For Halloween this year, Joe and I decided to dress up as Sid and Nancy — the tragic love story of the late ’70s punk rock scene. I love a good Halloween costume and especially one that’s easy to throw together.
As my mom curled my hair into perfect curly-cues that I would later tease into a beehive of a mess, I explained how Sid was arrested for killing Nancy in Room 100 of the infamous Chelsea Hotel. The cause of death was a stab wound. Sid then died of a heroin overdose shortly after, while out on bail, and the case never made it to trial.
“Who are Sid and Nancy? Why do you want to be these horrible people? Can’t we just make you Goldilocks?” my mom asked as she curled.
For those, like my mom, who don’t know who Sid and Nancy were, Sid Vicious was a member of the 1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols and Nancy Spungen was his girlfriend and manager. The press dubbed her “Nauseating Nancy” because she was loud and obnoxious.
One main reason for choosing Nancy was because I have to be someone blonde each Halloween. I really can’t stand wearing a wig. I’ve been Courtney Love, Baby Spice, Cher from “Clueless,” etc. Last year, I tried to be Carrie Bradshaw, but because I opted to buy the world’s cheapest pink top and tutu on Amazon, they came seven sizes too small and I just ended up looking like a chubby ballerina — a major Halloween fail. This happened again this year with a leopard skirt I bought for Nancy. For $5.99 I thought, “Why not?” It’s now been converted into a dog shirt that fits my 28-pound cocker spaniel, Clementine, perfectly. Clementine was also Nancy for Halloween this year.
Dressing as Nancy was pretty easy for me. My wardrobe consists of mostly black. I vamped it up a bit, brought my 2015 choker out of retirement, threw on a pair of combat boots, added A LOT of eye makeup, curled and teased my hair and voila — Nancy Spungen.
For Joe, he picked up a tight pair of jeans at Good Will, matched with a studded belt, faux leather jacket, Sex Pistols shirt (to make it obvious), and some very distressed John Varvatos Converse. (John Varvatos currently occupies the former CBGB’s space on the Bowery, that was once a staple in the 1970s NYC punk scene).
Once dressed in full garb, we went outside to take photos. Downtown Manhattan probably would have made a better backdrop, but we could pretend it was when Sid and Nancy visited Hampton Bays.
We headed to the Silver Lining Diner in Southampton, because I assumed that Sid and Nancy spent a good amount of time in diners. I ordered an old fashioned because that’s what I thought Nancy might drink. I also felt a cold coming on and figured whiskey would be the sensible choice. (Really, staying home would have probably been the sensible choice, but I put a lot of thought into this costume and I wasn’t waiting until next year.)
We then headed to Union Cantina for its Day of the Dead Halloween bash. There was live music by Souliztik, tequila tasting, and costume prizes. Sid and Nancy had a fantastic time. The costumes were a hit.
Before dressing up, I studied Sid and Nancy as if I were an actor studying for a role. I watched the 1980s film “Sid and Nancy,” watched old interviews, and read articles. Nancy had a mix of a Philadelphian and a British accent. It’s not easy, but I think mastered it. I really got into character (not so much that I spit on anyone, but still).
On the Uber home, I didn’t break character. I played Sex Pistols on my phone as a soundtrack. I proceeded to berate Sid, in true Nancy fashion. Joe did his best British accent to play along. “Piss off!” he repeated as his phrase of the evening. We were just joking, but now that I think about it, the Uber driver, like my mom, may not have understood the reference. Nancy wouldn’t have cared, but this may have had a negative effect on Jessica’s real-life Uber rating.