'Sid, By Those Who Really Knew Him'
March 9th 2009
Run Time: 80 minutes
Odeon Entertainment
Everything about this DVD cries out tacky! From the terrible cheapo
looking collectors edition glorified petrol station CD wallet sleeve to the
basic graphics on the actual DVD cover that any kid with a computer could
have photo shopped. It's a boot in the balls disappointment. Even the
enclosed glossy booklet written by Mark Paytress and the filler live CD of
The Idols featuring Vicious, Jerry Nolan, Arthur Kane and Steve Dior from
30.9.78 can't save it from being a dust gatherer.

Maybe I've become jaded over the years due to my overexposure to retro
punk on film footage? But I knew this new DVD release wasn't going to live
up to my expectations the moment that bloody Kings road punks footage
was rolled out yet again right at the beginning. Setting more of the same
old same old tone for the rest of the doc. Any punk collector worth his/her
stripes has seen the old vintage footage here before. Some of it many
many times before! Theres nothing new or exciting to make this an
essential purchase.

There are loads of new conflicting talking head interviews (good bassist,
Crap bassist, Good drummer, Crap drummer) from the likes of Steve
Severen, Glen Matlock, Ron Watts, Rat Scabies, Dave Vanian, Caroline
Coon,  Alan Jones. Alongside the ever dependable Jah Wobble and
Marco Pirroni who I actually did enjoy, and the very irritating Viv Albertine
who I didn't. But the novelty value of hearing most of these repeated ad
nauseam tales is long gone.

The DVD is laid out in 12 chapters like a book autobiography telling
attention seeking Sid's (contributors words not mine) story with the
minimum of effort. So its easy to skip the bits you don't want to watch
second time round, which is probably most of it. And that's if you even go
near the DVD a second time.

This would have made a reasonable cut and paste TV documentary as it
has that middle of the night nothing else to watch satellite TV feel about it!
It's not even worth rushing out to buy like I stupidly did. And seriously
pales in comparison to the far superior and much better value "Who Killed
Nancy" documentary which has also just been released on DVD (see
reviews). Theres nothing in the extras except two ad's for the ancient but
miles better "Punk in London" and the ropey "Punk in England" DVD's
which seem to be getting a re release soon and the documentary trailer.

If you're only getting into punk or you're an old hand who really has to
have everything punk related in your collection then your not going to
take a blind bit of notice of this review, but if your on a limited budget and
you can only afford one or the other of the new DVD's then in my opinion
the "Who Killed Nancy" DVD is the one to buy without any shadow of a
Sid Vicious 30 year's dead and still the cash muggers rip
in to the corpse of Sid. To be honest I was looking forward
to watching this, but nice packaging don't make for a great
product inside.
The documentary big's up the ITN archive but it was very
thin on the ground and almost everything had been used
before in some shape or form. The 28 page booklet was a
dull read to say the least, and the picture format by Peter
(Kodick) Gravelle was just another cash generator to sell
another batch of Sid Icon images. Nice pictures but this
Punk won't be brought or sold!

The documentary itself offers the opinion of the Sid tale by
a host of stars from Dave Vanian & Rat Scabies of the
Damned to John Tiberi the Sex Pistols tour manager plus
many others recall what Sid was really like. But in most
case's their story seems blinkered. As for the 10 track
audio CD of the Vicious White Kids that also comes along
in this Vicious package at the end, if you were like me your
left thinking what was the point?

If your out there reading this and think you could offer us
another dull Sid Vicious cash-in (don't fucking bother). Me
as a fan would love to see the rare stuff, or at least good
quality video footage. There is some stuff out
there that ain't seen the light of day in many of years. So
dig that out put it to film and lets see something worth
parting with our well earned cash for. If you have in your
collection the Sex Pistols No1 - 'When the Air Turned Blue'
or even Sex Pistols No 2 - 'Never Mind the Sex Pistols,
Here's the Problems' or Sex Pistols No 3 with the Sid &
Nancy porn flick Videos, these are the Sid Vicious - "Sex
Pistols little gems I would really like to see, not another
recital of "Sid was this and the Pistols were that".

I would just like to see some original footage and make up
my own opinion. So buy this, watch it, play it and make up
your own mind. If you get to the end and
get that feeling you have been cheated, you could well
have been!
Joe Donnelly (Belfast) March 11th 2009
Sid (Nuneaton) March 2009