sid Vicious Wasn’t Admitted To Hospital After Cutting Himself, Sex Pistols’ Photographer Recalls

Even though Sex Pistols are now appreciated for having defined an era with their antics and music despite their short career, it can be said that they weren’t embraced back in the day. The band’s photographer, Bob Gruen, recalled some of his adventures with the band while speaking to the Guardian, and he remembered the day Sid Vicious cut his arm but was not admitted to the hospital.

There are two theories regarding Sid’s legacy as a rebellious rocker; he either enjoyed causing trouble, or that was his role in the band since it contributed to Sex Pistols’ image and growing reputation. Whichever it was, Vicious would leave a mark in rock history despite his short career. Photographer Bob Gruen had the chance to witness Sid’s antics as he traveled with the band in the U.S.

Gruen recalled the day Sid cut his harm out of curiosity. The rocker wanted to know if his bodyguard’s hunting knife was sharp enough, so he drew it across his arm. Sid confirmed that the knife was sharp after getting a one-inch-deep cut in his arm. Bob Gruen said they immediately took him to the hospital, but they turned him down.

The reason was either that Vicious didn’t have insurance or because the rocker was too annoying. So, Sid just left his arm ‘open and raw.’ Gruen then said they made their way to the Baton Rogue airport to travel to Dallas for the following Sex Pistols’ performance, as Vicious didn’t care for his arm because he was drinking too much.

The photographer disclosed that nobody cared about Sid as well, and they were ignoring him. So, eventually, when they get to the plane, Bob decided to pull the wound together and bandage him. He managed to help him, but it still didn’t change the fact that Vicious was refused treatment, and the rocker’s team didn’t care for the cut.

Bob Gruen recalled the incident and how Sid was turned down:

“Sid had wanted to know if his bodyguard’s hunting knife was sharp, so he drew it across his arm and cut himself about one inch deep and three across and was bleeding all over the place. They took him to the hospital, but they refused to treat him, either because he didn’t have insurance or maybe because he was too obnoxious. So he just left it open and raw.

We took a taxi to Baton Rouge airport to catch a flight to Dallas for the next Pistols gig. He was drinking so much that he didn’t even think about his arm. Everybody else was ignoring him, so eventually, on the plane, I bandaged it myself, pulling the wound together with adhesive tape.”

Sid’s life story and murder accusation are considered among rock history’s biggest tragedies. This story shows his troubled persona as he cut himself just out of curiosity, and perhaps, his antics were the reason the hospital turned him down. In the end, many thought he was just a young kid who wanted to attract attention by disobeying rules.