It was Slits legend Ari Up’s death last week, at only 48 years old, that really drove it home: punk may have been born less than 35 years ago, but its icons have already begun to die out. (In fact, a good number didn’t make it as far as the mid-’80s.) So, because Halloween is almost here, and since Tony Wilson’s headstone was just recently unveiled, we present a spooky, freaky, 10-site tour of memorials to punk and post-punk icons, from Darby Crash to John Peel to Kurt Cobain. Since many of these figures tended to embrace the morbid and macabre, we’d like to think they’d come along for the ride.
A visionary music lover who, over the years, ran his own TV show, venue, and record label, Wilson died too young in 2007, at only 57 years old. Peter Saville and Ben Kelly’s headstone was just recently placed in Lancashire, England’s Southern Cemetery, and it features the following quote from — what else? — Mrs. G Linnaeus Banks’s 1876 novel The Manchester Man:
Mutability is the epitaph of words
Change alone is changeless
People drop out of the history of life as of a land
though their work and their influence remains
Wilson’s casket, meanwhile, was engraved with the catalog number FAC 501 — making it Factory Records’s final release.