RIP: Tony Wilson

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Weird, I do a post about New Order on Saturday, and Tony Wilson had died the day before. That makes today a Blue Monday indeed (offset by the news of Karl Rove resigning). Wilson was the music impresario and TV personality played by Steve Coogan in the brilliant 24 Hour Party People, who brought New Order, its predecessor Joy Division, and the Happy Mondays to the world. Wilson was 57, and died of kidney cancer.

I’d never actually seen  him in person, though I just learned I missed him introducing The Happy Mondays at Coachella earlier this year, and it wasn’t until seeing this YouTube clip of that event that I realized how spookily dead-on Coogan got his speech.

Obit at The Independent

TonyWilson/Steve Coogan line from 24 Hour Party People:

And tonight something equally epoch-making is taking place. See? They’re applauding the DJ. Not the music, not the musician, not the creator, but the medium. This is it. The birth of rave culture. The beatification of the beat. The dance age. This is the moment when even the white man starts dancing. Welcome to Manchester.