A week after dad passed away, I learned that Tony Wilson had kidney cancer. He died of a heart attack yesterday. I didn’t know Tony personally, though I did see him a few times at conferences over the years. And of course, I loved a lot of the music he was responsible for. He was the man who gave the Sex Pistols their television debut in ’76, he had an incredible ear for talent and was one of the biggest and earliest advocates for the digital distribution of music. And then there was the whole Factory Records thing. Anyone who enjoyed Joy Division, Happy Mondays or New Order owes a debt of gratitude to Wilson. Manchester was put on the map because of him.
I wrote him an email a few days after I learned of his illness. Here was his response:
From: Anthony Wilson
To: Brad Barrish
Subject: Re: The C Word
Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 11:58:36 -0000
thanks bro, appreciated
nothing will stop us…
The Loft, 10A, Little Peter Street,
Manchester, England M15 4PS
Tony, you’ll be missed by many. May your legacy live on forever.