Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Oct 16th 2009 12:47PM by Stephen Dowling
Capacity: Officially 1,400 but co-owner, ex-New Order bass player and Hacienda employee Peter Hook told Spinner, "We'd pack 2,500 on a good night."
Come to see: The Haçienda is no more. It somehow managed to survive financial ruin, guns, the drug-related death of teenager Claire Leighton and a host of other disasters from May 21 1982, until it closed its huge metal doors for the final time in June 1997. During its 15-year lifespan the Hacienda hosted many legendary gigs and helped bring acid house to the UK with some seminal club nights that changed British nightlife forever. The last band to perform in this legendary space was Jason Pearce's 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space'-era Spritualized. There are now apartments (pictured) on the site.
The atmosphere: So how would Hooky sum up the atmosphere then? He cackles, "F***ing ELECTRIC! I've got a wonderful tape of Mike Pickering (resident DJ and later M People mainman) announcing to the audience that the police were storming the building and it got the biggest cheer I've ever heard in the Hacienda. I think that sums it up really, it was like us against the world. And for me it felt like we dragged Manchester to the top of a fantastic pile. We really did. Tony Wilson, Rob Gretton, Alan Erasmus, Peter Saville, New Order, Joy Division they dragged Manchester to the top and for that period we won! And despite everything that's what makes me really happy."
You saw them here first: The venue was conceived by New Order's late manager and Factory Records partner Rob Gretton, and even had its own catalogue number of Fac 51. Naturally the leading lights on the label all played there alongside other Mancunian legends. New Order played numerous times, Happy Mondays too, the Stone Roses in 1985 and the Smiths three times in 1983. As well as bands many luminaries, legends and originators of the acid house sound made appearances with the Chicago House Party tour featuring Marshall Jefferson, Adonis, Frankie Knuckles and Fingers Inc. visiting in March 1987. They were consequently celebrated week in, week out by possibly the most up-for-it crowd in Christendom. One other notable appearance? Madonna, whose gig, her first on UK TV, was filmed by the Tube TV show on 27 January, 1984.
Claim to fame: Despite now being a block of flats, The Haçienda is still one of the most famous clubs in history, and the brand lives on for tours, merchandise, books and CDs of classic house tracks mixed by Peter Hook. Notable incidents at the clubs are too numerous to list but here are a few of Spinner's favourites; German industrial nutcases Einsturzende Neubaten were banned in 1985 for attacking the club's iconic yellow and black striped girders with pneumatic drills; the club's opening ceremony was carried out by the infamous and bemused northern club comedian Bernard Manning who is said to have waived his fee; and actress Liz Dawn, Vera Duckworth in 'Coronation Street', once sang a medley of her favourite songs at the midweek Zumbar night.
You should also know: The club took its name from a slogan of the radical group Situationist International. "The Hacienda Must Be Built" jumped off the page when Rob Gretton was leafing through Ivan Chtcheglov's text 'Formulary for a New Urbanism.' Hacienda is also, roughly translated from Spanish, means big, beautiful house.
For even more facts and figures, Peter Hook's new book 'Hacienda: How Not To Run a Club' makes hilarious and fascinating reading. His advice for would-be club owners? "Whatever you do, don't use your own money. Borrow it, and if it goes wrong, run! It's a very fine and noble thing to do, using your own money, but practically unheard of in business. Tony (Wilson) and Rob (Gretton) weren't businessmen and weren't going to turn into Alan Sugar just because we bought a club."
Booking now: If only it was still there. Instead the brand lives on in Hacienda club nights which tour the UK and feature Peter Hook and a host of guests.