Monday, 13 August 2007

Factory Founder Dies

Tony Wilson, founder of Factory records and media presenter has died (aged 57) at the weekend of a heart attack at Manchester's Christie Hospital.

Wilson developed the "Madchester" music scene and introduced acts like Joy Division, Happy Mondays and New Order. He was also responsible for the Ha├žienda nightclub in Manchester. He presented programmes on television for both Channel 4 and for Granada as well as presenting political radio programmes.

Wilson never made much money from either Factory records or the Ha├žienda as the 2002 film, 24 Hour Party People, which stars the comedian Steve Coogan demonstrates. Wilson didn't sign contracts with many of the top bands and relied on loyality, a factor that rival record labels exploited.

In 2003 Wilson helped to launch a campaign for the North West to be given a referendum on the creation of a regional assembly.

Wilson was always a controversal figure, attracting ridicule from music industry insiders for his strange ideas and working practices. He was such an influential figure on the british music and media scene that he will be greatly missed.

Thanks Tony, we'll miss you.

Full obituary available from Times Online

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