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"A VICIOUS HOOLIGAN"

LEGENDARY MUSIC PROMOTER RON WATTS VERDICT ON SEX PISTOLS' BASSIST SID VICIOUS

07-08-2006

Ron Watts is a music biz legend music business after promoting gigs for more than three decades. He staged the legendary breakthrough punk festival at London's 100 Club in 1976, headlined by the Sex Pistols, but that was only one highlight of many in career spanning Britain's blues boom and prog rock. Now he's telling all in his autobiography “Hundred Watts” out later this week, and The Stirrer can give you an exclusive preview. Here's Ron on punk icon Sid Vicious…

"History has been kind to Sid. He's been seen as some sort of lovable rogue, a cartoon character manipulated into being the aggressive face of the movement when he was really just a harmless goofball.

"He certainly had the iconic Punk look, with the leather jacket, chains and spiky hair that most punks got into once the fashion crowd had left the scene.

"The truth is that Sid was a hapless, malevolent prat, who was once described as having the classic profile of a serial killer - above average intelligence, an obsession with death and a craving for notoriety.

"He couldn't fight to save his life, which is why he always had to use weapons or have someone on hand to back him up.

"I don't think he ever realised that stabbing people wasn't just a bit of harmless fun.

"I first met Sid when when turned up to watch a Sex Pistols gig I was promoting at High Wycombe Tech.

"He made himself known amongst the crowd by arseing about and threatening anyone he didn't like the look of.

"Johnny Rotten kept him in check, but I realised early on that I'd have to keep an eye on Sid if I was going to work with the band.

"He never missed a Pistols gig in the early days and became very close to Rotten which surprised me as John never suffered fools.

"Maybe Sid had a bit of sense underneath that stupidity; there had to be something in there for Rotten to take to him.

"Sid just couldn't control himself though, as was shown by the incident when he started on the journalist Nick Kent during the band's residency at the 100 Club.

"I went to see what was going on and Nick Kent was there covered in blood.

"I was told that Sid had hit him over the head with a bike chain so I grabbed Sid and held him up in the air until he promised to calm down.

"I was in a dilemma. As much of an idiot as he was, I knew Sid was important to the band and they liked having him around.

"I also knew that some like Nick Kent, who was one of the NME's top writers, could cause the whole punk movement serious problems if he was annoyed.

"I had a word with Malcom McLaren who thought Sid deserved banning from the club. But he also knew having someone like that around helped the Pistols image - and that was everything to Malcolm.

"In the end I let Sid stay but a couple of weeks later he was up to more trouble, threatening a group of punks with another chain.

"I threw him out and banned him.

"Maybe I should have kept his weapons - they'd have been worth a fortune now and the money I could have got for them would have partly made up for all the problems he caused.

"Sid was a mindless hooligan, plain and simple."

Extract from "Hundred Watts - A Life in Music" by Ron Watts, £7.99 (inc p&p) from Heroes Publishing, P.O. Box 1703, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 1UZ. More information from www.heroespublishing.co.uk

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