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Today Generation - Memories of the Hacienda

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The Hacienda - photo by Ian Tilton 


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Steve Morris, Drummer in Joy Division and New Order, and part-owner of the Hacienda

Rob Gretton, our manager, hit on the bright idea that what Manchester needed was a nightclub and in a way I agreed with him, because at the time you couldn't get in a nightclub unless you were wearing a tie ,or were a member.  When you got in there, it was girls dancing round handbags and blokes hugging the bar clutching pints and the music was chart favourites and a bit of soul and proto-disco.
There were punk clubs - but for an ordinary everyday person, if you wanted to go out you had to fulfil certain social criteria to gain admittance and we thought this was wrong. And so we would open a club that would be the sort of club that we could get into - the antithesis of the Groucho - this would be our  club where people like us could go.
How wrong I was. For a start, I have a face that doesn't open doors. The opening night came and it was the first of many occasions when they asked "Who are you? No you're not coming in". Even though I was on the guest list - I had to pay. I was often the only person in there buying drinks ... the only way I could enjoy myself in the Hacienda after I'd parted with my cash to get in, was to get legless... you'd just look at it and you'd see the flooring's coming up, and think "That'll cost a packet, the PA sounds terrible, this hamburger tastes of cardboard - this'll cost a fortune to put right".
Suddenly instead of being in a happy-go-lucky carefree band we spent a lot of time in meetings with accountants. We had to grow up really.
When the Hacienda first opened nobody went, partly because it was so unlike any other club, and there was a backlash against Factory (New Order's label). People would say "They're trying to educate you in there about what music you should listen to".
Admittedly it was a bit misguided to open a club five or six nights a week when people didn't go out five nights a week. Sometimes there'd only be half a dozen people in the space and it would absolutely vast, and I'd be worried about the heating costs rather than enjoying myself.
 
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