Monday, August 13, 2007

Tony Wilson (1950-2007)

Tony Wilson has died at the relatively young age of 57.

He wasn’t a genius. In fact, in many respects, he was a bit of a tit. Pseudo-intellectual, more than a little pretentious and given to quite serious but also elementary errors in business dealing. He also seemed to have an unerring ability to fall out with those he worked with. But despite all that, he has made a massive impact on modern music.

He formed Factory Records, and in doing so offered a launching pad for some of the most memorable, innovative and successful bands of the seventies, eighties and nineties. He helped to create and mould the Manchester music scene, and co-owned the legendary Hacienda club. His key talent was not just identifying music, but actually championing that music and doing everything he could to bring it to a wider audience. Have a look at this link for some of the ways in which he transformed modern music.

But above all he could take the piss out of himself. He realised how he was perceived, and he realised that whilst he worked with some legends and some geniuses, he was never going to be rated as highly himself. So he ran with it, and allowed other people to mock him. Look at 24 Hour Party People – he was played by Steve Coogan as Steve Coogan played Alan Partridge (which is ironic as Alan Partridge was at least partially inspired by Tony Wilson). The posters for 24 Hour Party People bore the pictures of the actors playing Ian Curtis, Shaun Ryder and Tony Wilson. Curtis had the caption "Genius", Ryder had the caption "poet" whilst Wilson had to make do "Twat". Whatever flaws he may have had, he at least maintained a sense of humour about himself.

RIP Tony Wilson: you transformed modern music without even playing a note.


Twenty Major said...

He was a cunt really.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Manchester's most respected tosser.

Other famous errors include supporting the NHS that eventually went on to snatch from him the chance of potentially life-saving cancer treatment.

Alfie said...

He tried to get a design for a North West flag adopted about 7 years ago. It was crap - a St George's cross sort of off centre with the cross bit down in the bottom right hand corner. It looked more like a south east flag than anything.

Along with other local busybodies he started a campaign to support the forthcoming regional assembly referendum in the NW. His campaign was titled 'Because it's necessary'...and had a big launch in Manchester, and all the glitterati who couldn't make it in London attended. A flashy web site followed a lobbying galore - it all went tits up when fatty Prescott ditched the referendum.

How ironic that the regional bull he so believed in killed him because the Trust couldn't jack up the money for the drugs - his rich pals coming to the rescue when it was all too late.

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Alfie - Tony Wilson was diagnosed with advanced cancer 8 months ago - the tumor having 'completely consumed' his right kidney by the time he received medical attention.

A nephrectomy was performed early 2007, he did not respond to subsequent chemo.

Sunitinib, the new drug denied Wilson, is for advanced metastatic disease [tumours spreading from the original site to other parts of the body]. Its too early to say if sunitinib confers any significant benefits, such as increased life expectancy - and like other anti-cancer agents has unpleasant side effects includng diarrhoea, hypertension, and pain affecting hands and feet.
A ruling has yet to be made by NICE about its actual efficacy.

Perhaps Shaun & Bez were able to offer 'alternative' drug therapy after Wilson was denied this exciting new rat poison by the NHS ?

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

and like other anti-cancer agents has unpleasant side effects includng diarrhoea, hypertension, and pain affecting hands and feet.

Well, thank God for the alternative of just getting on with dying, then!

Perhaps Shaun & Bez were able to offer 'alternative' drug therapy after Wilson was denied this exciting new rat poison by the NHS?

Well aren't you hilarious?

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

Yes, machiavelli's understudy, even infamous northern situationists have to die at some point, although some prefer to remain in denial to the very end, of course.

Incidentally, what is the life saving treatment denied Tony Wilson by the NHS - since renal cell carcinoma with disseminated mets [stage IV disease] can only be palliated ?

wendy.frankland said...

hello, Devil

just found out that your nemesis Polly Toynbee has beeen appointed president of the British Humanist Association

guido faux said...


Good news for British religious organisations.

nsfl said...

"Thirty grand for a fucking table?!"

gaul said...

I have just been taking the "wonder drug" Suitinib for 11 days and can confirm that it is rat poison. I wouln't be surprised if it was this crap which finished poor Tony off

the A&E Charge Nurse said...

gaul - my Mum died from cancer, treatment was pretty arduous for her.

I also see patients in A&E that become unwell due to complications from the treatment itself [neutropaenc sepsis, etc]- you will know as well as anyone that there are no easy options with avanced disease.

I hope my comments have not offended you, maybe your [drug related] symptoms will settle, and the drug will actually prove worthwhile.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...