Last night I received a text from Dave Haslam my friend and former Hacienda DJ. It’s for Mark E Smith of The Fall. I’ve been seeking it out for a week for an event at The South Bank on 9th November in it’s new space – The Spirit Level. On the same night Dave presented his regular show on XFM Manchester. It was a tribute to Anthony H Wilson. The show featured tributes from Peter Hook of Joy Division Vinni Riley of durutti column, Mike Pickering Sean Ryder of Happy Mondays Noel Gallagher Clint Boon and Ian McCulloch and more including myself. You can download the entire programme on podcast. Vinni Reilly’s requiem is absolutely astounding and Peter Hook’s Roll Call of the dead Manchester heroes is incredible radio.
Last time Mark E Smith performed the south bank was for the late Radio One DJ John Peel who was a fan of the fall from the start to finish. Since before Tony passed away I’ve been organising a night at The South Bank called 24 Hour Party People? As mentioned it’s on 9th November. The question mark is important. It’s a night of writers and it’s going to be a blast. I’ve done a similar thing in Manchester, night called Lemn Sissay’s Special sauce. They’ve always sold out in Manchester. It’s going to be a pleasure to bring Terry Christian who will read from his book My Word. . There’s two rooms at the event. One is called The Thomas De Quincey Room and the other The Anthony H Wilson Room. And there is one room in the middle where there will be music. I performed at The
Hacienda with my band Secret Society, and went there on nights out too. I was there when Michael Winterbottom rebuilt the whole place and filmed the final night DJ’d by my friend Dave Haslam.
I met Tony in 1988/9 when he invited me onto hi Granada tv show called Face to Face which was just me and him and a rolling camera in studio. The programme was thirty
minutes in length. I did various programmes with him over the years including his Other Side of Midnight named after a Yargo track sung by Basil Clarke . That particular programme featured The Fall and myself. He’d always been supportive and in studying English at Cambridge had a particular interest in poetry and lyric. Later on I was managed
atrociously by Elliot Rashman for a few years. Elliot managed another band – Simply Red – he was a fan of poetry too. Elliot was a great fan of Charles Bukowski which is some of what led him to approach me regarding management. His tribute to Tony is beautiful. I’ve got to get in touch with Elliot. My publisher is putting out the late Charles Bukowki’s new and unpublished poems. The age of the download has arrived and Anthony H Wilson has uploaded himself into the source code. He was doing it all of his life. He is in the DNA of Manchester and Britian and in The Binary Code. I was nervous when we did Face to Face. I was 23. years old. Tony came into the dressing room and skinned up a fat spliff on the table. This is the man whom I grew up watching on television presenting the news from the villages of Lancashire. He lit up his spliff and we talked. I had no idea at the time but he was prepping for the interview, getting a feel for me, for us. He did that for entire city the country and the world, he lit up a spliff and got the feel of us.