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Words and Music: And I Don’t Want to Live This Life by Deborah Spungen

10055Goodreads Summary:

For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of control–who almost destroyed her parents’ marriage and the happiness of the rest of her family.

My review:

Sid and Nancy. Punk rock’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Their story was tragic, making headlines with all the things people want to read about. Sex…drugs..rock and roll, even murder.

I was never a fan of Nancy Spungen. To me she was the reason Sid died. She was after all, the person who supposedly introduced him to Heroin. It is probably an unfair judgement from me, I am sure, after being raised by a drug addict, and being the time that Sid was at his height of fame, he would have found it on his own, still I blame.

And I Don’t Want to Live This Life is the story of Nancy. It was written by her mother and begins with her birth. The book is an emotional roller coaster of a mother who can neither understand or help her child. Little was known about mental illness then, especially in a child. Doctor’s blamed the parents. As the book moves forward and Nancy ages, we watch as she destroys her life and everything around it, turning to drugs and sex to escape the pain she must have felt. If you didn’t know the ending to the story, you would kind of guess how it all ended, there seemed no other way with Nancy’s life.

As a Sex Pistol’s fan, it was hard for me to be fair as I read ( Yes, I am some what ashamed of that statement) but I did gain much needed insight from the book. I believe that Nancy loved Sid, in the only way she could, destructively, and after reading the letters that Sid wrote to her mother after her death, I know that Sid loved Nancy…

“Nancy
You were my little baby girl
And I shared all your fears.
Such joy to hold you in my arms
And kiss away your tears.
But now you’re gone there’s only pain
And nothing I can do.
And I don’t want to live this life
If I can’t live for you.
To my beautiful baby girl.
Our love will never die.”

Did Sid kill Nancy in The Chelsea? Or was it a drug deal gone bad?  These are answers we will never know, but the book gives a pretty good case on what her mother believes happened in the hotel room. This book is a must read if you want a distant look into the Punk Rock scene, ( or have an interest in mental illness), it is the mainstay of the writing, and the writing is both insightful and heartbreaking no matter where you stand on the subject.

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About Teri (712 Articles)
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day. If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc, I'm an avid vinyl lover and I have the receipts to prove it.