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15 July 2021

Paul Morley Writes New Biography On Factory Records’ Tony Wilson

Paul Morley From Manchester With Love US Edition
Photo: Trinity Mirror/Mirrorpix/Alamy Stock Photo
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A new biography of Factory Records‘ co-founder Tony Wilson has been announced, written by author and journalist Paul Morley.

From Manchester With Love: The Life and Opinions of Tony Wilson is due out later this year, and an announcement said it was Wilson’s wish for Morley to write a book about him.

The book, which is being published by Faber on 21 October, is described in a synopsis as “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”.

“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,” the announcement added.

“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 celebrate the arrival of the book, Morley will appear at the Manchester Literature Festival on 9 October to discuss his friendship with Wilson and the process of writing the new book. Tickets will go on sale in mid-August.

Tony Wilson died from a heart attack in 2007. Writing last year to mark what would have been the legend’s 70th birthday, NME wrote: “It was as the owner of the legendary label Factory Records and iconic Manchester club The Haçienda that Wilson cultivated his own place in history and helped to establish his city as a cultural powerhouse.”

Also in Manchester, the city’s Science and History Museum is currently presenting a new exhibition, ‘Use Hearing Protection’ dedicated to one of the city’s most influential labels, Factory Records.

This special exhibition tells the story of Factory’s formative years from 1978 to 1982, and how their innovative work in music, technology and design gave Manchester an authentic voice and distinctive identity. Founded by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus, the label played an influential part in the city’s transformation from an industrial powerhouse to a beacon of art and culture.

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