Saturday, August 11, 2007

Don't walk in silence

They say you don't really miss people till they're gone. Tony Wilson, founder of Factory Records, self proclaimed "Mr. Manchester", and a unique individual, has died of a heart attack aged 57. I've been in the same room as him, though never personally met him. A few years ago Ra Page was going to set up an online music/poetry download store with him and I contributed to the idea, though it never came off. He's played - brilliantly - by Steve Coogan in the only true film about Manchester in the late 20th century; 24 Hour Party People; which was essentially Wilson's life story. When he compered this year's Big Chip Awards, on stage walking with a stick after his cancer, the very fact that he was there at all brought the biggest cheer of the night. Manchester was a grim place when he emerged in the late seventies, and he did so much to make it lighter. Today, its a little grimmer again.

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