This Week In Music History

Happy Frigid Friday! Or at least that’s what I’m calling it since this morning was arguably near freezing. Wherefore art thou summer? But nothing warms you up quite like your weekly fix of music history, am I right? Of course I am. In honor of this being the month of ghosts and ghouls it seems to be quite ironic that in 1969, the “Paul is Dead” rumor reached new heights. After receiving a mysterious phone call, underground Detroit FM DJ played the Beatles’ “Revolution #9” backwards on the air. Those listening heard what sounded like the words “turn me on, dead man.” Creeeeeepy.

Moving right along with the theme of death and spooky Halloween-related events, in 1978 girlfriend of former Sex Pistol Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen, was discovered dead due to the infliction of knife wounds in their hotel room at the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Reportedly the couple had argued the night before Spungen’s death and Vicious woke up the following morning in a drugged stupor to find Nancy dead. She had suffered a single stab wound to the abdomen and bled to death. The knife that was used had been bought by Vicious after coveting an identical knife owned by collector Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys. Bators was given his knife by Dee Dee Ramone and according to Dee Dee’s wife Vicious had purchased the knife after seeing Stiv’s. Vicious was arrested on charges of murder but denied the allegations, saying he never stabbed her but at one point Nancy had fallen on the knife. On the night of Spungen’s death the couple hosted a party in their hotel room and Nancy was seen displaying a lot of money. When Spungen’s body was found both the money and the knife were gone. On October 22, Vicious attempted to commit suicide by slicing his wrist with a broken light bulb and was hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital. He was arrested after his release on December 9, 1978 on charges of assault after an altercation with Patti Smith’s brother Todd Smith at a concert. Vicious was sent to Rikers Island metro jail for 55 days. Eventually Virgin Records covered his bail, originally set at $50,000, and Vicious was released on February 1, 1979. The following evening, Vicious celebrated his release from jail, a party was thrown for Vicious at the apartment of his new girlfriend, Michele Robinson. Vicious was clean and sober after having gone through a detox program during his time at Rikers Island. Sid’s mother, once a registered drug addict herself, had heroin delivered to the apartment. Vicious overdosed around midnight but those at the party helped to revive him, getting him up and walking around. Around 3 in the morning, Vicious went to bed with his girlfriend and was discovered dead late the next morning. After Sid’s cremation, Vicious’ mother found a suicide note in his jacket pocket reading: “We had a death pact, and I have to keep my half of the bargain. Please bury me next to my baby in my leather jacket, jeans and motorcycle boots. Goodbye.” Spungen was buried in a Jewish cemetery and Vicious was unable to be buried with her. According to rumors, Vicious’ mother and the Misfits’ Jerry Only scattered his ashes over Spungen’s grave. Talk about tainted love.

By Alexandra Parker

If you liked this, check out:
Throwback Thursday: Jimi Hendrix Experience
This Week In Music History: October 5, 2012

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Emerson College

To all WERS Members & Volunteers

THANK YOU! We had an awesome Live Music Week because of you! We exceeded our goal of 1000 donors and we couldn’t have done it without your support! We are working on sending your gifts now and you can expect to have them in 4 to 6 weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, […]