Our own Morgan Meis in The Smart Set:
One day this month, 30 years ago, John Simon Ritchie, otherwise known as Sid Vicious, woke up dead. He had spent the previous evening shooting heroin in celebration of his release from Riker's Island after an assault charge. Sometime during the night, his heart stopped. He was 21 years old.
No one can say exactly when Punk Rock was born and exactly when it died. Still, the death of Sid is as good an endpoint as any. Sid Vicious was punk. He couldn't play the bass much and could barely hold a tune. He was a drunken dope fiend given to fits of violence who, most likely, killed his girlfriend — the now-famous Nancy — with a stab to the gut. In short, unbeatable credentials.
Sid's swan song, his final fuck you to the world the rest of us live in, was his cover of Frank Sinatra's classic “My Way.” Sid starts the song with a deep-voiced, cracking, mocking parody of Sinatra. After the first stanza, the music kicks in and Sid switches to the whiny snarl that was his signature.
Sinatra's original song (written by Paul Anka as Frank's final apologia after a rough and tumble career) had something of a punk rock spirit itself. It's the song of a tough guy who, at the end of it all, is rather proud of himself for sticking to his guns. And he knows that you’re proud of him, too.
Sid's version of the song is, shall we say, more troubling.