Saturday, November 06, 2004

I shook Peter Hook's hand!

I've been in London for the past couple of days and had the pleasure of attending Get Loaded's "An audience with Tony Wilson and Shaun Ryder" at Turnmills. This brilliant event was an interactive discussion between Wilson (Factory Records), Ryder (Happy Mondays and Black Grape), and Peter Hook (Joy Division and New Order), with Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets) moderating. Really it was a conversation about the glorious Manchester past between those who created it. The crowd was involved as well, asking numerous questions. Following the discussion, Wilson, Hook, Ryder, and Boon all did DJ sets. During the dj sets, I had the pleasure of shaking both Tony Wilson's and Peter Hook's hand. Unbelievable - two of the most important figures in music history.

What I find most interesting about British musicians and their fans is that they all get on so well - as if they're all in on it together. The discussion seemed not like a lecture but more of a conversation between "mates." I don't think you get the same feeling in America, where famous musicians are put on a pedastal and and away from their fans.

Numerous interesting comments were made during the discussion, including:
  • Tony Wilson on why he passed on signing the Stone Roses: "They dressed badly."
  • The group on 24 Hour Party People: "It was a pack of lies!" This was said, however, with tongue in cheek, as they went on to explain many of the stories from the movie.
  • Shaun Ryder to Tony Wilson on the downfall of the Happy Mondays: "The last album would have been great if you let Oakenfold produce it, instead of spending your money on shit guitar scabs!" Retorted Wilson, "if you hadn't spent the money on drugs, it would have worked out fine."
  • The group on John Peel: from Wilson, "John Peel was great back when he was promoting Joy Division, but after he started doing Smart adverts, I lost respect for him." Ryder shot back, "but Tony, you do the NEWS! That's even worse than adverts." Wilson, "But it's not advertising Shaun. Would you do advertising?" Ryder snickers, "I'd do anything for money!" Ryder then reminded Wilson that Peel would promote the Happy Mondays, "he gave us our first session." In the end, Wilson capitulated, "ok, fine, John Peel was brilliant."
  • The group on former Mondays' back-up singer Rowetta: Ryder, "she was a lunatic. After 'Step On,' she should have been on every house record in the late 80's but everyone thought she was crazy." Wilson, "yes, she had an incredible voice, but was in fact crazy." After a discussion on how many people she slept with ("she fucked everybody!" including Ryder), Wilson asked the crowd to raise their hands if they had not slept with Rowetta - and numerous hands shot up.
  • Wilson to Hook: "I've recently been listening to the songs loaded on my laptop and 'The Perfect Kiss' came on, and I thought that the high-fretted bass playing at the end was probably the most brilliant bass playing I've heard and I just wanted to say thank you to Hooky for that."

A truly incredible night for music fans and I was happy to be a part of it.


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