Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tony and Vini

Watching 24 Hour Party People on DVD last night inevitably left me feeling a little saddened given Tony/Anthony H.Wilson's death last August. Having grown up in 'Granadaland' in the 1970's and 1980's, my first memories of Wilson were of him as the not quite so old one from the tea time news magazine 'Granada Reports'. It was only later did I discover that the man led a double life and that he was behind, or perhaps in front of and getting-in-the-way, some of the best music of the time. I used to spot him every now and then in the late 1980's in the Pump House pub in the Albert Dock in Liverpool where Granada TV had set up offices to counter claims of being Manchester-centric. There was nobody less Manchester-centric than Wilson himself and he got his fair share of abuse for it on the streets of Liverpool, yet funnily enough I imagine it was probably less than he received on the streets of the city he loved so much. He could always be forgiven for after all he was a northerner, and a fiercely proud one, forever standing up to 'that London'. My lingering memory of him actually comes from Michael Winterbottom's 2002 film in an incident - like so many in the film - that may or may not have actually happened. Partly because I think he would appreciate being remembered for something that could well not have occurred, but also because I think it in some way sums up what I think he was about.

The scene is one set in the early days of the Hacienda; The Durutti Column have just finished their set on a deserted Tuesday evening, Wilson/Steve Coogan is standing at the bar and Vini Reilly comes over looking a little bemused at the lack of an audience. Wilson tries to reassure a nervous Reilly by saying,

- Whatever happens, whatever we achieve here Vini, you just have to remember that the most important thing is that you make wonderful music. -

Have a listen to this and I am sure you will agree.