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“I'm a minor player in my own life story.”
August 10, 2007 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Anthony H. Wilson: 20th February 1950 - 10th August 2007
posted by Webbster (74 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
And with that, the party has finally ended.

RIP.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh man, that sucks. Time was, in the '80s of course, I bought anything on the Factory label.

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posted by NoMich at 1:49 PM on August 10, 2007


Rest in peace, Tony. If 24 Hour Party People was even remotely true he lived a hell of a lot more interesting and driven life than most of us could muster.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:52 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by AwkwardPause at 1:53 PM on August 10, 2007


Blue Friday.
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Youtube: Tony Wilson, Punk, Factory Records, Joy Division
posted by NoMich at 1:54 PM on August 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by mzanatta at 1:59 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by greycap at 2:01 PM on August 10, 2007


Holy shit, that's terrible. Pete Waterman lives and Tony Wilson dies. I demand a stewards enquiry.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:06 PM on August 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'll be watching 24 Hours Party People and Shadowplayers tonight. I attempted to do my own tribute, but I worry I gushed too much.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 2:06 PM on August 10, 2007


Crap. Perfect first comment, AZ.

.

and also

!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:09 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by Sailormom at 2:11 PM on August 10, 2007


A lot of people know that Tony Wilson was an formidable presence and man about town, but very few people realize that he was also one of the better breakdancers in London during a short period in the 1980s. That guy would spin on his head like he was a gyroscope, land in a full split, and then kick himself up into a standing position while doing the robot. Let's see Pete Waterman try something like that. He just couldn't pull it off. It would be impossible.
posted by Slap Factory at 2:11 PM on August 10, 2007


Tony Wilson's commentary track on 24 Hour Party People is possibly the most intelligent on any disc, anywhere. I never got the chance to meet Tony when I was in England, but I was constantly informed by others of the tremendous and continuing influence he had on rock music and Mancs everywhere. He will be missed, so it goes.
posted by parmanparman at 2:12 PM on August 10, 2007


If you plan on watching 24 Hour Party People again in remembrance then I'd suggest watching it with the Tony Wilson commentary track on. His thoughts on the film are (IMO) just as entertaining as the movie itself and will definitely give you a fuller feeling for the essence of Mr. Wilson.

My favorite moment in said commentary: how riled up he gets about the Factory office set in the film because they have gold records on the wall. "We would never do that! That's so London!" (paraphrasing)

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posted by General Zubon at 2:19 PM on August 10, 2007


That’s all over. You’ll never see the hacienda. It doesn’t exist.
posted by Abiezer at 2:39 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by gwildar at 2:49 PM on August 10, 2007


His contribution to the cultural life of Britain cannot be underestimated.
posted by essexjan at 3:23 PM on August 10, 2007


This is a joke thread, right?
posted by MrMustard at 3:27 PM on August 10, 2007


Wow, I had no idea he even had cancer.
posted by fire&wings at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2007


A brilliant Tony Wilson thread from 2002.

RIP, too fucking young.
posted by holgate at 3:28 PM on August 10, 2007


A real visionary. He and John Peel were a huge influence on the British music scene, and both are sorely missed.
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posted by punilux at 3:34 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by amberglow at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by retronic at 3:53 PM on August 10, 2007


so it goes
posted by es_de_bah at 3:56 PM on August 10, 2007


No fucking way. He should have lived on as an old man full of marvelous lies. Fuck.
posted by maudlin at 3:58 PM on August 10, 2007


We seem to be running out of people like Wilson, who are more interested in making things happen than being the star, although he was a kind of star, himself.

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posted by Grangousier at 4:01 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by ZachsMind at 4:05 PM on August 10, 2007


Shit. Here's an interview with Pitchfork from June 2007, when he was over here for the In the City of New York conference.

Tony Wilson: I do feel inside myself that [the chemotherapy] worked and that I'm going to be all right. In fact, I've been working quite hard ever since [I got out of the hospital], so I'm feeling good. I'm feeling nearly back to normal.
posted by maudlin at 4:06 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by basicchannel at 4:10 PM on August 10, 2007


My goodness. Um.


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posted by jokeefe at 4:11 PM on August 10, 2007


Damn. So this means that we have to look forward to a whole waves of deaths of the (for lack of a better word) heroes of our generation? Now I know how the boomers feel, watching their peers die one by one...
posted by jokeefe at 4:13 PM on August 10, 2007


Damn. Too young, too soon.
posted by scody at 4:31 PM on August 10, 2007


No!!!

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posted by mykescipark at 4:36 PM on August 10, 2007


I'd been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand...

Thanks for Factory records. Good Bye.


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posted by Skygazer at 4:59 PM on August 10, 2007


I've NOT I'd.
posted by Skygazer at 5:04 PM on August 10, 2007


Goddamn. God and Tony Wilson. Is Heaven big enough for the both of them?!

RIP.
posted by brautigan at 5:39 PM on August 10, 2007


Goddamn. God and Tony Wilson. Is Heaven big enough for the both of them?!

Doubt it.

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posted by thivaia at 6:21 PM on August 10, 2007


I'll be watching 24 Hours Party People and Shadowplayers tonight. I attempted to do my own tribute, but I worry I gushed too much.

I recommend Control, also. Obviously mostly about Ian Curtis, but the Tony Wilson character has a reasonably large part (and Tony himself co-produced the film).

RIP. (Sticks on Happy Mondays' 24 Hour Party People).
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:31 PM on August 10, 2007


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posted by gcbv at 7:31 PM on August 10, 2007


A life well lived: FAC452.
posted by Kinbote at 7:51 PM on August 10, 2007


Why did Tony Wilson need to rely on the NHS to pay for his drugs? Wasn't he rich?
posted by zeoslap at 8:57 PM on August 10, 2007


Why did Tony Wilson need to rely on the NHS to pay for his drugs? Wasn't he rich?

No, in fact, he wasn't rich at all, which of course seems surprising considering his extraordinary influence on popular culture. Factory Records was (in)famous for never being a money-making operation, the Hacienda eventually went bankrupt, etc. Shaun Ryder (of Happy Mondays) and others had to raise the funds for him. (Fookin' least they could do...)
posted by scody at 9:38 PM on August 10, 2007


What a pigfuck of a way to start a Friday night.

I am now playing Joy Division way too fucking loud.
posted by milquetoast at 9:51 PM on August 10, 2007


Tony Wilson, big god: a nice blog entry from Momus.
posted by General Zubon at 10:15 PM on August 10, 2007


I always liked how proud a Northerner he was. How he made a such a stance to keep Factory Records in Manchester.
posted by MrMerlot at 10:15 PM on August 10, 2007


It's a shame the recent Hacienda trainers were not used to raise money for him. He could have used the money to fund his cancer treatment. Apparently the Mondays and other bands had been funding him.
posted by MrMerlot at 10:19 PM on August 10, 2007


The man was a joy and now the joy is gone and the waiting begins. God bless you, Tony.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:56 PM on August 10, 2007


Over a year ago, I started listening to Substance by New Order in the car. Not tiring of it in the first month, I decided to see if I could go a year listening to that single album as a test of rock endurance. The year flew by with ease. Today I declared Peter Hook the victor and popped in something else, and Tony Wilson up and dies. So it goes.
posted by bunnytricks at 1:51 AM on August 11, 2007


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Manchester won't quite be the same without him. I always sort of imagined that Tony would somehow manage to out wit the big C.
posted by davehat at 4:48 AM on August 11, 2007


He joins fellow founders of Factory Records Alan Erasmus, Martin Hannet and Rob Gretton in the grave. All four of them died early.
posted by MrMerlot at 4:54 AM on August 11, 2007


For a long time, Tony Wilson really got up my nose. Liverpool and Manchester are rival cities, and when Tony was a cub presenter on Granada Reports, he'd take every opportunity he could to make sly digs at his cultural superiors, thirty miles down the East Lancashire Road. Eventually though, he grew out of it, and we forgave him.

By the time he was presenting So It Goes, we still regarded him as a clot, but a loveable one. Tony did more to create Manchester's reputation than any other single person I can think of -- though, of course, the man was actually originally from Salford, and Salford people generally hate to be thought of as Mancunians.

Nathan McGough's a Liverpudlian though. I can remember regularly seeing him coming out of his dad's house on Rodney Street and skateboarding down Bold Street like it was yesterday. He must have been 15 or so at the time. I could never figure out how he went from being skateboarding teenager to music magnate overnight, but I assumed Tony had something to do with it.

RIP, you Mancunian cunt.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:55 AM on August 11, 2007


it's too early for word recognition, and i thought for a moment that this was about robert anton wilson. i thought to myself, with little surprise, 'oh. so he's died twice this year.'
posted by maus at 7:42 AM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Um - are we too sad to say:

"Miguel!!!!"

?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:41 AM on August 11, 2007


Lefsetz Remembers Tony Wilson
posted by General Zubon at 9:44 AM on August 11, 2007


I normally don't go for the RIP threads - but everybody has one that hits home and this is a real fucking shame.
posted by niceness at 11:32 AM on August 11, 2007


He still should have signed the Smiths.

RIP, Tony... and thanks.
posted by psmealey at 11:52 AM on August 11, 2007


Ach, I wonder if this is why the hipsters at last night's show kept playing Joy Division as filler music (it was a jazz/drone show, and it was a little incongruous). On the other hand, I doubt they knew who he was (I AM OLD MAN GRUMP).

Total shame.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 PM on August 11, 2007


OMFG
posted by joeclark at 12:22 PM on August 11, 2007


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posted by shoepal at 2:10 PM on August 11, 2007


rip
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:10 PM on August 11, 2007


Watching that video just now, I cannot help but wonder if Wilson's legacy would have been enhanced if, in the process of discovering the Happy Mondays, he undiscovered the abysmal Shaun Ryder.
posted by psmealey at 4:15 PM on August 11, 2007


He was right about Mick Hucknall.

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posted by flashboy at 4:46 PM on August 11, 2007


Shaun Ryder is a genius. And Tony knew it.
posted by brautigan at 6:36 PM on August 11, 2007


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posted by ob at 7:00 PM on August 11, 2007


24 Hour Party People is on Showcase tonight. Tony, thanks for all the good times. You will be missed.

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posted by purephase at 7:30 PM on August 11, 2007


This news upset me far more than I would have expected.

Wilson was a total opportunist and had success entirely based on luck:

the best band on Factory were Durruti Column who sold a good 12 copies of every album - New Order (monstrous piss-heads all) turned into a huge globe eating engine of cash

New Order (monstrous piss-heads all) were used ruthlessly to finance the single worst live music venue in north-west England (I remember how awed we were when the International opened in the mid-eighties and we got to see smaller scale bands in a place that had acoustics that actually let us hear the music). Then it turned into the shrine of Madchester and all of of sudden a space designed to look like a parking lot filled with with people who just wanted a place filled with bass-lines.

All through this TW ran on as though it were all planned.

The extraordinarily weird idea that Liverpool and Manchester were so close geographically that they should share an evening news program let him play mind games against The One True Enemy even in his day job.

I think I met him once at the Hacienda. Or I may just have had a long chat with his picture. Hard to say really. and in a way it doesn't matter.

He was a Grade A asshole. I will miss him a lot and I am hugely sad he died so young.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:45 PM on August 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


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posted by grubby at 3:03 AM on August 12, 2007


"Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches"
posted by Burhanistan at 11:25 AM on August 12, 2007


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posted by Remy at 12:17 PM on August 12, 2007


Safe journey, mate.
posted by blag at 2:58 PM on August 12, 2007


I was shocked that at a recent MeFi meetup a huge swathe of the attendees had no idea who The Happy Mondays were. Influential doesn't even cut it.

So,

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to you Anthony Wilson, and even though you were a Mancunian Twat, you'll be sorely missed.
posted by seanyboy at 3:59 PM on August 12, 2007


From the Momus link:
Sure, Blue Monday's lozenge-cut sleeve cost so much to print that the label actually lost more money the more copies they printed. But even that isn't bad business. It's an investment in mystique, and a bold statement that lavish elegance counts more than profit. "Some make money, others make history," is how Tony put it.
an investment in mystique

Read that again - it's how Wilson and Bill Drummond and every other genuinely good record label boss works.


flashboy - being right about Mick H is my personal definition of being human
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:19 PM on August 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is the first time that I've discovered the death of a hero on MeFi.

A great man - amazing how he combined being a local news reporter with being such a prime mover. Open to abuse in some ways, but the North West was very lucky to have someone with the enthusiasm and integrity to carry it off.
posted by Shinkicker at 4:24 PM on August 14, 2007


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