Ian Wilson

The Alarm’s manager from 1981 through 1987, and then Mike Peter’s manager from 1994-through 2000.  The owner of Wasted Talent, Wilson was U2’s agent when he discovered The Alarm in 1981.

When Wilson returned to become Mike Peters manager in 1995, he penned the following about his time with The Alarm:

A Second Generation (Thoughts Of A Well Travelled Man

“For Mike & I it was not too late to change the things that we had done”

10th December 1981… and Deborah and Sarah Jane both were at work before me as I walked down the stairs into the basement of 28 Alexander Street and settled into my desk facing the famous dustbin mural of Wasted Talent which had been painted the previous year. Deborah stood over me while Sarah Jane danced over to the record deck in the corner and they both began to hound me, pester me, implore me and generally insist with an effervescent enthusiasm for this great band they had seen the night before…insist that I listen, insist that I came to see this band…all this time Sarah Jane was placing the 7″ black vinyl single from the black bag, with what looked like a Picasso print on the sleeve….

…. onto the deck when ‘Up for Murder’ blasted like rock n’ roll skiffle before giving way to the passionate electric sound of ‘Unsafe Building’…two, three, four times Sarah Jane flipped the disc completely mesmerised by the raw energy of the record and the memory of this incredible band she had seen Upstairs at Ronnies, Soho, London, the night before…and Miles Newby the young booking agent fresh from Manchester Poly arrived having been at the same gig and brought the same message…this is it!

…On Stage at the Rock Garden, Covent Garden, London (19/12/81) I saw them for the first time and immediately recognised a musical power, energy and excitement that I had come to learn first from The Police and then The Beat and most recently The Stray Cats…Now three singers! Three busking bastardised acoustics all competing for the lead; all four vocal harmonies right on; military civil war coloured flashes from their hips to their boots; Peace! March! Ban the Bomb! All badges plastering Mike’s jacket and these incredible songs that struck right into my brain; ‘Marchin’ On’, ‘Shout to the Devil’, ‘What Kind of Hell?’,’ Third Light’, ‘Across the Border’, ‘Up for Murder’, ‘Second Generation’,’ Pavilion Steps and ’68 Guns’…What a buzz!

That night I met my future…

…14 years later, and probably 8 years since the last time I introduced Mike from the stage, I announced him Un.alarm.ed & Un.plugged at the Fez Club, New York City, August 12 1995. It felt very right just as if fate had brought us here. At the end of 1987 Mike and I became Unplugged, finally forced on different paths owing to a web of different pressures that obscured what had been our shared vision – neither of us happy any more with the roles we were being cast in, both unable to follow what we believed in, both compromised, both in danger of Unbreaking our Promise. And Mike was left to shoulder the burden and I was free; free and with no more knowledge of the creativity of the band; and yet some of Mike’s finest songs were written in this time and I now how the pleasure of discovering them anew…I enjoyed a very unique evening at The Fez. I was proud of Mike and proud of what we had achieved over all these years and felt the pure, simple pleasure of being just a fan again; and of course all these wonderful people knew with such deep knowledge all these songs that were burnt into my memory too…

…And so Mike and I came to talk of a second generation made ‘specially for you, all of you who care. Mike is unique, very special. I have worked with so many now and believe me no-one works that hard or cares that much. He made this album out of respect and on pure adrenaline. If we continue to treasure him he will give us more, more shows, more songs, and more special times…

…I’m particularly into ‘The Peace Train/Chant’ ‘cos I remember the way Mike first played me ‘The Chant’ which really was the companion for ‘The Stand’ in my mind. I remember the mural in the A&M lot on La Brea in Los Angeles and the spirit of the IRS label back then which was the engine room of the band’s commercial success. Thank you Kyle, Tom, Betsy, Karen, Barbara, Carl, Mike O’Brien, Jay, Miles, Steve, Brian, Jeremy, The Cutting Edge and of course the incomparable Michael Plen. These were the people who believed, who gave Mike the energy to write and perform because they promoted without fear of contradiction or failure…

…Somehow ‘The Chant’ as it came to be recorded back in London was swamped with the new technologies of the day, fairlights et al., and never captured again the promise and spirit of the Artist who wrote it. Mike and Dave’s musical roots were no longer in that version. In ’96Second Generation is an essential record for all of us because it helps us understand the soul of The Alarm, the real spirit that was ’76, and ’66 and ’56. Now I’m going to get Green Day or some LA punk outfit to cover What Kind of Hell!

Of ‘Second Generation’ I’m PROUD!!!! : Now you must turn it up LOUD!!!!

Ian Wilson now represents Mike Peters for Track Artist Management (London, New York) and also managed The Alarm from 1981-1987.

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