Penthouse Retrospective

by Deborah Spungen Originally Published: October, 1983

Nancy Spungen | BONUS Penthouse Legacy

“You told me never to trust a junkie.”

“I’m your daughter.”

“Even my daughter.”

“I’m not on junk. I swear. It’s just that… that nobody likes me. And I’m sleepin’ in a car. No place. No food. I need money, please. The money from my certificate. Send me some of it. There’s a thousand left, isn’t there? Please, Mom. Please.”

“Maybe you should think about coming home.”

“No! I won’t! I’m not ready!”

“But you’re not hacking it over there.”

“I’m okay. I just need money. I just need… I need spring. It’s so cold here.”

I told her I’d have to think about it.

I agonized over it. I felt more helpless than ever before. She was so vulnerable, so incapable of taking care of herself. And so far away.

As far as I know, she had no regular place to live until midsummer, when she phoned to inform me that she and Sid were moving in with his mother.

“Sid?” I asked, not placing the name. “From the Sex Pistols, Mom. Sid Vicious. He’s the biggest rock star in the world. And he’s all mine. Isn’t that great?”

“So you two are…?”

“We’ve been crashing at people’s flats for a couple of weeks but it’s no good.”

I heard a man’s voice in the background.

Then Nancy said, “Here, Mom. Sid wants to say something.”

There was a rustling and a man with a heavy English accent said, “Hello, Mum.”

“Hello, Sid,” I said.

“How are ya?” He had a flat, placid-sounding voice.

“Fine. How are you?”

“Fine. Your daughter looks so pretty. I bought her shoes.”

“That’s nice.”

“And fancy underwear.”

“That’s very nice, Sid,” I said. “Sid?”

“Yes, Mum?”

“Could I speak to Nancy again?”

“Yeah, sure. Okay. But could you send us money? For Nancy?”

“I’ll talk to her about that.”

“Oh, okay. Here’s Nancy. Nice talking to you, Mum.”

“Nice talking to you, Sid.”

“Bye, Mum.”

“Good-bye, Sid.”

Nancy got back on. “Isn’t he great?”

“He sounds very pleasant.”

Few can tell a tragic story as well as a mother, and the Nancy Spungen story qualifies as one of the most sad. Beware the dreams of the Punk Romantic..

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