‘Reading From Manchester With Love I feel I understand the times we’ve lived through differently, better, and from new angles. The writing is compelling and musical, befitting its extraordinary subject. I never met Tony Wilson, but now I feel as though I knew him well – and I’m sorry that I didn’t.’
‘Bracing and often surprisingly tender . . . From Manchester with Love is the perfect monument.’
‘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.
From Manchester With Love, then, is the biography of a man who became eponymous with his city, of the music he championed and the myths he made, of love and hate, of life and death. In the cultural theatre of Manchester, Tony Wilson broke in and took centre-stage.
‘A gigantic, haphazard and unexpectedly emotional monolith dedicated to the “irritating dilettante”, “pretentious charlatan” and “huckster extraordinaire” who put his city on the musical map . . . Here he burns on fantastically bright.’
‘Written with Technicolour perspective, humour, pathos and empathy in fluid, immensely readable prose, it is a book that does justice to Wilson’s memory and enduring influence.’
RECORD COLLECTOR (5/5)
‘Captivating . . . Across 600 pages, each of the 51 chapters weaves dream states with journalistic investigation, a tale of how one human being, with the help of like-minded spirits, psychically co-opted an entire city.’
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