Wednesday 7 October 2009

Peter Hook book launch - The Arches

Peter Hook interview and signing - Glasgow Arches

I went along to The Arches last night to watch Peter Hook being interviewed by The Herald's Teddy Jamieson to promote his new book -The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club.

Hook was immediately at ease, floating effortlessly into stories and anecdotes about his association with the legendary Hacienda. The highs set the controls for the heart of the sun - the introduction of ecstasy, acid house, Madonna playing, The Smiths, Jesus and Marychain on their feedback tour, Stone Roses in spring 89 just as they were breaking, Primal Scream on their Screamadelica tour, a movement, the discovery of music, drugs and friends, a time that people will always remember.

The lows were the dark side of the moon - gangs, drug warfare, muggings, stabbings, shootings, friends lost to drugs and the general move from The Hacienda being a happy place to one of paranoia and fear.

There was virtually no need for Jamieson to be there as Hook was only to happy to reminisce, although all credit to The Herald journalist for prompting Hook at the right times and steering him from start to finish on quite a crazy journey. You certainly got the impression that Hooky could have easily and happily talked all night.

Through Hook’s stories and banter, it quickly became evident that he fully appreciates how lucky he has been to have played in two legendary bands, to have witnessed first hand the impact of; punk, acid house and madchester, to have been part of Factory and the Hacienda, and to have shared his life with the likes of Tony Wilson, Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Seville and the Happy Mondays.

One great story concerned Hook being outside the Hacienda looking for an aftershow when through his drug and alcohol induced haze he heard an announcement on a radio/walkie talkie 'Mick Hucknall coming through, Mick Hucknall coming through....’ This continued until Mick Hucknall from Simply Red was coming through, actually saying ‘Mick Hucknall coming through’ complete with security guards only for one of Hooky's Salford mates to break through and deck him.

The excess, naivety, art, music and history relating to the Hacienda ensures that there are thousands of stories out there. Hook was at the heart of it. His stories range from funny and moving, to frightening and sad.

Having skimmed through the book and having prior knowledge of the vast quantities of money that were ploughed into the design and upkeep of the club, it is best summed up on page 304 when Hook says he was wandering through an empty club before it was stripped for closure and wandered back stage to find an old room with some barrels on a platform. The platform was propped up by something to keep it level. Hook investigated to see what it was and there, stained in sweat and beer was a quarter inch tape. An original master of Joy Division’s debut album ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

Hook smiled at the metaphor. ‘Joy Division held the whole fucking thing up.’

After the interview Hook took questions from the floor for 30 minutes before signing books and records. He was thoroughly engaged with his audience and only too happy to pose for pictures and sign all items of memorabilia. I was there with my mate Tel, an avid collector of all things relating to Joy Division. We waited until the end and Hook spent a good 15 minutes with us - signing my New Order records and quizzing Tel on where he found a certain bootleg, how he got the orange vinyl of Joy Division's first record and joking 'oh not you again'.

It was an entertaining evening and I ended in bed reading my newly signed copy of the book, I'm already hooked - excuse the pun.

1 comment:

Pinup Nights said...

Given my unhealthy New Order/Factory obsession I was sorry to miss this - unfortunately I was on holiday. Cheers for writing up the report, very interesting.