Tag Archives: so it goes

RIP Tony Wilson (1950 – 2007)

Tony Wilson So It Goes
Wilson Hosting his Granada TV Show, So It Goes in 1976

Tony Wilson, known in the music industry for his many hats worn including that of Owner of the legendary Factory Records, radio presenter, TV show host, nightclub manager, journalist for the UK’s Granada television and the BBC passed away yesterday of a heart attack on August 10th, 2007. He was 57 years old. While he was far from a household name in the States, Wilson was immortalized in the brilliant 2002 film, 24 Hour Party People – the fascinating story of the “Manchester Sound,” the ill-fated Hacienda club and, of course, the rise and fall of Factory Records itself – in which he was portrayed by the immensely talented actor/comedian Steve Coogan.

24 Hour Party People
Steve Coogan as Tony Wilson, with actress Shirley Henderson, in 24 Hour Party People

A few years ago, I met Tony Wilson briefly after hearing him speak on a music conference panel, and I told him how much I loved 24 Hour Party People. One of my favorite lines in the movie comes right at the very beginning when Coogan, as Wilson, introduces the film by saying that the story we are about to see is “a cautionary tale not unlike what happened to Icarus when he flew too close to the sun. If you know what that means, great; if not, it doesn’t matter.” I asked Wilson if he had really said that and he said no, that Steve Coogan had just made it up, but he did offer that it came close to sounding like something he would have said. Anyway, Tony Wilson was a cool guy and he signed a bunch of great bands like Joy Division and The Happy Mondays, so he will be missed.

So It Goes…: RIP Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, Great American Novelist: 1922 – 2007

Author Kurt Vonnegut has passed away at the age of 84. He was my favorite author of all time and my single greatest writing influence. His book Slapstick literally changed my life. He is the reason I started writing. I am so sad right now.

Here is a passage from another favorite Vonnegut novel, Slaughterhouse Five, which was based in part on his own experiences as a WWII Prisoner of War.

Slaughterhouse 5

“A guard would go to the head of the stairs every so often to see what it was like outside, then he would come down and whisper to the other guards. There was a fire-storm out there. Dresden was one big flame. The one flame ate everything organic, everything that would burn.

It wasn’t safe to come out of the shelter until noon the next day. When the Americans and their guards did come out, the sky was black with smoke. The sun was an angry little pinhead. Dresden was like the moon now, nothing but minerals. The stones were hot. Everybody else in the neighborhood was dead.

So it goes.”