Steve Jones Says Sid Vicious’ Relationship With Nancy Spungen Changed The Dynamics In Sex Pistols
Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones recently looked back on the band’s past during an interview with Classic Rock. When the musician was asked about the substance abuse within the band, Jones couldn’t help himself from mentioning his late bandmate Sid Vicious and his late girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
Only seven months after joining the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious met Nancy Spungen, and the two started dating almost immediately. Their relationship had a bad reputation as they were often mentioned with domestic violence and drug abuse. Their worst period started when the couple moved to New York City and checked into the Hotel Chelsea, in which they spent much of their time doing drugs.
While their relationship was going downhill from then on, their addiction ended up taking Spungen’s life as the young girl was found dead in the bathroom of the couple’s room, with a single stab wound to the abdomen in October 1978. The Sex Pistols bassist was initially accused of murdering his girlfriend, but he was released on bail.
On the evening of February 1, 1979, Sid Vicious passed away at the young age of 21 sometime in the night from a heroin overdose and was discovered early the following day by his mother, Anne Beverley. While Beverley later claimed that her son and late girlfriend had made a suicide pact, her theory is still up to the question.
Since substance abuse was considered common among many rock stars and has had a huge impact on rock music, Steve Jones reflected on this issue during a recent interview. According to the guitarist, he didn’t have a problem with drug and alcohol abuse as he drank or did drugs only for short periods of time to enjoy himself instead of being completely addicted to them.
However, the dynamics within the band changed when Sid Vicious found Nancy Spungen. Since Spungen was known for being an emotionally unstable person, diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 15, and was known for her substance abuse, Jones only said that those were dark times for the band during which he couldn’t wrap his head around what was happening.
When asked about the drugs, Jones said:
“I didn’t have a problem in 1977. I was enjoying myself with the drugs and alcohol. It hadn’t got to a point where it was a drag. By the end of 1977, it was starting to unravel for the Sex Pistols. It wasn’t a good time near the end there. The whole dynamics changed with Sid and that f*ckin’ bird, Nancy Spungen. It was dark. I can’t think of any other word than that. It was just dark. I didn’t understand what was happening. It was not a fun time for me.”
Because the couple moved to New York City, where they lost their lives after the Sex Pistols disbanded, their somewhat toxic relationship stopped directly affecting the band. Still, dealing with the death of one of their former bandmates at the incredibly young age of 21 due to drugs must have been traumatic for each member, including Jones.