Punk Rock Romeo and Juliet: Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen
"I Didn't Keep My Part of the Bargain"
Sex Pistols' manager Malcolm McLaren worked to raise Vicious's bail, going first to Virgin Records and telling them that he had plans to make new Sid Vicious recordings for them. Vicious was desperate to be released because he wanted to attend Nancy's funeral. Understandably, the Spungen family didn't want him there, and he probably would have been horrified to see her in repose wearing her green high-school prom dress, her hair dyed back to its natural chestnut brown.
On October 16, 1978, Virgin Records wired McLaren $50,000 to secure Vicious's release. He hired the prestigious law firm Prior, Cashman, Sherman, and Flynn to defend Vicious. The next day Sid's mother, Anne Beverley, flew to New York from England, raising the money to buy her trans-Atlantic ticket by selling the rights to her story to the New York Post. She took a room at the Hotel Seville on Madison Avenue so that she could care for her son after he was released.
Within a week, Vicious, despondent over the loss of Nancy, tried to take his own life by overdosing on methadone and slashing his arm. His mother discovered him and called for help, saving his life. Once again he tried to kick his habit, but he used up his methadone allotment too soon and had to suffer for days in painful drug withdrawal until the clinic would give him more. On October 28, he made another attempt to kill himself, slashing his wrists with a razor blade and a broken light bulb, screaming, according to author Malcolm Butt, "I want to join Nancy, I didn't keep my part of the bargain."
This time McLaren called for paramedics, but before they arrived, Vicious tried unsuccessfully to throw himself out a window. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he spent several days in detox before being discharged to his mother's care.
By December, Vicious had found a new girlfriend, actress Michelle Robinson, but by all accounts she was no substitute for Nancy in his heart. Together they made the punk club scene in Manhattan, Vicious frequently obnoxious and belligerent. On December 9, 1978, he got into a fight with Todd Smith, brother of punk-rock poet Patti Smith, at a club called Hurrah's, cutting Todd Smith's face with a broken bottle. Having violated the terms of his parole, Vicious was arrested and sent back to Riker's Island where he spent seven more weeks in the prison detox unit.
Vicious was released on February 1, 1979, and he immediately went back to heroin, this time supplied by his mother, according the New York Post. At a party celebrating his release at Michelle Robinson's Greenwich Village apartment, Vicious shot up and soon demanded more. His mother doled out another dose from her purse, and within 20 minutes he collapsed on the bed. Friends offered to take him to the hospital, but he refused to go. He drifted off and was left alone in the bedroom. Sometime during the night he woke up, found his mother's purse, and took the rest of the heroin. The next morning he was found dead.