It’s not often that you see Happy Mondays’ frontman Shaun Ryder get all emotional, but then again, Tony Wilson had that effect on people.
Today, 20 February, marks what would have been the Factory Records founder’s 68th birthday.
This tribute, broadcast on Granada TV last August to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his untimely passing at the age of just 57, features a procession of familiar faces from what came to be known as the ‘Madchester’ scene: Shaun Ryder, Peter Hook, Terry Christian and others.
Wilson, dubbed ‘Mr. Manchester’ by some, was arguably the most influential character in the development of music in the north east of England in the 1970s and 80s, launching the careers of Joy Division and New Order, and of course establishing The Haçienda, a pivotal venue in the creation of club culture as we know it today.
Wilson died of cancer in 2007; in a tribute to the great man’s legacy, even his coffin bore a Factory Records catalogue number: FAC 501.
Happy birthday Tony, wherever you are…
[Kudos to Mike Hall for the YouTube upload]