Really Bad Taste Dept.: Shepard Fairey & Dennis Morris Celebrate Sid Vicious


Artist Shepard Fairey and photographer Dennis Morris are putting on an exhibit/event called “SID: Superman Is Dead” that seems to be celebrating Sid Vicious.

They’ll have posters, paintings, prints and paintings of Sid for sale. And there will be performances of “1977 Era Classics by former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, Billy Idol, Blondie drummer Clem Burke & Bow Wow Wow guitarist Leigh Gorman. The exhibit is being held at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles. The opening night reception is on Friday December 13, 2013.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Sid has been immortalized in countless posthumous recordings, films, T-shirts, action figures etc. SID: Superman Is Dead is possibly the ultimate of these tributes, its centerpiece being a recreation of a hotel room trashed by Sid in a fit of intoxication, rage and depression during the infamous S.P.O.T.S. (Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly) tour of 1977, during which the Pistols were forced to play every date under pseudonyms to avoid cancellation.

I was around during the life and and death of the Sex Pistols. I saw the group at Winterland when they played their final show before breaking up. I don’t understand why Fairey and Morris are doing this show.

Sid Vicious was a no talent. He was an addict and a creep.

There were amazing talents during the punk years: Patti Smith, Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, David Byrne, John Lydon, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Poly Styrene and many more.

But Sid Vicious. Give me a fucking break.

Here’s what Shepard Fairey says about Sid Vicious:

The Sex Pistols changed my life when I discovered them as a teenager. Their music alone made my arm hairs stand up, but their image and attitude were just as important and powerful. The member of the Sex Pistols who I was drawn to and most epitomized the punk image for me was Sid Vicious, with his spiked hair, leather jacket, lock necklace, and reckless behavior. At 14 I was mesmerized by Sid and I made my first home-made tee shirt of him snarling his lip defiantly. As I was rebelling, looking for any way to irritate my parents, and before I knew better, Sid was my Superman. Sid self-destructed young, and with punk’s slogans like “No Future” and “live fast, die young” , Sid was everything the Superman, anti-hero, or cliche, of a nihilistic movement called for. Sid didn’t really do much to shape punk music… he only actually played on two songs on Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols. However, Sid’s surly vocals kick ass on C’mon Everybody, Somethin’ Else, and My Way. Sid remains one of punk’s most enduring icons even if he is a classic example of style over substance. I was a sucker for Sid’s image as a teenager, and I still am, even though I see him as less “cool” and more tragic and cautionary these days. I have made many images of Sid over the years, and I thought I had retired him as a subject, until Dennis Morris, the photographer of the most intimate and iconic shots of Sid approached me about a collaboration. Dennis’s archive provided an amazing treasure trove of Sid images to work from in creating the paintings and prints in the “Superman Is Dead” show. I’m so glad I got to do Dennis’s Sid images “My Way”! I can now retire Sid as a subject. I’ve worked with the best, I can skip the rest.

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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