The last time I was in a court, I was with Nancy and we were charged with illegal drug possession. Sounds like news, doesn’t it? Well, not really. The two of us had been in possession of illegal drugs since we were in our teens.
I mean, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, illegal drugs…I’ve done most of it. Back in England, our band got sixteen of nineteen tour dates cancelled because we were ‘peddlers of filth’ and whatever else the BBC wanted to call us. We’ve been on tour secretly and we’ve sworn on live TV. I personally have bottled people, punched them, played live and on drugs, and I’ve hit a fan on the head with my bass. But I’ve never done murder before.
“How do you plead?”
“If you wanted to hear the statement again,” drawled the judge, “May I request you to ask me to repeat it.”
“Could you repeat your statement sir.”
“Your Honour.” corrects the judge. “I said, “You have been charged with murder. How do you plead?” He leans forward over the box and enunciates slowly: “Guilty….or not guilty?”
“I don’t know, what do I say?” I ask my lawyer quietly.
The clean-cut lawyer from Virgin Records looks at me calmly. He says he’s on my side, but I can see the glint of suspicion in his eye. “If you did it, Sid,” he says tiredly, “then say ‘guilty’.”
If I did, would I have to face the electric chair? “Yeah, but I don’t actually know if I did.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I don’t actually remember. I could’ve done it, but I’ve no way of telling. I don’t remember what happened that night. I only remember waking up.”
“Well who else could have done it?”
I think very carefully. There are a number of people – dealers mostly. I’m not thinking of anyone in particular. But what if I said it might have been a dealer? What are the laws here for illegal drug possession?
Thank God I injected before I came here. I’m on my way down but I don’t think I could’ve taken this on a low.
“Inconclusive evidence,” says the lawyer to the rest of the court, making my decision for me. “He pleads not guilty.”
I have no idea how this court stuff works. Usually if I have a problem with someone a fight sorts it out. But the judge agrees, and they set a date for the trial – that is, in five months’ time. Bail’s set at $50, 000.
I leave the court on parole, because I can’t stand prison, and I tell them so. I’ll let the lawyers sort themselves out.
For once there’s no way I’m going to bail myself out of this.