Liner notes to "The Durutti Column Live at the Bottom Line, New York"
A.H. Wilson     [Tony Wilson, manager of D.C. and Factory]

It began, most of it on the 24th January, 1978.  I don't remember the
weather, just my accountant asking me why I was so poor, and he was
talking about groups, the ones I put on T.V. at 'Granada', the ones
his daughter had told him became rich and famous just a few months
later.  Maybe he knew that old line from Joyce "a merchant is he who
buys cheap and sells dear, be he gentile or Jew".  My accountant was
Jewish and I was a Catholic, and I knew that there's nowt as cheap as
avant-garde art when it's young, and nowt as dear when it gets to
auction.  And I remember driving that night to see some friends who'd
just been thrown out of their group, that was Dave and Chris, one of
whom, years later would lay down his beat for Hucknall to dance on.
And their manager Erasmus had been wiped out in the coup.  And I said
I'll join the team, and then there were four.  And it was the fifth
that this tape is all about.  We needed a lead guitarist.  Two nights
later Erasmus took me to a big Victorian family house in
South-Manchester.  There was this guitarist -- he was living with his
girlfriend in her father's house.  I remember the room -- it was
white, that's all I remember, and Vini, Vini Reilly.  Those frail
features -- as frail nine years on.  He didn't play any guitar.  It
seemed irrelevant.  His music would clearly be him and he was in.  The
fifth.  The dominant fifth.  And so we tried to build a group, adding
bass and voice, rehearsing in a scout hut through spring of 1978.  We
took our name from a Situationist poster campaign that had happened in
Strasbourg at the dawn of the last revolution, 11 years before.  No
real reason, except wilfulness, in our music, in our politics, in our
scout hut.  And who was to know -- it might make people aware of the
two horsemen, and as it happened, it did ("Art Forum", 1986, Greil
Marcus).  From then on it was praxis all the way.  A venue was
required.  No stale or pre-owned room, we took a black club in Hulme
for a bunch of Friday nights.  And called it The Factory.  "No-one
will come" they said.  They were of course, wrong.  A record was
required and we took our lead from the being-born post-punk
mercantilism, from Boone and Last and Ryan and the rest.  And so there
was a record label.  And it was called Factory Records.  But there was
no 'Durutti Column'.  By the time we got to plastic the group had
exploded in the kind of management-musician strife that makes it all
such fun.  I think the row was about producers.  It was probably about
personalities.  The musos split.  I haven't talked to the bass player
for eight years.  I see his videos on M.T.V. -- but I don't talk to
him.  What remained in the cold winter of '78 was 2 managers, an
obscure advert for a bizarre offshoot of the anarchist canon and a
sick guitarist.  Vini specialises in being ill, playing guitar like no
one else in the world, and being ill.  He was ill then.  Anorexia
would be a gross oversimplification, sensitivity, idle flattery, he
was ill.  And there was no band.  And then, as it would happen, a
little wilfulness.  An album without a group, an album in which a
man/boy who could play the guitar, played the guitar.  And Martin
Hannett, the finest producer in the world in that year, 1978, coaxing
obscure beat box sounds out of a primitive sequencer.  "The Return of
the Durutti Column" it was called.  It started what is still
unfinished, the Durutti Column, and the musical life of Vini Reilly.
If I have to choose a memory or two here -- these "ROIR" people seem
to like multiple fold out liners -- I would choose the room full of
semen.  The first 2,000 copies of the aforementioned album were
packaged in sandpaper, a marketing device that really fucked on the
opposition.  Each white cardboard liner had to have two 12" square
pieces of sandpaper gummed on.  "Joy Division" were low on cash at the
time and volunteered at a reasonable piece-rate.  They did it on the
big table in the Factory flat, while a porn movie played on the
V.H.S. -- brush fulls of white mucus paste slapped onto the flesh
coloured abrasive.  Slap, slap, suck, hour after hour, a fine
memory.  You could have the night in Helsinki, when a grand piano
wheeled from the wings brought Vini back to the instrument he deserted
at 15.  The boy had wanted to grow the fingernails of his right hand.
Wilfulness you see.  Or the night in Tokyo when we couldn't get served
our Nippon stew cause the little waitress was having a fit that
"Vinee" was in _her_ restaurant.  Or in L.A. playing "White Rabbit"
note perfect, first take after the briefest of acquaintances with the
Airplane original; genius or party game; party game and genius.  Or in
my home looking after my little son who, adores him.  The two of them
walking in the park, pals.  Or every time he's ever played "Missing
Boy", old-man Mitchell on the drums belying his years, and Reilly
embracing them and pinning them to.  Memories.  For you here, one
night in New York.  I wasn't there; I'm an L.A. boy now.  This is
someone else's memory.  I'm sure it's one they won't forget.