John Lydon has spoken about his admiration for Mick Jagger, who paid Sid Vicious‘ lawyers when the Sex Pistols bassist was arrested for the alleged murder of girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
Spungen was found dead on the floor of the couple’s New York hotel room on 12 October, 1978 with a single stab wound to the stomach. Vicious was arrested and charged with murder but died of a heroin overdose four months later after being released on bail.
In an extensive new interview with the Daily Record, Lydon said of the incident: “Nancy Spungen was a hideous, awful person who killed herself because of the lifestyle and led to the destruction and subsequent death of Sid and the whole fiasco. I tried to help Sid through all of that and feel a certain responsibility because I brought him into the Pistols thinking he could handle the pressure. He couldn’t. The reason people take heroin is because they can’t handle pressure. Poor old Sid.”
“Her death is all entangled in mystery,” Lydon continued. “It’s no real mystery, though. If you are going to get yourself involved in drugs and narcotics in that way accidents are going to happen.”
Later in the interview Lydon praised Jagger for helping Vicious when Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren failed to come to the bassist’s aid. “The only good news is that I heard Mick Jagger got in there and brought lawyers into it on Sid’s behalf because I don’t think Malcolm lifted a finger. He just didn’t know what to do,” Lydon recalled. “For that, I have a good liking of Mick Jagger. There was activity behind the scenes from Mick Jagger so I applaud him. He never used it to advance himself publicity-wise.”