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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Wilson

So it went…

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In the late 70s, Tony Wilson– who would go on to co-found Factory Records (the seminal independent label that embodied “The Manchester Sound”) and The Hacienda (the warehouse-based club that was the birthplace of the rave)– hosted a tea-time television show called So It Goes.

A weekly arts/culture/music series, the program’s passion was emerging new pop music…  which in those days meant Punk and New Wave.

The Way We Were is a Channel 4 (UK) retrospective first broadcast circa 1984.– a compilation of performances by bands performing on So It Goes– many of them making their TV debuts: Sex Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop, The Fall, Elvis Costello, Blondie, Penetration, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Tom Robinson, Magazine, John Cooper Clarke, XTC and Joy Division…

[TotH to Richard Metzger and his essential Dangerous Minds for the lead to TWWW]

As we slam dance down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1976– as we in the U.S. were beginning our Bi-Centennial Day celebrations– that the Clash gave their first public performance: they opened for the Sex Pistols at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England.  As U2 guitarist The Edge later wrote, “This wasn’t just entertainment. It was a life-and-death thing….It was the call to wake up, get wise, get angry, get political and get noisy about it.”

The Clash, 1976 (source)

A Monument for Mr. Wilson…

Long-time (pre-blog) readers will recall the passing of Anthony H. “Tony” Wilson in 2007.  In 1976, Wilson, a recent graduate of Cambridge serving as a feature reporter for Granada TV in the British Midlands, saw the Sex Pistols at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall.  It was, he said, “nothing short of an epiphany.”

Wilson booked the Pistols onto his weekly cultural show, So It Goes (their first appearance on TV), and over the next few years turned the program into the leading broadcast outlet for new music in the U.K.

Much of that music was percolating in Manchester; Wilson became it’s catalyst.  In 1978, with a couple of friends, he started Factory Records, the seminal label that introduced such bands as Joy Division, New Order, A Certain Ratio, The Durutti Column, Happy Mondays, James, and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

But Wilson remained devoted to live performance, anxious that others should share the conversion he had experienced in 1976,  He founded the Hacienda, a nightclub/performance space, where Factory acts and other leading bands of the 80s played– and where the rave was born.

Both Factory and the Hacienda faded with the decade.  But Wilson remained a fixture in British culture, largely as a political commentator on the BBC and ITV.

Tony Wilson died in August 2007. Just over three years later, a memorial headstone designed collaboratively by Wilson’s long-time associates Peter Saville (the art director for Factory Records) and Ben Kelly (the designer of The Hacienda), was unveiled in The Southern Cemetery in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Manchester.

 

More, at Creative Review.

As we hum “God Save the Queen,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1992 that Jesus did not appear on earth and the Rapture did not occur.

Edgar C. Whisenant, a former NASA engineer and an avid student of the Bible had predicted the Rapture would occur in 1988, between September 11 and 13.  Whisenant’s predictions were taken seriously in some parts of the evangelical Christian community.  Indeed, as the window approached, regular programming on Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) was interrupted to provide special instructions on preparing for the Rapture.

When it didn’t materialize, Whisenant revised his estimate to 1989.  When that date passed uneventfully, he returned to his sources and returned with an even more confident prediction that it would be on October 28, 1992.  Subsequent predictions were for 1993, 1994, and 1997.

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