Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I was saddened to learn of the death of Tony Wilson this month. To be honest, I didn't even know the man existed until I saw an excellent film about his life in 2002. Then I realized that he was responsible, either directly or indirectly for much of what I enjoyed during the 80s and early 90s. A recent article in Slate sums up Mr. Wilson's life better than I can, but, in a nutshell, he opened a club, started a record label and helped start the Madchester scene that spawned a lot of great music. If you own any records from New Order, the Happy Mondays, or Joy Division, you owe Tony Wilson a debt of gratitude.

Wilson was also a journalist and a TV presenter. His show was the first to broadcast legendary British punk acts like the Sex Pistols and The Clash. Below is a very cool clip of the Sex Pistol's first TV appearance. Tony Wilson is the guy who introduces the band. I really like this clip because it's the sound of history being made while nobody was paying attention. It was the sound of something big starting.

And people like Tony Wilson made it possible for stuff like this to eventually find its way across the Atlantic Ocean and into the hands of impressionable young boys in upstate New York. Thank you, Tony. We never met, but you did a lot of things that made me happy.



At 9:37 am, Anonymous jon deal said...

And the soundtrack to 24 Hour Party People is also excellent.

At 10:35 am, Blogger Ellen said...

Watching that video just makes me happy.

Tony will be missed.


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