According to the gospel of Saint Anthony H. Wilson, Manchester, England, was the center of the universe during the 1980s and 1990s. Not only for its music, its talent, its imagination, and sheer brass neck, but also because it had the Haçienda, the fabled night club where you could see Madonna one night and William Burroughs the next.
Designed by Ben Kelly, The Haçienda opened its doors on Friday May 21st 1982. Owned by Factory Records and New Order (the latter plowed most of their earnings into the venue), it was given the Factory catalog number FAC51. The mix of who played there reads like an A & R man’s wet dream and included, New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, OMD, The Birthday Party, Husker Du, The Stone Roses, Oasis, James, Echo and The Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, and Divine, amongst others. Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam were host DJ’s, and in the late 1980s and 1990s, the club was the catalyst for Madchester - the music and drug fueled Second Summer of Love.
Yet, as it is said, all good things must end and the Haçienda closed down in 1997; and the club was demolished to make way for “luxury apartments” in 2002.
When Peter Hook (legendary bass-player with Joy Division and New Order), guest-blogged on the NME back in 2009, he recalled his top 10 Haçienda memories. At number three, was William Burroughs performance at The Haçienda, October 1982, of which Hooky wrote:
“That was one of those nights when there was hardly anyone in but it was quite intense because of what William Burroughs was doing. The funny thing was that one of Joy Division’s first gigs abroad was with William Burroughs, a William Burroughs evening in the Plan K in Belgium so we had a little bit of history with him ‘cos he’d told Ian to fuck off when he asked for a free book. Even at The Haçienda I didn’t ask for a free book either. I was as scared of William Burroughs as he was.
Burroughs was always impressive when presenting his work on stage, and this clip, posted by orange object, is a great piece of pop and literary culture.
Previously on DM