Sid Vicious could actually play bass...kinda.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by IpseDixit, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. barach713


    Jan 17, 2016
    oh btw i accidentally engaged in this post today after i have seen pistols in dany california music video from rhcp...and i stumbled upon this...but it happened to be Sid Vicious birthday today :D love him or hate him, pay him some tribute :bassist:
  2. tyohars


    Nov 11, 2016
    He's maybe not one of my favorite player, but him (and Macca) was the very first reason why I want to play this instrument and he made me presicion guy
  3. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    In his book "No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish," Johnny Rotten talked about during that last American tour he had brought some reggae mix tapes a friend made for him and played them on the bus between gigs and that Sid would actually sit and play along with them especially since heroin was hard to come by in the places where they were playing.

    Rev J
  4. descendent22


    Jul 29, 2015
    I like the Sex Pistols and I love Punk but I can't stand Sid vicious. I think he was nothing more then a junky poser. As far as you say "whiny and person with no talent " you couldn't be more wrong. I mean don't get me wrong, there are some bands out there that do the minimum and are lousy musicians. On the other hand punk rock from a music standpoint has some of the most unbelievable musicians and song writers ever. You look at someone like Dee Dee Ramone who is very underrated as a song writer and is arguably one of rock n rolls greatest song writers ever. He wasn't the most technical bassist or guitarist but his passion made up for it. Mike Watt of the Minutemen is one of the greatest bassist ever! Karl Alverez of the descendents is another amazing bassist, or what about Matt Freeman of Rancid. Those are just a few bass players to prove a point. Punk Rock is the greatest music GOD ever created, and the talent is there to prove it even though talent has nothing to do with it.
    Mingus_Habens and filler83 like this.
  5. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Sid could play if by "play" you mean he could sort of play the root notes of basic songs sort of in time. When he first joined the Pistols he'd never played bass before but Steve and Paul both say he took it seriously for a little while. He just got to into smack and his whole image and never got any better.

    But he was terrible. When you're so bad your own band won't let you record on your album.......that's saying something. His skill level as about the same as you'd find in a middle school garage band that was just starting out.
  6. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019

    Why do people say "he listened to a Ramones record" as if that is some big deal? Ramones songs are all root notes they're as easy as it gets, bass wise. Everyone listens to and plays along with recordings when starting out.

    I mean, that whole anecdote comes from some story of Sid staying up ONE NIGHT on speed and playing along with Ramone's songs. That won't teach you the "basics" of bass at best it means you can parrot Ramones songs.

    Like I said in another post, Steve and Paul both say Sid took learning and practicing seriously when he first joined but that didn't last long. If there's a recording of him making it all the way through a song without stopping and missing notes all over the place I've never heard it.

    I've never understood why people keep trying to defend Sid as a "musician". Just because the guy farted around on a bass doesn't mean he could actually play a bass.
  7. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Where is it "rumored" the Pistols had some guy playing behind a curtain? That's just stupid.
  8. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Dee Dee could play basic notes on a bass and he could play fast but it's not like he was some great bass player either. I read an interview with him once....and this was in the late 80s, early 90s, where he talked about how he didn't even know the notes on his bass and by that point he had been playing for 15 years. If you asked him to play something with a complicated bass line I doubt Dee Dee would have been able to do it.

    I've seen Dee Dee playing guitar and I'm as good as he was on guitar, and I'm not all that good. He could write songs and he had a great imagination but he wasn't some great musician.

    Look at his career after he left the Ramones, without that context, loud, fast, very basic rock, he was never able to do anything else.

    I mean, Dee Dee was perfect for the Ramones but he wasn't a great musician.
  9. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Sid was every bit as bad as people make out.

    The dude was awful. The people that use his ineptness to slight the Pistols don't realize that Glen Matlock is a hell of a bass player or that Steve Jones played the bass on the album.

    I mean, just look at this thread.....almost 40 years later and you still have people talking about "session musicians behind curtains" at Sex Pistols shows.

    It's absurd.
  10. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Steve has said Sid might have played on a couple of the songs but he was buried so far down in the mix that it's almost impossible to hear.

    Steve also said it was a lucky break that Sid was in the hospital sick at the time of recording because Sid couldn't play.
  11. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    What does "more punk" even mean? That he was a junky with a death wish and zero common sense?
  12. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Dee Dee's whole life was a fantasy. He and Sid used to hang out and I'm sure Sid did talk about starting a band with him at one point or another but Dee Dee told a lot of tall tales. Between all the drugs and Dee Dee's mental illness I wouldn't put much stock in anything Dee Dee said.
  13. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    If you think that's what it was about you haven't listened to it. Go listen to the early Pistols, with Matlock, they were a tight rocking band, that wrote great songs. Lydon's lyrics are world class too. And they looked great.

    After Sid joined it fell apart but the Pistols were great. So were the Clash.

    I don't like Punk as a genre because there were too many dummies who came later that took it literally and started imitating rather than doing their own thing like the Pistols, Ramones, Clash, etc but early Punk, before all the rules and regulations, was great.
  14. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    That's a moot point because the Pistols wrote great songs and rocked.

    God Save the Queen and Anarchy as powerful and moving as any rock song ever written. And stuff like Did You No Wrong, Submission, Pretty Vacant, No Feelings, etc, just great tunes.

    NMTB is considered one of the greatest albums of all time for a reason.
  15. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Are you kidding me? Winterland is damn near unlistenable and Sid was awful.

    There are recordings of Sid's early shows with the Pistols and he was much better (because he was actually trying to learn and not strung out on junk) than the later shows. I mean, he still sucked but you could tell he was trying.

    If you have ears how can you listen to Winterland was the best he ever played lol?

    I used to have that on VHS tape before the internet and I've seen that concert a million times. Not because it was good but it was about the only live footage of the Pistols you could see back then. I had the Winterland concert and another, I want to say it was San Antonio. They both were awful but San Antonio was slightly better.

    Winterland is probably the worst sounding Sex Pistols concert I've ever heard. Sid was awful (as usual) but the whole mix was awful, Steve's guitars were out of tune, Rotten was sick.

    It's been years since I watched those concerts but I believe at one point in Winterland Steve steps on his guitar cable and pulls it out and Sid isn't playing at all, it's just Johnny and the drums until Steve plugs back in.

    I mean, really, if you think Winterland was the best anyone in the Pistols ever sounded it must be the only Pistols show you've ever heard.
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    If you don't know, I probably can't explain it to you.
    However, I'd like to explain the multi-quote feature:

    Do you see that +Quote button on every post?
    If you click that you can add all the posts you'd like to quote together into one big post & respond to everyone in just that one instead of making a whole page of posts just from you responding to each member individually.

    When you're ready to make the post, hit Insert Quotes, which will be under the post dialog box:

  17. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    Sid had never played bass before the Pistols.

    He obviously had "seen one" but he didn't own one and he sure didn't play one before the Pistols.

    As far as learning Ramones songs by "ear"? He played along with a Ramones record. I don't know why you guys keep acting like him playing with a Ramones record is some sign of talent or real attempt to learn. Everyone does that when they first start out and Ramones songs are about as easy as it gets.

    I have no doubt if Sid had actually tried to learn he could have, plenty of the first wave punks learned on the fly, look at Paul Simonon of the Clash. But Sid just took drugs.

    I mean if Sid could "play" you have a pretty low standard for what "could play" means.
  18. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    If I replied to everyone in one post it would be a wall of text.

    I'll just reply individually thanks.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

  20. roscothunder


    Mar 17, 2019
    The Pistols never played in St Louis.
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