The Hacienda (or Fac51) was one of the most famous and influential clubs of all time, together with London nights like Shoom, Spectrum and Solaris it catapulted house music (at the time, the sound of black and gay Chicago into worldwide exposure). The Hac influenced and was influenced by the Ibizan scene. Even prior to house, the club innovated; hosting the first UK performance by Madonna in the early 1980s. The club was a work of love by designer Peter Saville, Rob Gretton who managed New Order and Tony Wilson TV newsreader and founder of Factory Records. The name itself came from a passage in arty situationist manifesto by Ivan Chtcheglov that culminated in the passage:
And you, forgotten, your memories ravaged by all the consternations of two hemispheres, stranded in the Red Cellars of Pali-Kao, without music and without geography, no longer setting out for the Haçienda where the roots think of the child and where the wine is finished off with fables from an old alamanac. Now that’s finished. You’ll never see the Hacienda. It doesn’t exist. The Hacienda must be built.
Famous art galleries and authors houses get preserved and saved. However night clubs don’t get this reward: The Cavern where the Beatles played is a car park, The Warehouse in Chicago has disappeared, The Wigan Casino and Twisted Wheel hubs of the northern soul scene have been redeveloped, The Wag Club which hosted new music throughout the 1980s from the new romantics to Bomb the Bass is part of a tacky mock Irish pub chain on the edge of London’s Chinatown.
The Hacienda was demolished in 1997 and auctioned off piece by piece, the site is now a block of overpriced yuppie apartments.Despite the desecration committed by property developers, its cultural mark still lives on.
This can be seen in the popular Steve Coogan film 24 Hour Party People, the ‘classics chart’ of Graeme Park hosted at Hard To Find Records online and London event promoters Get Loaded. More related posts here.