Your tributes for the Factory Records legend flow into NME.COM
Music fans have been paying tribute to Factory Records legend Tony Wilson after he died at the weekend (August 10).
“Mr Manchester” passed away after suffering cancer of the kidneys, but hundreds of fans have contacted NME.COM to express their sadness and thank Wilson for his huge contribution to Manchester and Britain’s music, both through his record label and the influential nightclub The Hacienda, which he ran in the 1980s and 1990s.
Here are more of your comments and tributes:
“RIP Tony, your genius exposed me to the greatest city in the world. (Its) Football, Music and Culture, I can’t do without.”
Live Forever, you Mancunian Legend.”
“Hail to a great man…maybe he acted like entertainer, but he was a pure philosopher. It was him who put a big M on Manchester. And the vibe is kept on…”
“Thank you Mr Wilson for everything you did for Manchester and its music. You believed that your acts should give back to the City that had made them and you led everyone by example.
“What Sir Alex Ferguson has done at your beloved United you did across Manchester; you assembled and cultivated team after team of brilliantly creative, inspiring and determined people who, charged by your enthusiasm, gave meaning, beauty and intelligence to the lives of so many around the world. Our music, your music, will never be the same again.”
“I’m only 17 years old, and although i may not have lived to see the likes of Joy Division during the 70’s and 80’s, I adore and respect the music that Tony Wilson devoted his life to. he put Manchester on the map and he was truly a remarkable figure in the music industry. he cared about what was most important: the music. RIP Tony, we’ll all miss you.”
“He was creative, inspiring, Mancunian with a twist and wrote one of the nicest chapters in music. Factory records and videos sound and look relevant today as 25 years ago.
“‘Closer’ hasn’t lost even a bit of its initial impact.‘Movement’ is still as chilling and dark. I remember that great time, the 80’s in Manchester. New Order, Dave Haslam, the Hacienda. And Tony Wilson, the gentleman with a vision. Yes, he was a gentleman and one of the most brilliant media men I met.
“After so many years, and so far away, it’s like loosing a friend. Life is a tune, and the tunes he got us to know, the labour he made, are with me every day since then.
“May be all this sounds stupid and this mail will be trashed. But I never felt so sad, as today. God always takes the best ones, but why had it to be so soon.
“Shalom Tony. Rest in peace and make the greatest party in heaven.”
“There was a lot of respect for him. I see him as the father of modern indie without his influence and inspiration, I doubt there would be have been a big shift in the indie scene like Britpop even after factory records closed, he was still involved in the music scene and still love it so.”
“What a sadness that Tony has gone. He cast a big, grand shadow. He was one of those human beings, who when he entered a room, energised it with his anger, creativity, arrogance, wit and intelligence. They were the qualities that he used to fight the good fight.
“I first met Tony when I was directing a programme for BBC Community Programme Unit, called ‘Something Else’. We had a meeting at lunchtime, in Manchester, to talk about Joy Division coming on the programme.
“Tony arrived in the cafe, looking hip enough to be involved with Factory Records. I walked back to Granada with him after lunch. he pulled his trousers out of his long leather boots, flicked his jacket collar back down and put on a tie, as he entered the building to present the nightly News Programme. Getting to know Tony a bit over the years, this summed him up really. A man able to work in the mainstream and on the edge. An anarchic conservative!
“I was lucky enough to work with him a few times over the last nearly 30 years. I was making a documentary for Channel 4 about New Order, and Tony allowed himself to be the “cocktail barman” at the Hacienda, his customers various disgruntled band members from the Factory days. He was witty and playful, jousting their complaints back over the bar.
“When we were setting up After Dark, Channel 4‘s live, open-ended discussion show, it became obvious that Tony should be one of our main presenters. He, in fact presented the first one.
“As a live TV presenter, he was the best. He had that great ability to think about lots of things at once. A real intelligent multi-tasker. He could listen to his guests, listen to the Director, listen to the Producer and still be vibrant and interesting. There is an apocryphal tale, told by Tony, he told many, that goes like this…..when I asked why he was not up there with the Paxmans and the Warks he said that he was head-hunted by BBC Network in the early eighties, to present one of the flagship news programmes. While driving down the M1 in one of his beloved Jaguars, he got as far as the service station at Watford Gap and turned round to head back North. He said that he couldn’t bear to be away from Manchester.
“He is one of these people that just thinking about him makes me laugh. I am sad today, but feel honoured to have beeen affected by him. Tony affected a lot of people, and the world is a whole lot better place for his presence. All the best to his loved ones, his death will surely leave them with a big dark space. Rest assured though, that literally hundreds of people loved him and thousands owe him a big fat cultural debt.”
“Tony was a judge at Battle of the Bands in Liverpool back in 1978, a local TV presenter he was pushing poetry like John Cooper Clarke and I was keen he should hear my stuff. I blagged my way into the judges area and gave him a few sheets of poetry. Such a gentleman, he said: ‘I’ll read it later’, he asked me to take a seat and watch the bands with him. I told him I had a ticket for XTC at Eric‘s and had to go, but would he please look at my work! ‘What XTC? Playing tonight at Eric’s, are you sure? Yes I said, you plugged it on your show last night.
“‘John…I never listen to a word I say on that show.’ I got a lift with him in his bashed up Rover and we arrived very late.
“Roger Eagle let us both in, well I did have a ticket, he stood with me shouting and jumping up and down with everybody else to ‘This Is Pop’.
“We went to see the band in the tiny dressing room and I got a beer from Andy or was it the bass player, can’t remember , but it was the best night of my first 18 years.
“Tony went on to be a friend who helped me a lot over the next few years with advice and introductions and I even managed to get my poetry published by Faber And Faber, which pleased him no end.
The last time I saw him was at In The City when he interviewed the legend Andrew Loog Oldham. As always he knew how to coax the best out of his subject and it was one of the most interesting two hours of musical history ever.
“Tony had an ability to make you feel special, and everybody who he took time out to talk with felt this. I was lucky enough to be one of those people and like thousands of others he changed my life for the better. Like most great people it will be only after they have gone they will be appreciated so thanks Tony! it was my pleasure knowing you. Go rest now.”
“When I was working at BBC 6 Music in London we had the pleasure of Tony‘s company for a fortnight when he filled in for Tom Robinson. He would enter the hallowed halls of Broadcasting House with this almost magical air of rock and roll presence. He would always say hello and the waft of him would follow into the radio studio.
“While he wasn’t a complete natural on the radio he was so incredibly entertaining for the fortnight he was there. I remember the 6 Music messageboards went crazy with listeners who both loved and detested him. He was opinionated, clever and so thoroughly amusing to listen to it’s an utter shame 6 Music never let him near the airwaves again. The man who gave us Manchester, In The City and the Soundtrack To Our Lives. I salute you Sir.”
Now NME.COM want your thoughts. Send your tributes, stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish them.
And see the NME Office Blog for our Tony Wilson comment and tribute, then leave a comment with your own.
Plus see next week’s NME – on UK newsstands from August 15 – for our special tribute issue to Tony Wilson.