Guest Blog – To mark the release of his new book about The Hacienda, here New Order’s Peter Hook reminisces about the legendary Manchester club, which he co-owned.
1. The 1st Birthday Party, May 1983
I’d never seen so much booze in one place in my life. We were like pigs in a trough. The thought that I’d paid for it never struck me. It was like all your Christmases coming at once. A wild moment. It wasn’t until years later that we realised that we were the ones paying for it and nobody else was. It was a funny moment. A strange realisation.
I’ve seen all the pictures and it certainly looked like I was enjoying myself though. Things were a lot simpler back then because there weren’t any drugs involved, it was just drinking, so there wasn’t the sort of intensity of the later parties when you were either on drugs or trying to score drugs.
The first birthday was a lot less fraught than the opening night and you did feel like you were part of something important. You started to feel that The Hacienda wasn’t a dream. It was real and it was going to be with you for a while.
2. The Parting Of The Curtains
In the early days they put a clear vinyl curtain in to keep the noise down, bring down the echoes and make the sound better and separate the dancefloor from the entrance. When you came through the entrance, you looked through the curtain and everything was all faded, hazy, and the sound was really muffled. You had this wonderful moment when you put your hands in and opened it and you went into the brightness and the power of the noise.
It was a really strange thing to do. The expectation when you went up to the curtain and then the deliverance of it could be equally as disappointing when there was nobody in and it could be immensely rewarding if it was full.
3. William Burroughs at The Hacienda, October 1982
“That was one of those nights when there was hardly anyone in but it was quite intense because of what William Burroughs was doing. The funny thing was that one of Joy Division’s first gigs abroad was with William Burroughs, a William Burroughs evening in the Plan K in Belgium so we had a little bit of history with him ‘cos he’d told Ian to fuck off when he asked for a free book. Even at The Hacienda I didn’t ask for a free book either. I was as scared of William Burroughs as he was.
4. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, September 1983
It was funny ‘cos a lot of the gigs sounded awful. It was only when you got a band that were quite successful that we could afford a cracking PA. One that has always stood out for me was Orchestral Manoeuvres when they right at the peak of their powers. They had a great lighting rig and a wonderful sound. The difference was unbelievable. They really kicked the bad acoustics right out of the place. It was catching a band right at their very peak and The Hacienda was a great place for gigs when they were full, just not when they were empty.
5. Parking Your Car Inside The Hacienda
Yeah, I used to park it next to the dancefloor, just by the double gates. Bernard and I got right into that one because we both lived out of town, me in Didsbury, him in Handforth. We got into a habit of being very, very cheeky, driving our cars into town, getting loaded and not knowing what to do with your car so I came up with the idea of getting the bouncers to let me in through the double doors, parking it inside The Hacienda and then going back to get it the next day. Then Bernard got wind of that and me and him were forever doing it.
It used to drive everyone fucking crazy. They’d have to clean round our cars in the morning and most of the time me and him would insist on bringing it in before the night had finished. It became one of our little irritating habits.
I once threw Ryan Giggs out for leaning on my car inside the club. My car, the Shogun, was parked inside The Hacienda and he was there with his mates at a party downstairs. I went to him “Get off my fucking car you nobhead” and they gave me a bit of verbal so I said to the doorman, “Fucking throw him out the cheeky bastard” and the doormen just went and grabbed him and threw him straight out.
‘The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club’, by Peter Hook, is out now.
Hooky will be doing a tour in support of the book. Dates here.
Listen to Peter Hook live on Iain Baker’s NME Radio show this Friday at 4pm