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The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club Hardcover – October 1, 2009

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the UK Publication of THE HACIENDA:
“A frank memoir of altruism, idealism, and breathless incompetence.” (Uncut magazine (5 stars))

“Had the Hacienda not been run by a bunch of Manchester chancers it wouldn’t have been half the club it was, nor would Hook’s account be half as riveting.” (Time Out)

“Entertaining . . . Hook is revealed as a born anecdotalist . . . engaging and hilarious.” (Sunday Times)

“Saturated with gleeful hedonism, Hook’s memoir includes frank admissions of eye-popping commercial ineptitude, which gives the book a restless energy.” (Financial Times)

“Honest, punchy, and rough-hewn . . . a portal into a vivid moment in rock history . . . the life and times of a working band . . . and, in the middle of it all, the transformative power of music.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Unflinchingly honest . . . Hook peels away the romantic sheen colored by its dark history and gives unfettered insight into the band’s origins and inspirations . . . this is required reading for anyone who ever felt moved by Joy Division’s cold, dark music.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Packed with period detail and tales of debauchery, gangsters, and especially, as the title promises, how not to run a club.” (Under the Radar, 7 ½ out of 10 stars) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The acclaimed and wildly outlandish inside account of Britain's most notorious club, The Haçienda—a story of gangsters, drugs, violence, and great beats

In the 1980s, The Haçienda was one of the most famous venues in the history of clubbing—a celebrated cultural icon alongside Studio 54, CBGB, and the Whiskey a Go Go—until its tragic demise.

Founded by New Order and Factory Records, The Haçienda hosted gigs by such legendary acts as the Smiths, Bauhaus, Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, Happy Mondays, and Stone Roses; gave birth to the "Madchester" scene; became the cathedral for acid house; and laid the tracks for rave culture and today's electronic dance music. But over the course of its near fifteen-year run, "Madchester" descended into "Gunchester" as gangs, drugs, greed, and a hostile police force decimated the dream.

New Order cofounder and bassist Peter Hook provides an up-close and visceral look at this cultural touchstone and it's rise and fall. The Haçienda is a funny, horrifying, and wild story of success, idealism, naïveté, and greed—of an incredible time and place that changed the face and sound of modern music.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; First Edition edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847371353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847371355
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Hook was born in 1956 in Salford, England. A founding member of Joy Division and New Order, he is an international DJ and tours Joy Division's music with his new band, the Light. He lives in Cheshire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Jepson on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of New Order, Joy Division and the whole Factory Music world. That's why I would recommend this book only to the diehard fan.

The book chronicles Peter Hook's (bassist New Order) experience of Manchester during the roaring '80s and early gay '90s. The book says it's about running a club, but even Hook is honest about not being much of a manager. The first half of the book is mostly about Hook being drugged out of his head and barely remembering the multiple times that his band was fleeced of money in order to keep the club open. Which gets me to the writing: fifth grade level. Hook writes in a stream of consciousness, conversational way. It's entertaining, but often difficult to understand. He uses a lot of incomplete sentences and phrases which allows the reader to try connect them into something resembling an idea.

Having said that, for the true fan, you will love this book for the little stories that pop out.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lovblad on November 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is one entertaining book: it recounts the problems Hooky and New Order and Tony Wilson, let's say everyboy in Factory, ran into by running one of the most famous clubs around. For thso who do not know: Peter Hook is/was the bassplayer with Joy Divisoin/New Order and their success financed Factory records and then the famous Hacienda. As he calls it: how not to run a club. Because despite being successful and legendary, the club not only went bankrupt but dragged all of New Order and Factory with it. Hook describes all this wonderfully; it is amazing that such a talented lot of people were actually not able to control their financial destiny in such a way. one has to read this book, really. I for one allways loved Factory records and together with 24 hour party people this will partly make you understand what happened to that great record label.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"It felt like admitting defeat if you went home."

For much of the 80's and early 90's Manchester UK was the center of music and youth culture. And the center of 'Madchester' was The Hacienda.

The Hacienda was funded largely by the band New Order, which Peter Hook was the bassist of, and in this book he recounts the history of the Hacienda from it's inception in 1982 to it's demise in 1997.

The subtitle is - How to Not Run a Club, and he aint kidding. It seems like everything they could do wrong they did. The Hacienda was run more like a collective or something, not a business. The staff drank and took drugs while on duty. Management wasn't interested in containing costs or maximizing revenue. Stuff got stolen, lost. For a time they kept money in a file cabinet because no one could remember the combination to the safe. Then the money got stolen and because it should have been in the safe the loss wasn't covered by insurance. Typical.

On the other hand, it sounds like it was an incredible place. It really took off in 1988, when ecstacy, Acid-house, and raving created a 2 year golden age of good times. Reading this book made me wish I had been there. There were some incredible all night parties and adventures going on. Peter recalls many a drug fueled shenanigan.

A super fun and entertaining book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harold Grey on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying I am a real fan of Hooky's contributions to both Joy Division and New Order. I just finished reading the book during a trip with my mom and sister to Glasgow and London and I found it a bit disappointing. After reading the book, one gets the impression that these were very immature people who just wanted a place to indulge their Bacchanalian fantasies. It is also hard to have sympathy for them losing money hand over fist when no one was willing to step up and address obvious problems. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 vision, but it is painful to read about people making the same mistakes over and over. New Order made some monumental music in their own right, but I was disappointed when New Order hooked up with Arthur Baker and the Funhouse gang. You can see how that was a pre-cursor to the whole Madchester phenomenon. They seemed to lose their own plot somewhere in the early to mid-eighties and jumped on the Funhouse/Paradise Garage bandwagon. With Joy Division and early New Order, one got the feeling that while they were influenced by others, they were moving in a unique direction. Somewhere that seemed to stop and New Order became much less interesting. I agree Hooky, "you made history, not money."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John S on July 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
Another saga in the glorious Manchester mythology. The year is 2010 and nothing new on the subject had appeared for a while. That was the reason I bought it (not to mention a transatlantic flight to endure). This beatification of Factory Records and their impact on Manchester (and world) music was started by Tony Wilson straight after Factory Records' bankruptcy in 1993, and Peter Hook seems to have picked up Wilson's baton following the latter's death in 2007.

About the book. Hook is by no means a writer but he has a story to tell, admittedly a true story that would defy the myths surrounding The Hacienda. So the writing style aside, we are left with facts and myriad numbers - profits, sales, losses, taxes, etc., sometimes you feel like you're in an accountant's office. I liked some bits, like for example about New Order recording "Technique" on Ibiza, and how Rob Gretton (New Order's manager) was almost mysteriously bonded to The Hacienda: despite all ill, Gretton held to the club to the last second of its existence, when Factory Records and New Order had been long gone. Basically the club existed solely at the expense of the young, carefree members of New Order who siphoned their money like chips into the fireplace. It's an OK book, strictly for Factory/Madchester fanatics.

Sometimes I catch myself regretting about these tell-all books about Joy Division/New Order. When I grew up listening to New Order, there was no Internet, no books and barely any media coverage on the subject. You felt privileged to get a new record or get a bit of news on them. I mean they were really a cult band, which contributed to the charm to their fantastic music.
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