DJing

10/10/1990 Last ‘Temperance Club’, Hacienda, Manchester

So it had been every Thursday for four and a half years I’d been at the Hacienda. And watched it grow and grow, and just played the records and enjoyed almost every moment of it.

In October 1990 I resigned when my Thursday night was at its height – the music and the bands I’d been championing were properly overground by then and the night was still, or even more, packed. Peter Hook writes about this in his book about the Hacienda but slightly misremembers or misrepresents it (I think he says the doormen tried to break the door down etc).

I decided to leave because the club had decided a few things without talking to me first and I was a bit irked. And also, to be honest, because I had just set in motion a new night at a club down the road called The Boardwalk (this was to be a night called ‘Freedom’).

The management had decided to replace ‘Nude Night’ on a Friday with an indie dance night replicating what I had been doing on a Thursday for years and ditching Mike Pickering’s house playlist, and I thought that was a retrograde step. They also, and this was worse I thought, decided – without my knowledge – to institute a no-trainers and an NUS card-only policy on Thursday nights and I told them I wouldn’t work with that kind of restriction – the whole point of DJing, for me, is that it’s inclusive – the aim is to turn as many more people on to as many good records as possible, regardless of what they’re wearing or their background whatever! That was the challenge that I’d taken on four and half years earlier and I didn’t think it made sense to have a door policy like that (in retrospect I realise that the last few months of 1990 were very difficult at the Hacienda because the gang problems and the violence were really taking hold. The management were looking for ways to curb all this negativity and the decisions about changing Fridays and a door policy on a Thursday were all part of this).

Anyway, so at midnight on my final night (10th October) I got on the microphone and explained my decision and wished everyone well, got a massive cheer, and then I put the next record on ‘Loaded’ by Primal Scream. No doormen trying to break the door down. An hour later Tony Wilson arrived – someone told him what I’d done and he was laughing and he stayed til the end of the night up in the DJ box with me.

At the time I assumed it would be my last night working there; which wasn’t to be the case, by any means. The violence got worse through October and November and over Christmas, eventually leading to the temporary closure of the club in January 1991. When it re-opened in May 1991, I was back on board.