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The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club Paperback – 4 Apr 2016
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'There are many sharply drawn vignettes in Hook's entertaining memoir . . . Hook is revealed as a born anecdotalist . . . engaging and hilarious' --Sunday Times
'Saturated with gleeful hedonism, Hook's memoir includes frank admissions of eye-popping commercial ineptitude, which gives the book a restless energy' --Financial Times
From the Inside Flap
Peter Hook, as co-founder of Joy Division and New Order, has been shaping the course of popular music for thirty years. He provided the propulsive bass guitar melodies of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and the bestselling 12-inch single ever, 'Blue Monday' among many other songs. As co-owner of Manchester's Hacienda club, Hook propelled the rise of acid house in the late 1980s, then suffered through its violent fall in the 1990s as gangs, drugs, greed and a hostile police force destroyed everything he and his friends had created. This is his memory of that era and 'it's far sadder, funnier, scarier and stranger' than anyone has imagined.
As young and naive musicians, the members of New Order were thrilled when their record label Factory opened a club. Yet as their career escalated, they toured the world and had top ten hits, their royalties were being ploughed into the Hacienda and they were only being paid £20 per week. Peter Hook looked back at that exciting and hilarious time to write HACIENDA. All the main characters appear - Tony Wilson, Barney, Shaun Ryder - and Hook tells it like it was - a rollercoaster of success, money, confusion and true faith.
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In reality the Hacienda made a vast loss, essentially propped up by New Order 's income and profits from the Joy Division back catalogue. Hooky shows that the Hacienda was assailed from all sides...and shares the club's accounts year by year . Increasing gang rivalry turning into horrendous violence,the staff looted what they could, a huge unpaid tax bill; became the proverbial millstone,and not nearly enough toilets. Bernard Manning performed on the opening night, and predicted disaster, refusing to even take his fee.
It is a tale of woe.
In the early 80's there were attempts to offer something different to the standard music business . Factory Records/ Hacienda and Anarchy Peace punks Crass tried to build genuine 'alternative ' scenes then Billy Bragg demanding a price freeze on his albums. ....and the tale of the Hacienda seems the most tragic simply because it had such a colossal impact on music, but not on the ethics of the music business.
At times the tales of pill consumption and boozing get monotonous but there are enough anecdotes. Hooky claiming to be possibly the last known musician to see Nico alive, getting excited by putting John Cale on, only to find 40 people in the audience, and most of them talked through the set, the time Manchester scallies descended for a rave in Peter Gabriel's garden. Worth reading indeed.
One thing that will please every reader is that Hooky is a fantastic raconteur and pulls off the hard job of making the story personal and objective. Its a compliment to the bloke that halfway through you desperately want a pint with him.
The end of chapter DJ set list is a drag but worth a spotify as you can experience the musical progress of the Hacienda. Read this and you realize just how lucky Ministry of Sound are for having a continuing legacy but also wonder if this would have been dwarfed if Hacienda had of been better managed and sustained over a period of time.
Either way. I NEVER want to own or run a club lmao
New Order bassist Peter 'Hooky' Hook's open love letter to the legendary club and the music scene that revolves around it is a compelling read. Hooky is refreshingly honest and openly admits his own naivety and recklessness in pursuit of a dream. The narrative is littered with story after story of irresponsible stupidity by a cotterie of well-intentioned but dangerously hopeless romantics. There are also some brilliant anecdotes and one-liners that will have you shaking your head and laughing out loud at the same time. My personal favourite is the club bouncer who decided to deter a gang of local villians from taking up permanent residience at the club by decapitating one of their dogs with a machete. Hooky's disastrous trip to the emerging Ibiza scene is also recounted in glorious technicolour, as are the eye-watering amounts of band money ploughed into keeping the club afloat in the face of all good business sense.
In the end, I found myself giving up trying to judge who was right and who was wrong, and just enjoying the ride. Which is also, I suspect, what most of the cast of characters did long ago.
In turns depressing, hilarious, outright bonkers and extraordinary. Hooky presents his side of the story with no holds barred...
I wish I'd picked this up earlier.
A cracking read. 😊
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