Sid! (DVD)

This doc on Sid Vicious is appropriately brief. Considering the second bassist for The Sex Pistols was barely in the band before the group imploded on their first U.S. tour, the fact that this documentary is 80 minutes long is actually pretty impressive.

The short life of punk rock’s first martyr is told fairly succinctly from those who knew him. There are certainly some frustrating aspects to the DVD. There are no interviews from his band mates – most notable absent is his best friend Jon Lydon – aside from Sex Pistols puppet master and media whore Malcolm McClaren. But interviews from childhood friends and his onetime room mate Viv Albertine (The Slits) do a decent enough job of filing in the portrait of the neglected son, cum bratty punk rocker.

There are also some major disagreements about even the most basic aspects of his life. Depending on who is talking, Sid was either a genius for teaching himself to play the bass almost overnight or a tone deaf faux musician who didn’t even know how to hold the instrument, much less play it; or his girlfriend Nancy Spungen was either a bleach blonde idiot, who drove Vicious down a dead end spiral of heroin or a modern feminist who was just trying to save the rocker.

Warts aside, the doc still manages to tell his short story pretty well and with lots of color. Pairing the documentary with a 10 track CD of Sid live in New York is an added incentive to buy the DVD rather than just rent it.

Rating: 7.6 out of 10
Sid! / DVD / 2009 / MVD Visual / 80 minutes.

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