*Not Just Manchester’s Loss
Founder of Factory Records and The Hacienda Club in Manchester, Anthony H Wilson lost his fight with cancer last Friday, 10th August.
Born at Hope Hospital, Salford, he went to De La Salle Grammar School, Salford, and studied English at Cambridge before beginning his TV career as a trainee with ITN in 1971. He was a reporter and presenter on Granada Reports and also worked on Granada’s flagship current affairs programme World In Action. But it was presenting the legendary So It Goes, which reflected the true state of music at the time by featuring artists such as The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello and The Jam, that was to bring most attention. In the Eighties and Nineties his late night arts show “The Other Side of Midnight” continued the tradition by debuting The Stone Roses, 808 State and The Happy Mondays. Besides presenting, he helped to organise the annual In The City festival in Manchester which attracts musicians and critics from all over the world.
He was also a supporter of the National Secular Society and the British Humanist Association.
There is so much one could say about Tony Wilson but what made him stand out as a true modern day icon worthy of emulation for me was his total self belief and devotion to art in all it’s forms plus his finely tuned bullshit detection that refused to coerce with the non-evolutionary rancid mire that is mainstream culture.
I’ll leave the final relevant quote to Wilson himself:
“When they said I would have to pay £3,500 for the drugs each month, I thought where am I going to find the money? I’m the one person in this industry who famously has never made any money. I used to say some people make money and some make history – which is very funny until you find you can’t afford to keep yourself alive. I’ve never paid for private healthcare because I’m a socialist. Now I find you can get tummy tucks and cosmetic surgery on the NHS but not the drugs I need to stay alive. It is a scandal.” BBC source: Friends fund Wilson’s cancer drug
• Tributes paid to ‘Mr Manchester’ (BBC)
• Wilson: my NHS love letter (BBC)
• Cerysmatic Factory: Unofficial blog, history and archive about Factory Records plus many links to tributes, has much more to read including several of which I’ve highlighted below.
• So It Goes
• The Other Side Of Midnight
• Big Issue Interview (2002)
• NME Interview (1986)
A true Working Class Hero.