Yet for the first time New Order’s Peter Hook, one of the men responsible for the bliss and the blow outs speaks candidly about the misadventure, mismanagement and missing money from Manchester’s most enduring legend.
All week we will be running extracts from his new book “How Not to Run A Club”, an auto biographical account of the mayhem, excess and music that became arguably the word’s most famous nightclub.
To kick things off we visit 1981 when the dream was just that. Ultimately opening in May 1982 having already spent £341,000 (£3 Million in today’s terms) all New Order’s money was only just beginning to be replaced by all the hedonism
It took a long time for New Order to recapture the ground we lost when Ian died, not to mention the emotional fall-out, which still gets me now. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of him and what we achieved. But by 1981 we were climbing the ladder again. We were touring and visiting great clubs in amazing cities. We liked the sleaziness of the places we discovered in New York, places like Hurrah, Danceteria, Tier 3 and Eden. In Manhattan at the time you’d find these steamy, sweaty, dark, low-end clubs, like the Fun House, a black-painted box that just felt vibey, and then you’d go into ritzy places with art installations, like Studio 54 and Area.
But whenever we returned it was to a Manchester scene that was still pretty stagnant. So it was, then, that Tony and Rob came up with the idea of opening their own place. At first New Order didn’t really listen. We were concentrating on making music. He told us the club would cost around £70,000. What? We couldn’t believe it. £35,000. We were musicians living on £20 per week. Where the hell was this fortune going to come from? ‘We’ll use our profits from the sale of Unknown Pleasures,’ he replied.
Now all we needed was a name, which came from Tony. He’d got it from Leaving the 20th Century: The Incomplete Work of the Situationist International, a book published in 1974 as a limited edition that became something of an underground classic.
Ivan Chtcheglov, 1953:
And you, forgotten, your memories ravaged by all the consternations of two hemispheres, stranded in the Red Cellars of Pali-Kao, without music and without geography, no longer setting out for the hacienda where the roots think of the child and where the wine is finished off with fables from an old almanac. That’s all over. You’ll never see the hacienda. It doesn’t exist. The hacienda must be built.
Tony picked up on that last phrase, ‘The hacienda must be built’, which became his call to action and gave us ‘hacienda’. To that was added a cedilla – so legend has it, in order that together the c and the i looked more like the number 51, which was to be the club’s catalogue number – and we had our name: the Haçienda.
‘Punk had levelled the ground,’ said Peter Saville. ‘It had burned for about eighteen months and all of us involved in that moment were wondering what you then build. There was a strong feeling that it was a post-revolutionary moment and that you had to then build the future. The Haçienda must be built was a great statement for that moment in time.’
However, Saville didn’t feel able to design the club. He was shown around the yacht showroom by Gretton and Wilson and was stunned by the space and flattered by the offer, but ultimately thought it a job more suited to Ben Kelly, of Ben Kelly Design.
London-based Kelly was a veteran of the punk years, having been at its epicentre: he was one of those arrested during the Pistols’ infamous Jubilee riverboat escapade; he spent the night in the cells and was later given a two-year suspended sentence. He had designed the shop front for Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s legendary Seditionaries clothes shop on Kings Road, where anarchy shirts, bondage suits and parachute tops were available to London’s punks – a more fashion-conscious bunch than their Manchester contemporaries. He’d also designed the Glitterbest office, HQ for McLaren and the Pistols, then was asked to make their Denmark Street rehearsal rooms habitable. (Upon arriving there for the first time, he found himself being chased down the street by the Pistols’ drummer, Paul Cook, who was wearing just a pair of underpants.) Next he was asked by Steve Jones to do some work on his West Hampstead flat. The brief: ‘I don’t care what you do, as long as it impresses the birds.’ It worked – Kelly recalled seeing most of Hot Gossip leaving Jones’s bedroom one morning. So, for Factory, his punk-rock credentials were impeccable…
Tomorrow will see us leap back to 1983 when the club was finally open. Fuller extracts in the latest issue of Clash Magazine, out now.
The Haçienda: How Not To Run A Club by Peter Hook is published by Simon & Schuster, priced £18.99. You can win one of five signed copies with ClashMusic HERE.
Read further extracts from the book, covering 1983, 1988, 1990
Big Chill Festival 2010