Top positive review
Entertaining but sad tale of idealism being destroyed.
on 7 August 2017
I fully accept that Hooky is writing a very personal account of his involvement in the well documented Hacienda fiasco. Perhaps we was just too involved and risked too much to be remotely objective. Of course the Hacienda's crucial role in introducing the who concept concept of clubbing and the celebrity DJ cult is very well known. But the Hacienda opened every day , beer was cheapest in town, lesser known bands were encouraged to play, idealism, creativity and trust were going to replace capitalism .
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 a 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.