Friday, August 17, 2007

Ten thoughts on Anthony Wilson

Ten thoughts this Friday are about Anthony Wilson, as my thoughts have been all week. Some are personal memories, and there are so many more too.

* The Bruges rosette. Apparently he was still chided in the street by Scousers who remembered that he wore a rosette on Granada Reports, supporting Bruges in the run up to the 1978 European Cup Final, after being warned by his producer: "not to say a word". Genius.

* The Sid Vicious story. What's our tone of voice? asks Steve Connor. The voice of Tone intervened, and this is accurate: "When Sid Vicious was asked if his music was for the man in the street, he said "I've met the man in the street and he's a cunt." Write for who you want."

* The North West Flag, link here. Designed by Peter Saville, it was such a laugh celebrating the launch of such a doomed enterprise as regional government for the North West. Loved it.

* Memories of the Hacienda. It was jaw droppingly impressive. There's a wonderful personal account here from, of all places, an Everton fanzine - When Skies Are Grey.

* His wonderful outfits. Apparently, back in 1984, Richard Creme, giant fashion retailer of this parish told him he "dressed like Oldham's left back". Creme got him into Yohji Yammamoto and Comme De Garcons. He wore one outfit to our Leaders Lunch in 2004 - I told him what he told me outside the Hacienda in 1985- "You're not coming in here dressed like that." Story is in the Stockport Express, here.

* He was always very nice to people he worked with. This is what Phil Griffin said: "Ask any spark, make-up artist or stagehand and they’ll all testify to his peerless skills, generosity and good nature. He’s amongst the greatest television presenters on the planet, ever.”

* He was always very kind to people who stopped him in the street, or in a club, even though people were rude to him. I saw this so often. As my pal Andrew Page said: "He had every right to be up his own arse, but he just wasn't." So many tributes here, from people who were touched by him. As Alex Ogg, an understated and annoyingly modest chronicler of music, said: "You know if you can bond with traffic wardens you have the human touch."

* He always called me a "fucking Tory", which is why my birthday present was a book by Terry Eagleton. I'm not, never have been, never will be. We debated this live on air in June 2007.

* Phil Griffin described him wonderfully as incorrigbly interesting. I always found him incorrigibly interested as well. He always had so much to say about things you never expected, but he also listened and learned too.

* He was a cradle Catholic. I came to it later, we talked it through and he was sure it was a force for the good. God bless you my friend. There will be some party in heaven. Amen.

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