Needless to say, the Sex Pistol's tour was trouble from the get-go. It was plagued by constant in-fighting amongst the band members, management and the rowdy and hostile crowds.
Their manager, Malcolm McLaren, admitted that he purposely booked the deep South redneck bars to create hostile situations for the shows.
To make things worse, band member and bassist, Sid Viscious , was a heroin addict and constantly on the look for drugs.
Lead singer - Johnny Rotten, was sick with the flu. Rotten felt increasingly isolated and distanced from other band members, Cook and Jones, and totally disgusted by Sid Vicious' drug induced behavior.
While in Los Angeles, Johnny Rotten stayed at the Sunset Hyatt/Riot (with his mum). It was reported that Rotten rarely left the room.
The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco is often referred to as the Winterland Arena or simply - Winterland. It was originally built in 1928 as an ice skating rink.
Photo of the Winterland as an ice rink
Early photo of the exterior of the Winterland
The Winterland was located at the corner of Post Street and Steiner Street. It was converted to a music venue in 1971 by legendary rock promoter Bill Graham. Graham turned the old rink into a 5,400 seat music venue.A great number of the best-known rock acts from the 1960s and 1970s played Winterland. Some of the bands who played there include: The Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Rush, Genesis, Jefferson Airplane, and Elvis Costello, the Band and the Greatful Dead.
The Sex Pistols played Winterland on January 14, 1978. The show was way over-sold.
The San Francisco punk bands, the Avengers and the Nuns opened for the Sex Pistols that night.
The former Fab Mab as it looks today
On January 14th 1978, Jane and Belinda joined several other Hollywood scensters for a road trip to see the Sex Pistols play in San Francisco!
Shannon, Belinda, Margo, Jane, Joanie and Alice all stayed in one room at the Sam Wong Hotel located at 615 Broadway- (nearby the Mab).
More than 7,000 were jammed into the Winterland to see the Sex Pistols. Needless to say the crowd was violent and unruly. They threw whatever things on stage and were spitting all over. Things quickly got out of hand. By now, Sid Vicisious was deep into his heroin habit. He was hostile with the audience, and constantly provoked them. Several fights broke out. Several in the audience lashed out at Sid on stage. No fun at all.
During the show, Rotten exclaimed This is No Fun, at all. Making clear his personal feelings about the gig, the band, and the audience.This turned out to be the Sex Pistols last show. On January 17, 1978, Rotten announced his departure from the band.
After the performance Rotten asked the audience, Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good Night.
He then threw down his microphone and walking off stage.
in San Francisco for the Sex Pistol's show
On October 12, 1978, Sid Vicisous awoke from a drugged stupor to find his girl friend Nancy Spungen dead on the bathroom floor of their room (room 100) in the Hotel Chelsea in New York City. She had suffered a single stab wound to her abdomen and apparently bled to death. Sid was indicted November 22, 1978 arrested and charged with her murder although he said he had no memory of the event.
Sid Vicious died of a drug overdose February 2, 1979, at the New York Chelsea Hotel.