“Ticky off the Ground” Happy Birthday Hacienda

I’m going to the Hacienda tonight – It’s 30 years old today and they are having a party.  Peter Hook asked me to come down and open the evening with him by reading Saint Anthony – a poem i wrote for tony when he died.  I felt honoured.

I first visited the hacienda between christmas and new year 1982.  My younger brother Hugh brought me there after a party.  It was empty and i thought, “what’s with all the fuss”

Soon after Hugh got a job there working in the Gay traitor downstairs – he was 16 and i was 17 years old. Imagine. so the Hacienda became my youth club.  It was empty most of the time and me and my mates would play “ticky it”, pissed 

the people who worked there were ace, they used to let us bring our bikes in and they’d stick them round the back of the cloak room but then it started to get to busy and we got told off for playing “Ticky off the ground” one night.  I could sense the winds of change coming down the mersey.

Then it got cool – the tube came with maddonna – Me and one of my best mates kells were having a smoke in the little hideaway above the gay traitor and underneath the stairs

Kells: Whose that singing upstairs

Me: O some American girl

Kells:  Shall we go up and watch

Me:  Naaa, can’t be arsed.

And if she was on upstairs tonight, i still wouldn’t bother going up.

The sound was terrible, not equipped for live music at all – but i still saw some great bands there and the most packed i ever saw it was when the Cramps played there – Health and safety what?  Sweat did drip from cielings.

Then the E thing happened – and e and me don’t mix – so i did one – never went back

Can’t remember a single tune ever played in the hacienda but i remember the night new order played a tape of Confusion in the gay traitor – it was the first time anyone heard it – but what i most remeber is bernard nervously sat at the bar, waiting for some type of reaction – he got one – the place went wild with cheers and applause.

and i remember bringing morrissey there to see james who he had never heard of before i played him hymn from the village.

and i remember Tony – swanning round like a proper Knobhead – don’t pretend you didn’t think he was a knobhead just cos he’s dead.  but we love knobheads and we are all knobhead at some times in our life. He was ace and he and the hacienda JD and new order did loads for this city -and we should never forget that.

Finally.  I was never part of the hacienda in crowd.  I never worked for them, i didn’t mix with them and i never knew the politics of them.  But i have noticed a division – those who think tonight is right and those who think it is wrong.

All i know is this – life’s too short – see Wilson, Hannet, Gretton, Curtis et al and i struggle to hold grudges the older i get – remember we can all be knobheads

But tonight i shall be saying a prayer for Wilson, Hannet, Gretton, Curtis et al and all my old mates who won’t be  playing “Ticky It” cos they’re playing “ticky off the ground”

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