Imagine my surprise when I got a facebook notice indicating that "DJ Sid Vicious" would be spinning at Liv Wednesday night. Could the late Sex Pistols bassist, who OD'd on heroin over 30 years ago, have a new career as a zombified house music DJ? Could it be that Sid, inspired by Elvis Presley, faked his death and lived under a pseudonym for all these years? Was the statute of limitations for his alleged stabbing murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungeon up?
Alas, despite the above being a more entertaining conspiracy theory than anything Charlie Sheen could dream up, the real Sid Vicious remains dead.
The "Sid Vicious" spinning at LIV is Sid Neisen, the drummer for LA straight edge hardcore band Strife. For those of you who who frequented the south florida punk rock scene between the mid 1980s and late 1990s, you may remember hordes of suburban teenagers who spent their time: drawing Xs on their hands, doing tae bo kicks in the mosh pit, preaching about the evils of alcohol and drugs and pacing around the backs of clubs - trying to work up enough nerve to knock beers out of people hands.They adhered to a weird philosophy that Minor Threat singer Ian McKaye accidentally invented when he wrote the songs "Straight Edge" and "Out Of Step" - particularly the lines: "Don't Drink /Don't Smoke / Don't F***/ But At Least I Can F***ing Think!"
Strife was among the most militant of the 1990s straight edge bands. Their song "Force Of Change" bears this out:
"Resistance in a time of mass self-destruction
Makes the few who walk the straight edge
A growing force of change
Committed through gripped by the plague of a nation
Consumed by intoxication and confined by a crippling greed
I walk the path of true change
Commitment sworn in the name
Of those who still walk the straight edge
Convictions held to my grave"
Obviously, most grown adults aren't going to equate having a few beers as "mass self destruction." Which is why straight edge guys are notorious for "losing their edge" in spectacular, sometimes tragic fashion. Strife announced they"lost their edge" in 2001 when they released their third album, and started playing nu metal - the kiss of death for hardcore bands.
In 2008, Strife reunited, and they remain on the punk rock festival circuit today - playing a South American tour as recently as this past February. So it was curious that when the "Discover SD" nightlife blog asked Neisen how he became "DJ Sid Vicious" last October he answered:
"I went through a lot of different music phases while I was growing up. When I went through my punk rock phase though, everyone started calling me Sid Vicious (bassist of the Sex Pistols) and it just stuck ever since."
Really Sid? You went through a 20-year, 4-album, global-touring "punk rock phase?" Pray tell, what exactly, constitutes a phase? And As you are still a touring member of the band - does this "phase" wax and wane between DJ gigs and festival stages?
More importantly Sid, how can you pretend you don't know that Sid Vicious was the glamorous punk rock junkie icon that Ian MacKaye hated enough to invent the entire way of life that your band preached harder than he did for a full decade? Anyone calling themselves "DJ Sid Vicious" would be a tool. But even a Home Depot couldn't contain the tool you have turned yourself into by taking his name and image.
Thankfully, LIV has a high ceiling.
Here's the real Sid Vicious playing a legendary Sex Pistols gig in San Antonio:
And the fake Sid Vicious performing "Force Of Change" with Strife in Buenos Aires, February 2011: