#628: 1978, Sid Vicious, My Way

by Ray_North on February 23, 2013

As I railed against the awfulness of One Direction’s cover of One Way or Another/Teenage Kicks, someone tried to remind me that, actually it wasn’t for me, it was for teenagers, and that I was too old to appreciate it.

Hmm.

In another time in another place, I am 16 years old in Tiffany’s Wine Bar in Llandudno – it is the the place to be and I am happy being there, though perhaps not particularly happy with the actual experience of being there – we are crammed in like sardines, I am drinking lager, which I will never get a taste for, and I am scared stiff that at any minute the police will raid the pub and arrest all of us who are drinking illegally.

It is Llandudno’s busiest bar though, and that is partly because it has a big screen, though the only videos they seem to play (or that I remember them playing) are (oddly) Erasure, PiL and that duet by Pete Gabriel and Kate Bush.

Then this comes on – Sid Vicious’ cover of My Way. I’d never heard it before, even though it had been released about eight years earlier, nor had I seen the video. Sid was a ghoulish cartoon image from my childhood. He had scared me as an eight year old scowling from my sister Renee’s posters, and there he was scaring me now. There was no attempt to turn an old favourite song into something benign and comfortable with this cover – this was Sid, clearly off his tits, shouting out random lyrics over a suped-up guitar fuelled version of the Sinatra original. I was terrified of this song. Then Sid pulled out a gun and shot the crowd – fuck me, wasn’t that what he had done to his girlfriend?

This was a cover that turned the original into a new and rather disturbing experience, which is about the only it has in common with One Direction’s bastardisation of the Undertones and Blondie.

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