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The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club by Peter…

The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club (edition 2009)

by Peter Hook

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Title:The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club
Authors:Peter Hook
Info:Simon & Schuster UK (2009), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club by Peter Hook


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In “The Haçienda: How Not To Run a Club” Peter Hook, bass player in two of Manchester’s greatest bands: Joy Division and New Order and also co-owner of the club itself explains how it vacuumed up the bands income and brought him to the point of bankruptcy.

This is a candidly entertaining short’ish read written in a personal and chatty style. While Manchester in the early 1980s probably wasn't quite ready for a New York style disco it wasn’t long before the popularity of the club soared and things started to fall apart. Hooky reveals that in the 15 years it was open the club effectively cost the band £10 for every person who entered! I have to admit that I never went and I’m rather pleased I didn’t after reading some of the stories.

The book covers the drug fuelled meetings, Madchester and Acid House excesses, the influx of gangsters and subsequent violence, so it’s definitely not a tale for faint hearted. The book also has its fair share of funny passages too which are offset with stories where you find yourself shaking your head in disbelief, for example paying bands generous flat fees to perform to almost nobody and organising the bar so it required two staff to serve every customer.

I listened to the audio book and its split into sections devoted to each year the Hacienda was open. Each section is preceded with a snippet of a song which may have been played at that specific point in the clubs timeline. This device helped to set the scene and enhance the “read”. However, it’s worth trying to get a copy of the actual print version as it contains a chapter listing outlining which gigs put on during that specific year and it has copies of balance sheets which I’m guessing would make an accountant cry. You also get to see the photos of the interior and exterior of the Haçienda along with various flyers, posters and other media.

I would recommend that you read Unknown Pleasures first as the end of that book slightly bleeds into the start of this one. The Haçienda: How Not To Run a Club is a great read even if you’re not a fan of his music as if nothing else it certainly puts the evolution of the 1980s/90s clubbing scene into context. ( )
  Rob.Thompson | Nov 22, 2014 |
This is all familiar ground if you know much about the history of Factory Records, New Order or The Hacienda, but it's always to good to hear a great story from another angle. It's pretty readable, and goes through the history of the club year by year, listing events and including excerpts from the accounts and minutes of meetings (as an accountant I quite enjoyed even those bits). The writing can be a bit clunky, but Peter Hook is an entertaining narrator, not afraid to admit to their failings as night club managers, and it captures the mix of hedonism and danger that the club was renowned for. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Oct 7, 2014 |
Hook's book worth a look. ( )
  Linden_Dunham | Jul 30, 2014 |
The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club: "How Not To Run A Club" is spot on. This is a highly readable account about how Manchester's Factory Records launched a nightclub called The Haçienda, in Manchester, that traded from 1982 to 1997, reinventing UK club culture in the process. After a slow start, which saw the club half empty for most of its events, it finally became a symbol of the Madchester era, a global phenomenon, with the club's legendary nights packed out with people from far and wide.

Peter Hook, aka Hooky, the bassist of New Order was one of the investors. This book is his version of events - and it's an engaging, and lucid account, and it's well written in a conversational style.

Whilst New Order were being paid a modest weekly wage, the huge revenues they were generating for Factory Records were being ploughed into The Haçienda. By 1985, The Haçienda owed New Order £2 million. Pretty much everything the band earned went into the club. Finally Hooky, and the rest of the band, had to take more of an interest in the way the club was being run.

As Hooky concedes at the book's conclusion, ultimately he and his colleagues didn't want to run The Haçienda as a business - they wanted a playground for themselves and their friends. This amateurish and haphazard way of running a club resulted in some jaw dropping tales. Ludicrous and short-sighted business decisions, extraordinary drug consumption, violence, and local gangs terrorising the door staff and the customers, and so on. It all makes for a great read. The extent to which you might enjoy it will probably be related to the extent to which the subject matter interests you. I am interested in Factory, New Order, and youth culture generally, and thoroughly enjoyed it. 4/5
  nigeyb | Dec 6, 2013 |
Its not the sort of book i normally pick, but i remembered the club from my student days as a legendary place and wanted to get an insight into it.
its an interesting book. wouldnt rave about it but if you like this era or like books about drugs and gangs and their impact on clubs then i would recommend it. ( )
  lorraineh | Nov 7, 2010 |
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Legendary musician Peter Hook tells the whole story of Manchester's most iconic nightclub, the Hacienda - the fun, the music, the huge loss of money and the legacy. Hook charts the rise of acid house in the late 1980s and the violent fall in the 1990s as gangs, drugs, greed and a hostile police force destroyed everything.… (more)

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