Now that we've laid out the background, we continue from where we left off, beginning with the inevitable "what if" sort of question that many fans presumably ask themselves...
CHAIRMAN RALPH (CR): A tricky one, I suspect, but natural to ask: if Sid had somehow survived all his terrible drug and legal experiences, would you have still made your way to London? Or did you consider it all a closed book by then?
TEDDIE DAHLIN (TD): I had no idea what Sid had been doing during the autumn of 1977. Stories have later come to light that he was indeed trying to keep away from Nancy and get off the drugs, but I didn't know that at the time. I simply assumed he's gone straight back to Nancy and never offered me a second thought, apart from the two messages I got from him.
After Nancy died I hoped Sid would get cleared of the murder charge and come back to Europe. I was sure he hadn't killed her and the truth would come out somehow. I remember thinking that perhaps Nancy's death was what was needed for him to pull himself together. But by 1979 Sid was indeed a closed book to me.
CR: A lot of the opinion seems fairly dismissive, but how should Sid be remembered, in your opinion? What did he contribute, given that he was (as many freely admit) less than an even moderately competent musician)?
TD: Punk wasn't about being a competent musician. It was a movement. It wasn't just about the bands and the music. It was an attitude and Sid personified that attitude. It was a time of great unrest and discontent in the world. The Sex Pistols were a symbol of the working classes who felt themselves screwed by the system and they wanted to let the world know how they felt. I think the reason punk is having a renaissance, if you like, is that society is in much the same place again today. People are fed up with politicians making the wrong decisions and it has an impact on people's lives.
CR: A variation, but again, natural to ask...how do you view what seems to have become a tidal wave of Sex Pistols nostalgia -- is that a feeling you share, given your own encounter with the boys? Or should we simply enjoy the music, and just leave it there?
TD: Again I think just enjoying the music isn't what it was/is all about. The tidal wave of punk nostalgia is a reaction to the situation in the world. People want to express their discontent and punk music, attitude and fashion is a very good way of doing that in my opinion. It's about people doing something for themselves. You don't have to be a talented musician. It's about getting off your arse and doing something for yourself, whatever that is. People who enjoy punk are not sitting in a corner being quiet. It's not a movement of “grin and bear it”. It's people saying “fuck you !” Taking back the power, if you like. Refusing to conform. Roadent once said to me that “Punk is life's rich tapestry, held together by a safety pin.” Which I think says it all.
CR: Among the people that you know, what are the reactions to your book so far? How does your family view the public airing of your times with Sid? (Perhaps it'll bring Tore and Bollocks Chops out of the woodwork -- we shall have to see.)
TD: Tore Lande is a life long friend of mine and has always been there in some capacity. He is a great friend and we keep in touch. He owns Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) which is covered by MTV and is an annual event worldwide, so he's still doing what he does best. I haven't spoken to Bollocks-chops since 1977. We didn't actually bond and he wasn't there for most of the time the guys were in Norway. I keep in touch with a lot of people from back then. Facebook is a fantastic medium for doing that. I sometimes see Roadent when I'm in London. Of course, being Roadent he refuses to have Facebook. Cas Steel lives in Oslo and we have a pint and a natter from time to time.
People who know me are quite surprised by my book. I'm not a punk, although I do sympathize with the movement. The book is a very personal story, but having said that I have kept intimate details to myself and I don't think I cross a line. I haven't gotten any bad reactions at all from friends and family so far. But then they haven't been allowed to read it until now.
I got a comment once: “Wow, you survived having known Sid Vicious”. I have made it very clear that there is absolutely nothing of “survival” about it. He was a great guy who I am proud to have known. People can be so dismissive of others that are different to themselves. I'm not like that and if anyone reacts negatively then that's their problem. Hey I might have a bit of punk attitude in me after all :)
CR: And, lastly, milion-dollar question number two: is this a one-shot deal for you, or do you see yourself writing another book?
TD: I was interviewed last year by an online fanzine called Mudkiss.com. The journalist was Den Browne, who had let Sid and Nancy live with him and his girlfriend late 1977. So he knew them both. After the interview the owner of Mudkiss, Mel Smith, asked me if I could get them an interview with Cas Steel, who is a close mate of mine. Cas agreed and Mel asked whether I would like to do the interview. I'd never done anything remotely like that before, but it sounded fun and I wasn't nervous because although I'd never interviewed anyone before, Cas had given them all through his musical life. So I did that.
Then another author, Alex Ogg, had a 2-page spread about me and Sid in Vive le Rock magazine. Mel had just done an interview with John Robb for Mudkiss. He is not only front for the bands Goldeblade and The Membranes, but also author and music journalist with his own online magazine louderthanwar.com. And recently won an Independant Music Award (Indie Award). I noticed he had a large article in Vive le Rock too about his mate Iggy Pop. We got talking and suddenly Oslo was shattered by a bomb that blew up the government buildings followed by the mass murder of adults and kids at Utøya. John asked me to write about it for his site and I did “A Blog from Oslo”. After that I have continued to do articles and interviews for both sites and I enjoy it enormously. I wrote for Never Mind The Sex Pistols site recently and I am covering John Lydon's gig for them at this year's Rebellion Festival as well as being a guest there myself on the Spoken Word Stage being interviewed by John Robb.
So, to sum up; no this book isn't going to be a one-off. I'm working on an idea for another book that I hope to have out next year. I won't tell you what it's about but I can tell you that it is not about Sid as I think I've said all that I have to say about that. I hope people enjoy A Vicious Love Story and don't continue to buy into the caricature of popular myth, but catch a glimps of the real Sid behind the image. He was just a great guy called John.
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