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Added 6th March 2024 by The Editor, Alan Wise Project

Featured in the following Online Exhibitions:
Don't Mention The Hacienda - The Adventures Of Alan Wise


Alan Wise, James Young

from film by Rob Sellex ...
James Young at his home in Oxford, summer 2023.

James grew up in Oldham and teamed up with Alan Wise when they were both carrying clever books and records around William Hulme Grammar School.

They remained friends for life. But there was a tricky moment to negotiate in 1992, when Bloomsbury published Nico: Songs They Never Play On The Radio. By James Young.

Alan was in it, lightly disguised, as Dr Demetrius - gluttonous, pompous and priapic. Everyone recognised him. But like every portrait in the book, it was a monumental Mancunian piss-take.

Alan eventually shrugged and moved on. When Stella Grundy was writing her stage play, Nico: Icon, 10 years later, he told her she might as well take the story from Jim's book.

He was supposed to write his own reply but he never quite did, although James Young encouraged him. It was going to be called 30 Years On Valium. Then 40 Years On Valium. Then 50. Alan was on the pills from the age of 13. He rarely drank, never smoked or took any other drug. But he always had something better to do than write his memoirs.

He was ridiculous sometimes. But he was also sometimes clever and charming and funny and kind.

James told us: "He used to go to watch Man U and leave early to watch the crowds. He liked to predict what a crowd would do and he was good at it.

"He got pompous with me about the book and in the end I wrote it thinking fuck you Alan. But I hope the love came through too. He was an under-estimated man and I would love to see somebody else report the other side of him."

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