‘When forced to pick between truth and legend, print the legend.’ Tony Wilson
To write about Tony Wilson, aka Anthony H. Wilson, is to write about a number of public and private characters and personalities, a clique of unreliable narrators, constantly changing shape and form. At the helm of Factory Records and the Haçienda, Wilson unleashed landmark acts such as Joy Division and New Order into the world as he pursued myriad other creative endeavours, appointing himself a custodian of Manchester’s legacy of innovation and change.
To Paul Morley he was this and much more: bullshitting hustler, flashy showman, aesthetic adventurer, mean factory boss, self-deprecating chancer, intellectual celebrity, loyal friend, shrewd mentor, insatiable publicity seeker. It was Morley to whom Wilson left a daunting final request: to write this book.