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24 Hour Party People Paperback – 8 Mar 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Channel 4 (8 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075222025X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752220253
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Tony Wilson's 24 Hour Party People: What the Sleeve Notes Never Tell You is a curious book. It's a novelisation, by Wilson, of Frank Cottrell Bryce's screenplay of a film ostensibly about Wilson's years at the heart of Manchester's music scene--a kind of post-post-modern reversal of the trend to convert books into films.

Wilson, a former Granada and (briefly) World in Action television reporter became embroiled in the pop business after attending a (now legendary) Sex Pistols gig at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall. Only 42 people were in the audience but most of them, including its organisers Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley, formed punk groups of their own. Wilson booked the Pistols for So It Goes, Granada's answer to Top of the Pops, and then proceeded to delight (and disgust) viewers in the North Western region by beaming Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks and (a foul mouthed) Iggy Pop into their homes. (The show was axed shortly after Iggy's performance). Undeterred Wilson and friend Alan Erasmus started managing a band, The Duratti Column, and opened a New Wave club, The Factory. Aided and abetted by the DJ and musical impresario Rob Gretton; the designer Peter Saville and the drug-addled knob-twiddling genius Martin Hannett it evolved into Factory Records--home of Joy Division, latterly New Order, A Certain Ratio and the Happy Mondays. Not content with releasing exquisitely produced and (usually) money haemorrhaging records--even New Order's Blue Monday, the biggest selling 12-inch single in history, was so sumptuously packaged that Factory "lost three and half pence on every copy sold"--they started an ambitious Studio 54-style club, The Haçienda. It became the centre of the rave scene while its scally offspring, the Happy Mondays, stormed the charts.

As Wilson, in his own inimitable (that is to say wayward and spuriously fictionalised) style, reveals drugs, guns, ill-timed property deals and the Mondays decision to record an album in "crack central" Barbados eventually called time on Factory Records and The Hacienda. There are better accounts of the whole "Madchester" phenomenon--Dave Haslam's Manchester, England for one--but Wilson's novelisation has an insidiously entertaining spark about it. It's probably best approached as the literary version of one of those additional footage DVDs; not essential to your enjoyment of the original film but none the less full of rather addictive, extra snippets. --Travis Elborough

About the Author

Tony Wilson is the legendary founder of Factory Records and erstwhile owner of the Hacienda. He began his extraordinary career as a Granada TV weatherman and continues to work in journalism, television and the media industry.

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 April 2002
Format: Paperback
As a Little Hultoner (home of the Happy Mondays), whose mother now uses one of the Hacienda's Alvar Aaalto stools when she does her decorating (see chapter 34), this 'novelisation' has a particular resonance for me and I suspect many others in the 30-45 age group. I found it unputdownable and frequently hilarious. Each chapter is brief so you can rattle through it at a fair old pace. Even though Wilson says its very much an unreliable memoir what does come through is a curious kind of integrity. I say curious because everyone I've met who's worked with Wilson says he's a slippery SOB - but, as the book often illustrates, part of that could be typical Manc deprecation. Anyhow, in spite of all that, well done Wilson, Erasmus, Gretton, New Order et al for doing something for your own city and defying London and the barbarous forces of capitalism. Unfortunately, capitalism caught up with them in the end, as it usually does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By generalistjo on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
I happened to be living in Manchester when the Haçienda opened in 1982. Still have my 'credit card' membership as a matter of fact. It is true that the club was frequently empty in those days. Empty and cold. Saw a few decent bands there though including The Fall. Never was much of a New Order fan but loved Joy Div. Moved away from Manc in 84 so missed the acid house years.
Anyway - to business. This book is great 10/10. It goes off on a lot of weird tangents.... historical facts, literary allusion... that kind of thing. I actually think it's quite deep. The anecdotes are frequently hilarious. I don't really care how much of it is fact v fiction. It's hard to believe that 'successful' people could make this many mistakes.... but the stories about the running of the club are jaw-dropping in their ineptitude. Best to read the Peter Hook book for the complete Haçienda story... but this is a very good book. Top marks to whoever wrote it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Horner on 16 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Self-deprecating humour and a light touch even when dealing with tragic events run through Tony Wilsons semi-fictionalised account of the rise, insane highs, and crashing fall of the Factory Records Empire. As skewed and eccentric as a Happy Mondays lyric, if you weren't there at the time, this memoir will make you wish you were. If you were there, you probably won't remember much of it anyway...
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 May 2002
Format: Paperback
As a wannabee Manc, New Order fan, I've read almost everything I can get my hands on about Joy Division, New Order, or Factory (Ideal for Living, Unknown Pleasures & Wayward Distractions, Touching from a Distance), but this book goes down as one of the best ever written about the subject. Though the book is presented as a novelisation of the movie of the same name (and features little outtakes where Wilson sets the record straight in scenes), it becomes apparent late on in the book that probably most of what is written happened in some shape or form. The book is written almost as a series of anecdotes, and that's fine because each anecdote is not easily forgotten: Peter Saville's inability to do any project on time; Rob Gretton meeting Mike Pickering as they hide from Manchester United supporters; Rob Gretton trying to beat the pulp out of Wilson for his financial excesses; Shaun Ryder stealing everything in Eddy Grant's Barbados studio to buy crack...
But this book is more about just Factory or its bands. It's about the regeneration of Manchester. In this way, it's a perfect compliment to Dave Haslam's "Manchester: Story of a Pop Cult City." Somehow, through all the bad business acumen, Wilson, Gretton, New Order, and others somehow had enough artistic and aesthetic sense to kick start a complete change in attitude in the city and its people. Though the Hacienda is now gone, like the Big Bang, the cosmic radiation it set off is still there to be felt.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
I've been dying to read this, and I wasn't disappointed - it's a very funny, infuriating, one-sided, confusing, semi-autobiography. Tony Wilson ran Factory Records and the Hacienda, and seems to spend most of his time popping up on TV annoying people these days. He was a pivotal figure in the Manchester music scene, launching Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.
24-Hour Party People is partly based on the film of the same name, and it's hard to tell what's fact and what's fiction (but I like that). Wilson's style is very idiosyncratic, but he's always amusing and has some great stories. Amazingly, he's never written his autobiography, and this book is as much about what he calls the real heroes of the story - Ian Curtis, Martin Hannett, Shaun Ryder etc as it is about him. It's a unique insight into music history, and made me wonder just how much he's deliberately left unsaid.
Some beautiful pictures too - nice to see the iconic Factory posters and Kevin Cummins photography again.
An absolute classic.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Sk Motee on 18 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
I can assure you that you should own this book if you wish to learn about the relevance and importance of the ownership of culture that Wilson helped Manchester garner. I would however warn you that Wilson was aware of myth building. He has left much out and embellished much left in. I would point out that Mick Middles journalistic style is worth being checking out for the truth (in partic, From Joy Division to New Order), and the most amazing story of Manchester, the U.K's most revolutionary and cultural city. Maybe an annotated version should now be released?
I write this a week after Wilsons shocking death. The last time I felt as affected was at the death of John Peel. You dont realise the wonder of anything/body until it has gone. Truly, Wilson was a man who knew his roots. Loved his roots. Loved his music and his fellow man/c.
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