Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

The Sex Pistols - History, Influence and cultural legacy, Band members, Discography, Further reading, Films

john matlock sid vicious

British rock band formed in London, UK in 1975, consisting at first of Johnny Rotten (originally and later John Lydon, 1956– , vocals), Steve Jones (1955– , guitar and vocals), Glen Matlock (1956– , bass guitar), Paul Cook (1956– , drums); Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious (originally John Simon Ritchie, 1957–79). They were brought together and managed by Malcolm McLaren, and gained notoriety in the late 1970s as the best-known exponents of British ‘punk rock’ - fast, aggressive, chaotic, anarchistic, and musically basic, but restoring excitement and danger to the genre. Much of their renown sprang from outrageous public behaviour, but such songs as ‘Anarchy in the UK’, ‘God Save the Queen’, ‘Holidays in the Sun’, and ‘Pretty Vacant’, were classics of their time. The band soon disintegrated, and Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in New York in 1979 while awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend; John Lydon went on to form the band Public Image Limited.

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