Anthony H. Wilson, 1950-2007
'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.