Saturday, August 11, 2007

Remembering: Tony Wilson, 1950 - 2007

"What do you do?"
"Well... I'm Tony Wilson."
--from 24 Hour Party People (2002)

It saddens me very much to say that the music industry has lost a very key figure, and a true original. Anthony "Tony" Wilson, founder of the groundbreaking Factory Records and the notorious Hacienda Club, died in Manchester of cancer on August 10th. He was 57.
Tony Wilson was also the host of such British shows including So It Goes (shown left), After Dark, and MTV Europe's Remote Control. He was portrayed by friend Steve Coogan in 24 Hour Party People, in which he even played a tiny role as a television director. He also played himself in Coogan's other film, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story.
Wilson helped to sculpt and popularize images of Manchester, rave culture, and several bands, including Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays (who actually helped fund Wilson's cancer treatments), Durutti Column, and A Certain Ratio... bands that helped to be the refuge and inspiration for several confused and bored kids all over the world, for which I definitely know I'm grateful.
Wilson was a true original, and will be missed...
But the saddest part is that this death is found on few American headlines: the only ones I've found were from The Onion's A.V. Club and Pitchfork, I guess that a man who helped to take away the money-grubbing aspect of music just isn't as important as Emma Bunton's fucking baby being born.

24 Hour Party People might've advertized him as a twat... but I'll never forget you, you loveable twat.


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