Posted by:on September 27th, 1998
Plexus Publishing, London
Copyright Date: 1997
Review Date: 1998
When I first picked up this book I thought it said “Sid Vicious, Rock N Roll Scar.” If only my disappointmnent was limited to misreading the title. I’m not sure who Malcom Butt is, and this book doesn’t bother explain who he is or why he wrote Rock and Roll Star. It’s not very long and it doesn’t really offer any new insights, staggering or otherwise. I can’t determine if he actually interviewed anyone since most of his quotes seemed to be from other sources. My guess is that someone just wanted to make a couple of bucks. Thankfully, Tower Records has a 14 day return policy on books.
The title comes from Sid’s supposed protestations when picked up for the murder of that annoying bitch Nancy. “You can’t arrest me, I’m a rock and roll star!.” The credibility of that quote is about as dubious as the rest of this book. Witness the witty captions that are tacked on to the photos like something you’d expect from the Reader’s Digest. I have provided a couple of stunners here in audio format, read by a computer synthesized voice that emotes more heavily than most passages in this book. “While he was there his life changed in many ways. He had come out of his shell somewhat, he had developed a passion for David Bowie and he had discovered the joys of clothing and fashion.” OK Computer.
Mr Butt spends a couple of pages describing pre-punk sid, which unanimously seems to be his most interesting and most human period. There are some pretty funny photos of him as a kid, which has prompted a new feature at Annoying Co. entitled “Random Funny Moments in the Life of John Simon Ritchie.” Mr Butt (of my jokes) wasn’t too intent on tracking down too many details, instead relying on rumors or old quotes, insisting that Jones and Cook were the first members to quit the band, which seems odd since they were the ones carrying on with Malcom afterwards. There are some interesting bits scattered throughout. It was written (or compiled?) after the reuinion tour shortly before Sid’s mum died. It mentions the settlement amounts from Rotten’s lawsuit as well as yearly royalties that were still pouring in. The record company manuverings and bail antics are also briefly mentioned, along with a brief blurb about the Sid and Nancy movie.
I’m sure there are better books out there if you’re really interested learning about Sid the boy versus Sid the carton character. Pass on this one, or steal it. Nobody deserves to profit from this opportunistic piece of fluff. Just one more throw-away in a long line of product designed to flog a dead horse.
Rating: 2 out of 5 dead junkies.
144 pages perfect bound. $15.95
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