Saturday, August 11, 2007


You know, someone once said to me "I'd love to say that Tony Wilson was a complete wanker, but he re-mortgaged his house to help finance Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, so I can't".

As Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me embed YouTube clips at the moment (grrrr), you'll have to go here to see what I'm talking about. I'll try to re-publish later ...

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Ah, how sad. I saw 24 hour Party People when living in Spain, I thought it was probably quite fair and balanced in that it made him appear like a pretentious twat and yet inspiring and loveable at the same time. Also made me homesick for England as it was so very, very English, and proud of our music too of course...
Annie, I should imagine the film was a pretty good representation of him, judging by what other people who've worked with him have said. There were quite a lot of real "characters" around music and the media in the '70's. Who do we have now? Simon bloody Cowell. Oh well ...
He was in the right place at the right time, but it wouldn't have happened without him.
bastard never lent me any cash.
I still say he's a wanker.
Thanks for this Betty
We'd got used to seeing the arrogant sod round Manchester. I really liked him - though thousands didn't
I passed radio Manchester building today and his picture's still there.

I'll miss him.
Garfer ... and there are probably a lot of people who were in the right place at the right time, but didn't do anything about it.

First Nations - all power to the wankers, that's what I say! Mind you, he didn't lend me any money either, the bastard.
Kaz - we were watching a documentary in which the Manchester music scene was mentioned recently and I said "shock horror - Tony Wilson hasn't appeared as a talking head saying he was in there at the beginning!" It's something I'll have to get used to, unfortunately.
Wilson WAS and utter wanker - it just so happened he also did some great things.
Weird, I know. A truly rare individual. Like my wife's great grandfather. A drunk, bare knuckle fighter who once threw a man off a 30ft cliff for whistling at his wife. He founded a dock union in Cumbria, fought for the rights of the oppressed workers and helped set up soup kitchens. His own wife described him as "a good bad man". That kinda fits Wilson.
No, I have no idea who he was.
Is this a record?
Reg - there seem to be people who can be thoroughly unpleasant on one level to people who are close to them but balance it out by being great in other ways. I should imagine that many of the "great" figures in history were complete and utter cunts.

Vicus - apparently somebody on one of the West Ham United forums said "Tony Wilson? He was a terrible businessman, so he gets my respect, although I don't know who the fuck he was".
Ah. Another one gone. Not a murmur over here of course.
Thanks for the clip. The 'cultural studies in the corridor' scene from 24 Hour Party People still cracks me up. Why do I think it might have been written by Henry Normal? Better look it up.
Arabella - the writing is credited to Frank Cottrell Boyce of Brookside "fame". Well, according to Wikipedia. Tony Wilson had to apologise to Mick Hucknall after the film for calling him "a ginger". Nuff said. There's more to come! A film about Joy Division directed by Anton Corbijn is on its way. I shouldn't imagine there will be many laughs in that one though.
'Tony Wilson had to apologise to Mick Hucknall after the film for calling him "a ginger"'

Whereas he should have called him 'Charlie Drake in an orange wig'.

Apparently he copped off with Martine McCutcheon once, and she threw up in his hair.

That's Mick Hucknall.

Not Tony Wilson.

Or Charlie Drake.
Tim - I seem to remember that Mick Hucknall is part of an organisation that stands up for the rights of persecuted redheads. I'm not sure if he's also chairman for The Society For People Who Have A Sense Of Humour Bypass.
Who was he? The best bloody goalkeeper Arsenal ever had, that's who he was. Sorely missed.
Good piece by photographer Kevin Cummins in yesterday's Observer in which he slates Anton "we don't mess about, we're U2. In a feckin' desert" Corbijn's new Curtis mythologising movie.

Apparently, it cost so much (a tenner) in those days to develop a roll of film (you got £6.50 per shot from the NME, so you'd lose money if they didn't take up at least 2 of your snaps) that he was very sparing with his film and only took photos of the band that fitted the image they wished to project professionally. Consequently, there were no photos to illustrate the reality of the fun-loving, relaxed and ordinary chaps he knew. Indeed, of the four JD originals, it was Curtis (and not the seemingly more laddish Hooky and Sumner) who would spend hour after after discussing footy with his fellow Man City fan, Cummins.

Mind you, the way they turned over the Irons Saturday, it'll be Geoff doing an Ian Curtis if you don't look out Bettsters...

By the way, is anyone else having problems posting on blogger?

L.U.V.on ya,


Wrod vrecifificatoin: fuxblnt.

You really couldn't make it up, could you?
Grunhaus - thanks for the obit - it's even longer than some of Paul Morley's ones! I'm still awaiting your tribute to Lee "Ronnie Hazlehurst" Hazlewood though. Anyway ... Bob "H" Wilson was about as Scottish as I am.

Bob - the late 1970's NME seemed to be awash with great photographers like Cummins, Anton Corbijn and Pennie Smith taking moody black and white pictures of bands ... which has probably contributed to their "legendary" status. The fact that Joy Division gave up doing interviews didn't do them any harm either ... although I'm sure none of it was deliberate or a way of courting publicity, hem hem.

Re: West Ham, Geoff always manages to stay absurdly optimistic. Perhaps a goalkeeper who has studied Ian Curtis' dance moves is their only hope of keeping a clean sheet this season.
"Perhaps a goalkeeper who has studied Ian Curtis' dance moves is their only hope of keeping a clean sheet this season."

I'm still slightly disturbed by that YouTube clip of Ian Curtis dancing to The Charleston.
My introduction to Tony Wilson was being shown 24 Hour Party People by a friend who was "there at the time" (and who played the Hacienda club footage extra slow to see if he and his mate could be spotted). I actually went to Manc with friends who were on a nostalgia trip for that era.
I went to the Hacienda a couple of times: I was already in my late '20s I think, so already a bit past it for clubbing, but, you know, you get dragged along by friends ... didn't the number of teenagers applying to universities in Manchester increase by some ridiculous figure in the late 1980's because everyone wanted to go out partying every night?
I liked Tony Wilson for all his puffy pigeon chest and banter. He was a one off. Never to be repeated. I used to really like that dodgy late night music show he did in the late 70's with Peter Cook - Revolver I think it was called or was it White Light? Bloody genius.
The show Tony Wilson presented was So It Goes, which I didn't see because I presume it was only on in the Granada area. We did get our own explosive, exciting local *new wave* show though, presented by Toyah Wilcox in the days when she used to be fat. It featured some band called The Neon Hearts every other week. Punktastic. Revolver was pretty good. Strange to think how rare it was to see bands on the telly in those pre-MTV days.
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