To say that Tony Wilson was a major influence on all of us who like dancing in dark rooms is a bit of an understatement. Besides launching seminal moments in time such as So It Goes, Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, Factory Records, and the Hacienda it was his ongoing fascination with the Situationists and anarchism that probably had the most affect on me. He was also indirectly responsible for the name of my blog, "24 Hour Party People". So to you Tony I say, "Beneath the street, the beach". Here is the official press release, the real story from NME (and for us Americans a big wake-up call about the huge downside of socialism), and a couple of great video I culled from the Joy Division website.
Tony Wilson, a music impresario credited with guiding a crop of bands from industrial England to the international stage, died Friday. He was 57.
Wilson promoted a host of influential musicians from his native city of Manchester in northern England, including Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.
He died from complications of kidney cancer, the city's Christie Hospital said.
Wilson's influence on the city, and on British music, is documented in the 2002 movie "24 Hour Party People," which charts the rise — and eventual fall — of Wilson's empire, which included Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub.
Manchester-born and Cambridge-educated, Wilson's record label and nightclub were credited with making the city Britain's most vibrant music center through the 1980s and 1990s, spawning bands including the Smiths, the Stone Roses and Oasis.
Though Factory Records and the Hacienda closed down in the 1990s, Wilson remained a passionate advocate for his city, presenting a radio show for the local British Broadcasting Corp. station.
"He was a true free spirit and a passionate advocate for Manchester — the city, its people and, of course, its music," the BBC said in a statement.
Anthony H. Wilson, co-founder of Factory Records, has died of a heart attack today (August 10) at the age of 57.
Wilson is best known for signing legendary bands including Joy Division and New Order to his label, and as owner of the Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.
He played a key role in the Madchester scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, signing the Happy Mondays.
Wilson passed away on this evening in the hospital after suffering a heart attack that his doctor said was unrelated to his recent battle with cancer.
Professor Robert Hawkins, his doctor at Christie hospital, told the Guardian: "It's very sad. He died as a result of something unrelated to his cancer. His cancer was responding well to treatment but obviously did contribute to his poor health".
Recently it was recommended he take the drug Sutent after chemotherapy failed to treat the disease effectively, but the NHS refused to pay for the £3500-a-month treatment.
However, the Happy Mondays and other bands he signed had started a charity fund to help pay for Wilson's treatment.
His family are reportedly declining to comment at this time, but thanked the staff at the MRI and Christie who have provided "fantastic" care for him over the last few months.
Stay tuned to NME.COM for a full obituary and tributes.