'I used to say some people make money and some make history - which is very funny until you find you can't afford to keep yourself alive' - Anthony H. Wilson.

I only heard this quote recently and thought it was very clever and very true (although I didn't realise how true it was for him) - the sort of thing you could expect from Tony Wilson, who died yesterday aged 57. I read 24 Hour Party People recently, which is brilliant. Amazing and exciting. Makes you realise what a special thing he did. There's real inspiration in his bloody-minded determination to do something you believe in and to fight conventional wisdom with common sense and a bit of spark. Before that I read Stoned by Andrew Loog Oldham who was doing something similar in the 60s. They both show how difficult it was (and probably still is) to change the way an industry works. It's easy to sit in a stultifying office job and think it must be really exciting to work in the entertainment industry, how it would all be different there, but these stories make it clear it's just the same. Constantly battling against bosses and bureaucracy and entrenched ways of working that no longer deliver what people want. So, there's a lot of inspiration in seeing how people create something great. They might make mistakes in the process, but they follow their noses and get somewhere in the end. What they both demonstrate is how you can do something amazing by not worrying about perfecting a finished product or making a fortune but actually doing something and getting it out there then seeing what happens next. Taking chances and making mistakes. It's staggering how difficult it is to do that. So, respect due.

Respect indeed. That's a great quote. His attitude will be sorely missed in a world where lawyers and accountants have become disproportionately important.

Simon James x

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Is that a real comment or a spam one? It's so hard to tell these days.

I'd take issue with the comparison between Wilson and Loog-Oldham. Loog-Oldham is a nasty piece of work, an old-school music biz gangster of the first order and a ruthless egoist responsible for destroying more careers than he helped create. Tony Wilson on the other hand...

I thought someone might. What I meant was they were both pivotal figures in the music scene at a certain place and a certain time. It's clear ALO took a rocky road and ended up causing himself and others a fair bit of bother but the way he talks about the music industry in the early 1960s is a real eye opener. It sounded as dynamic as the civil service and he chose not to accept that.

dear anne
andrew loog oldham was not a gangster
he gave the acts artistic freedom
he created the iconic style of publicity and marketing that allowed all the others to follow until the internet including tony wilson

If you're thee Tony Calder then obviously you have the final say on that.

I hope it's clear from the original post that I've got a lot of respect for both ALO and Tony Wilson. After aljuk's comment I looked at Stoned again and couldn't find the evidence for his hard man reputation. But as it's his side of the story I figured it's hard to know the truth. Glad you could set the story straight though. How on earth did you end up here?

Respect due to the man who popularized The Buzzcocks. You're right about the importance of just getting something out there, then seeing what happens. Problem is that marketeers and strategists - the ur-entertainers of our age - can't bear it! (more reason for doing ith then!)

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