obviously he was no poster child for clean living, but he was someone living life to the excesses and i could watch from afar. but it was the clothes he wore, and of course the padlock around his neck, ( to this day i wear a chain with my wife and kids initials, and a small padlock for sid). teamed with a pair of skinny black jeans, studded belt, biker boots and a white tux jacket, to me he was the epitomy of cool. i wanted to be him , dress like him, and sing like him. it's just a shame the music gave way to the sensationalism of his life. but he could sure bring in those column inches.
coming from an irish catholic background my parents weren't that keen on my love of the pistols, so anything i did was done undercover...from a girl at school and i piercing our lips and ears with safety pins and walking around the playground for 10 minutes til we were caught (!), to hiding my never mind the bollocks album under my bed, carefully taking it out when i went to sleep!
it's odd, but where i came from, and i think in most areas, you were either pistols or the clash. i now love the clash, and think they were far more stylish than the pistols, but back then they just didn't make the cut for me. now i look at pictures of joe strummer and paul simenon ( in particular) and see just how great they really were..they had the attitude and the intellect...
the other thing i loved about these bands was that they were really into reggae. not something you'd expect from a man who spends his life on stage screaming and swearing at people, but thats england for you. working class communities were very often very mixed ethnically and people got on. they had to in order to survive, and the enemy wasn't skin colour, it was government and fight them to survive.