In a recently unearthed interview, Misfits bassist Jerry Only has reflected on the night Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious died.

Only and Vicious were introduced to each other at a part in Manhattan on February 1st. That day, Sid Vicious had been bailed out of Riker’s Island after allegedly murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen — who was found stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel in October 1978.

Vicious was in town to launch his fledgling career as a solo artist, a year on from Sex Pistols splitting after an infamous gig at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

“I was one of the first people at the party, so I ended up making bolognese sauce with his mom, Anne Beverly,” explains Only. “Then a bunch of his buddies rolled in and all they did was get high.”

Only wasn’t involved in the drug scene. “When you went into New York, everybody was shootin’ dope,” he explained. “It was a heavy narcotic scene. I wasn’t about that. That’s why we came up with the horror thing. We loved horror films, sci-fi, B-movies. We weren’t drug-shootin’ beatnik Bowery Boys.”

The bassist recalled witnessing Sid fall in and out of consciousness after taking heroin. “I had to smack Sid round a coupla times,” he explained. “I said, ‘This is ridiculous’ and his mom said, ‘Well, it happens all the time.’ I said, ‘It shouldn’t happen at all!’ I got outta there and left them to it.”

The following day, Jerry was driving from New Jersey to Connecticut when he heard news that Sid had died at the Manhattan party.

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“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was the only person in New York who had a car – my mom’s old brown station wagon – and I was like the undertaker for the kid. I drove his mom to the coroner, took her to the cemetery where Nancy was, helped her put Sid’s ashes on her grave.”

Only revealed that he doesn’t believe the theory that Vicious committed suicide, emphasising that the batch of heroin going around that evening was particularly strong.

“At first people thought he’d killed himself, but the drugs were just too pure – the coroner had never seen anything like it,” says Jerry now. “It was such a waste – he had all the potential in the world. Sid was outgrowing the Sex Pistols… he had just done My Way – he coulda been the new Frank Sinatra if he’d just stayed alive.”

If you or somebody you care for needs help or information about depression, suicide, anxiety, or mental health issues, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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