One of rock-n-roll's most harrowing cautionary tales, Sid Vicious was the bassist for the groundbreaking punk group the Sex Pistols at the height of its popularity, shortly before its members parted under a cloud of animosity and ugly onstage behavior, perpetrated largely by Vicious himself. A dedicated fan of the Pistols in their early incarnation, as well as a close friend of frontman John Lydon, Vicious was selected to join the group shortly before the release of their debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols (1977). That he was largely unable to play the bass and too wracked with drug illness to perform on the record was of less importance than his image as a seemingly insane force of mindless violence, perpetrated as much upon himself as anyone around him. In doing so, Vicious embodied the mainstream's deepest fears about punk rock as an anarchic, even apocalyptic force bent on destroying the fundamentals of modern civilization. In reality, Vicious was a dense, pitiable wretch pushed into heavy drug use by his harpy-like girlfriend, rock hanger-on Nancy Spungen, whom he may or may not have killed shortly before his own fatal overdose in 1979. For fans of junkie chic and punk excess, Vicious was an iconic figure who lived life according to his terms; for others, he was an emblem of the dead end awaiting those who blindly followed the fashion of the times and those who sought to exploit it for their own ends.