Anthony Wilson, the Manchester music impresario who founded Factory Records and the Hacienda nightclub, died last night, aged 57, after a heart attack on Thursday. A leading light in the "Madchester" popular culture boom of the late 1980s and early 90s, he had been battling kidney cancer since early 2006.
The Salford-born journalist brought bands including Joy Division, New Order, the Happy Mondays and James to a wider audience. His record label's pioneering approach to design and architecture also helped kick-start Manchester's transformation into a European cultural centre.
[Creation Record's Alan McGee]'Factory Records was the template for every indie label with its 50-50 deals [between artist and label] and I can honestly say without Factory there would have been no Creation. In fact if it wasn't for his talk to us in 1985 I might have quit music all together.'
Good books on Wilson and what he did:
Mick Middles,From Joy Division to New Order: The True Story of Anthony H. Wilson and Factory Records, (London: Virgin Books, 2002).
Chris Ott, Unknown Pleasures, (New York: Continuum, 2004).