AND I STILL FIND IT SO HARD TO SAY WHAT I NEED TO SAY, BUT I'M QUITE SURE THAT YOU'LL TELL ME JUST HOW I SHOULD FEEL TODAY: Mancunian legend and Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson succumbed to cancer today at age 57. The words impresario/entrepreneur seem to scratch the surface of his influence, for both signing bands like Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays and promoting the whole punk and Manchester scenes. If you've seen Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People (and you should have, because it's brilliant), it's that guy, the one whose legendary Haçienda club failed because all the ravers kept taking ecstasy and didn't buy any alcohol.
Whether or not Wilson ever actually said this line from the film, it still seems appropriate to quote here: "And tonight something equally epoch-making is taking place. See? They're applauding the DJ. Not the music, not the musician, not the creator, but the medium. This is it. The birth of rave culture. The beatification of the beat. The dance age. This is the moment when even the white man starts dancing. Welcome to Manchester."
The Happy Mondays and Stone Roses never really took over the world or changed anything, but it was fun while it lasted. Here's "Step On," by Happy Mondays.