Today I was lucky enough to hold a copy of the Durutti Column's debut album 'The Return Of The Durutti Column' . This version was one of the sandpaper sleeve originals - something I had heard of, but never seen.. The vinyl was still pristine, and the owner had kept an article on Vini Reilly from an edition of Sounds, pressed within the sleeve. The record had the original flexidisc of two Martin Hannett compositions - First Aspect of The Same Thing, and Second Aspect Of The Same Thing - which we played - and they sounded amazing. Incredible stuff. I don't know how many of these albums were pressed up originally - but I felt very privileged to be holding a copy and hearing all the stories behind its creation.
I then got home very late tonight - having gone via the wedding of Paul from Soft Hearted Scientists - only to hear that Tony Wilson had died. He had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Just yesterday I had been discussing how I was planning a fundraiser as I'd heard he had been refused treatment on the NHS - a conversation which kickstarted the rediscovery of the Durutti Column LP from my host.
I think the fact that I had just spent an afternoon enthralled looking at one of Tony's creations, listening to the work of Martin Hannett, and discussing how Tony and Factory Records were such inspirational figures to me and to the independent music scene before I had heard this news, is a testimony to his influence and relevance over many decades. He will remain an inspiration for many, many years to come.