Today in 1979, Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose at age 21

Fun fact: When Suid was 17, one of his favorite spots was Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s then-little-known clothing store, SEX. There he met American expatriate Chrissie Hynde before she formed the Pretenders. Though at least five years older, she tried (but failed) to convince John to join her in a mariage blanc so she could get a work permit.

On the evening of 1 February 1979, a small gathering to celebrate Vicious having made bail was held at the 63 Bank Street, New York apartment of his new girlfriend, Michele Robison, whom he had started dating the day he got out of Bellevue Hospital the previous October. Vicious was clean; having been on a detoxification methadone programme, he detoxed from heroin during his time at Rikers Island. However, at the dinner gathering, his mother (who was once a registered addict herself]) had some heroin delivered, against the wishes of Sid’s girlfriend. The person who delivered it, Peter Kodick, came and stayed for a while. Vicious overdosed at midnight that night but everyone who was there that night worked together to get him up and walking around in order to revive him. At 3am Sid and Michele Robison went to bed together. Vicious was discovered dead late the next morning.

A few days after Vicious’ cremation, his mother found an alleged suicide note in the pocket of his jacket:

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.

Since Nancy was Jewish she was buried in a Jewish cemetery. However, Vicious was not Jewish so he could not be buried with her. According to the book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Vicious’ mother scattered his ashes over Nancy’s grave. This has not been fully substantiated as fact.