Paul Ryder: ‘I owe everything to Tony Wilson’

Happy Mondays drummer pays tribute to Factory Records legend

Former Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder has paid tribute to Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, who died on Friday (August 10) of a heart attack.

He said that Manchester has “lost a Patron Saint”.

“Everything I’ve got in my wonderful life now I owe to two people: Mr Derek Ryder Senior, and my other dad, Anthony H Wilson,” Ryder said of Wilson, who signed his band Happy Mondays to his Factory Records label.

“He took a chance on a bunch of lads in a band, gave us his faith when everyone else was telling us we were rubbish, and catapulted us with his enthusiasm into the heart of the phenomenon that was, and to some extend still is, Madchester,” he continued.

“The fantastic city of Manchester is the way it is today because of him, his vision, his energy and his fearlessness. To say he will be sorely missed is a serious understatement.

Manchester has just lost its Patron Saint – but I’m certain St Peter will have had him on the guest list, and I can just imagine him [Wilson] wafting past him saying, ‘Thank you, darling’.”

You can read Tony Wilson’s obituary along with a host of tributes led by New Order and Alan McGee on NME.COM now.

See the NME Office Blog for our Tony Wilson comment and tribute, then leave a comment with your own.