Tuesday, August 14, 2007

FAC 1950-07(AHW)

My agent in the Republic of Mancunia says that soon after Anthony H Wilson’s death somebody went down to Whitworth Street and chucked a load of yellow and black paint over the posh flats where the Hacienda used to stand. A tribute of sorts. A statement, of sorts.

The praise for Wilson after his death has come in marked contrast to the treatment the ‘twat’ got alive. His great service to Manchester was staying there – his sharp aphorisms and ‘rationales’ would be lost in the supersized media playpen of London, and wouldn’t have been needed anyway. But his main role as a facilitator of the geniuses (as he liked to call them), the mediator in all those creative disputes (as well as, through the label, the archiver), has increasing currency in these highly strung and indulgent times.

Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, the Hacienda, no one man is ever responsible for being the catalyst for soci-cultural change but the middle-class TV presenter certainly did a lot in creating the conditions for these subcultural scenes and urban rebirthings to thrive. After Curtis, Gretton, Hannett and now Wilson, it would be nice to think that it’s the end of a reflective era, that the soundbites about post-punk Manchester will go away, that we’ll never hear Peter Hook took about ‘Ian’ or ‘the Hac’ again, but that would be too much (why, even Manc d&b man Marcus Intalex just got whimsical about the TW just now on 1xtra).

The daubing at the un-Hac was fitting – Wilson knew that a provocative statement did not have to be grounded in truth or be correct. Why, shortly before his death he was saying M/Cr produced the Industrial Revolution, trade unions, the communist manifesto and the computer (not to mention loads of good bands), when all the south has churned out is Chas & Dave. Exactitude wasn’t required in his role as Manchester’s promoter and it's always worth winding up the real twats in London.
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