• Jose Dias

The Haçienda



This is actually a very nice book! Who would say that Peter 'Hooky' Hook (bassist and co-founder of Joy Division and New Order) could write like this? Don't get me wrong - this is not the best book I've read, but Hook's informal, conversational, and even, at times, confrontational tone makes us feel like we're sitting right across him, listening to his stories over dinner - a long and wonderful dinner. This is also a great way to understand Manchester a bit better - its people, its music, its particular sense of humour. And to appreciate how easily a beautiful idea became a nightmare - how the club (The Haçienda) and the label (Factory Records) were impacted by major shifts in the music industry. Theirs was probably the last great adventure before the industry went digital and virtual. It is a story about the lost of innocence, in a hostile environment, as 'Madchester' became 'Gunchester' quite fast - fortunately, a Manchester I never knew. By the Rochdale canal, right on the corner of Whitworth St. West and Albion St., where The Haçienda used to be, there are names of heroes carved on the walls: Tony Wilson, Shaun Ryder, Greg Wilson, Ian Curtis, and many more. And that's as beautiful and brutal as this book.

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