The Hacienda – How Not to Run a Club by Peter Hook
From Peter ‘Hooky’ Hook, co-founder of Joy Division and New Order and the New York Times bestselling author of Unknown Pleasures, The Hacienda is the story of the club that began a clubbing revolution. His insider, and often horrifying account of the club that gave birth to the ‘Madchester’ scene and acid house is confessed for the first time. Revealing how the club that laid the foundations for today’s rave culture, the book works you through the behind the scenes and how the club came about.
Hooky takes you along the ride of the Hacienda’s 15-year-long rollercoaster. Factory Records’ Hacienda had hosted gigs for every iconic Manchester band from the Stone Roses, the Smiths, Bauhaus, Run DMC, Happy Mondays and naturally, New Order. With DJ playlists, club night posters, meeting minutes, roll call of artists that appeared in the club weaved throughout Hooky’s honest narrative, the experience of the Hacienda is brought to life through the pages, reading like a music documentary. Along with the memorabilia is behind the scenes photographs from Peter Hook’s personal collection: these alone make the book a compelling piece of Manchester’s history.
Hooky is certainly not afraid to open up about the lowlights just as much as the highs. It’s a book recording Hooky’s memory of the era and his personal sufferings as a result of the chaotic club. He exposes the club for being something that the co-founders of New Order initially had little involvement in, which ultimately caused the decimation of the Hacienda and eventually, its closure in 1997. As young and naive musicians, New Order’s royalties were ploughed into the Hacienda, with the members only being paid £20 a week. Despite the club’s notorious and legendary status, it never made any money: each punter through the door cost them £10. Despite the shocking revelations, Hook keeps it light-hearted and funny with all the main characters – Tony Wilson, Barney, Shaun Ryder appearing throughout.
There’s a lot about the Hacienda that shouldn’t be glorified, and Peter Hook’s story stands by that: gangsters, drugs and violence went hand in hand with the music oasis. When the Hacienda opened, Factory and New Order had no experience running a commercial enterprise, nor trusted friends and staff to sort everything out. The book really shows the readers how not to run a club (if you have financial prospects).
Last but not least, The Hacienda, or Fac51 as named by Factory Records’ index of projects, was just round the corner from Underground’s Manchester HQ in the 1990s.
Delivered with an amusing and always authentic tone, Peter Hook’s the Hacienda is a must-read for anyone interested in Manchester’s music and history.