Saturday, 10 October 2009
The Hacienda: How not to run a club by Peter Hook
When That's Not My Age was a Bright Young Thing, not much older than Tavi, the Hacienda felt like home. The club on Whitworth Street Manchester, designed by Ben Kelly and funded by Factory Records and New Order was where TNMA grew up. Many a drunken night was spent watching gigs and staggering up and down the stairs, from the Gay Traitor bar to the dance floor. And now, thanks to Peter Hook's witty memoir, those crazy hazy, early eighties nights (pre-Facebook, mobile phones and cheap cameras) are back in focus.
The best quote in the book has to be Tony Wilson's, 'About three years after we opened the club, we realised that everybody in Manchester was getting free drinks - except for the people who actually owned it.' So true Tony, so true. A friend 'E' worked behind the bar and often hurriedly shoved bottles of Pils into my hands free of charge, thank you very much. One night, 'E' was on his break and we were swinging each other round on the dance floor (students on free beer, remember!) a bouncer grabbed us both and tried to show us the warehouse door. 'But I work here!' shrieked 'E'.... how not to get thrown out of the greatest nightclub ever.
And so to last night. Hooky's London book signing was a chance to reminisce, re-visit those teenage years and ask the 53 year old DJ a couple of brief, age-related questions (and it was a brief encounter, the queue of 40-something blokes snaked all around the shop and down the stairs).
TNMA: 'Thank you for writing this book - I grew up at the Hacienda, and it's reminded me of all those gigs I'd forgotten I went to.'
Hooky: 'Ha ...someone who went to the Hacienda and can't remember things, you're not alone!'
TNMA: 'What record would you play at a 40th birthday party?'
Hooky:'You've Got The Love. Yeah, it's got to be You Got The Love'
(Candi Staton tune often played at The Hac)
TNMA: ' Have all those years playing guitar at knee level had an effect as you've got older?'
Hooky: 'It has. I've got a trapped nerve. It's very bad, actually.'
Let that be a warning to all the hip, young guitar slingers out there - and then Hooky signed my booky and that was that. The End: No Funk.