THE death of Tony Wilson has prompted a flood of tributes from celebrities, TV and media stars, and leading political figures across the region.
The tragic news made headlines around the world and hundreds of tributes were posted on the Manchester Evening News website.
Among the showbiz stars leading the tributes was Tim Booth, lead singer of cult Manchester band James. He said: “He was one of the last of the mavericks. He was such an influential figure. He put Manchester on the map. I am really upset.”
He said Tony bristled “with intelligence and creativity – and not many people have that in this business”.
Tim was performing with James at the Edinburgh fringe when he heard that Tony had died. Tim said: “When my father died I went on stage without mentioning it which was a mistake. This time I announced it and said some words of tribute to him. We in the band shed a few tears when we heard.” Tim first met Tony backstage at the Hacienda and was signed to Factory on a demo recording. They parted company when the band decided to leave after recording two singles.
Tim said: “Even when we left Factory Records he never had a bad word to say about us.
“In the beginning we judged him as a loquacious television character and that’s partly why we left Factory. We made a complete error for which I apologised several times.
“He became a friend in the last 10 years. I used to bump into him at Dunham Massey and we’d chat for an hour.”
Tim recalled watching the film 24 Hour Party People with Tony. “I was really angry about the way he was portrayed, but he didn’t care at all.”