' THE TUBE' at The Hacienda
Description:From The Hacienda featuring Madonna's
first UK performance, Tony Wilson and Paul Morley interview as well as "The
Factory All Stars" (Members of New Order, Quando Quango, The Wake, ACR, 52nd
Street) doing "Cool As Ice", "Shack Up", "Confusion" and "Love Will Tear Us
Madonna forgets Hacienda visit
IT was the legendary day when a self-confident songstress named Madonna made
her British debut, at Manchester's equally legendary Hacienda nightclub - and
one she now coolly claims not to remember.
Flanked by two Lycra-clad male dancers, the disco diva from Detroit gyrated her
way through the vibrant strains of Holiday, a future summer anthem which would
herald her first chart success on both sides of the Atlantic.
And, unlike this weekend's live shows in Manchester - where tickets sold for up
to 150 - admission to the Hacienda showcase on January 27, 1984, was granted
free to people holding special invitations.
Madonna made her British bow at the club as part of a one-off, live Channel 4
broadcast by The Tube, a cult music programme presented by Jools Holland and
It was Tube creator Malcolm Gerrie, now a high-powered television executive, who
asked Madonna's record company to organise her appearance at a venue which was
still to win its reputation as one of the world's best.
Gerrie tells friends that The Tube eventually funded the visit itself, because
Warner Brothers did not see Madonna as "a priority artist".
Hillegonda "Gonnie" Rietveld, who was there that day and went on to research the
1992 book, The Hacienda Must Be Built, says: "Madonna did a TV PA, miming with
two male dancers in a club act formation.
"They performed on the dance floor, rather than on the stage, surrounded by
lights, cameras and a curious crowd.
"The Hacienda was crammed, because the Tube was a respected TV programme for
young music fans that dared to risk bringing new talent to a national audience.
"Daylight was coming in from the glass panels in the industrial ceiling, and I
remember the light blue walls framing the audience.
"Madonna was wearing one of those belly-revealing tank tops."
Another person who was there on the night clearly failed to share Gerrie's
affections for Madonna. "It was, as I recall, hilarious," insists the punter,
who asked not to be named. "Most people in the Hacienda treated her performance
as a bit of a joke."
Also on the bill that night were the Factory Allstars - musicians assembled from
the bands signed to Factory Records, including the Hacienda's owners, New Order.
Rob Gretton and Peter Hook, respectively New Order's manager and bass player,
went to Madonna's dressing room after the television performance and offered her
50 to play again when the cameras had been switched off.
Hardly surprisingly, she refused.
Factory boss Wilson says that the show has her slipped his mind. "I don't recall
that much about Madonna's Hacienda appearance," he says. "I remember watching
her from the balcony and her dancing on the floor.
"Years later, I think she's a wonderful artist and I love the way she's so rude
Having been fortunate (or unfortunate?) enough to share a dinner table with the
star some years after the Hacienda performance, Wilson speaks from bitter
"I eventually plucked up the courage to look across the table to Madonna and
ask, 'Are you aware that the first place you appeared outside of New York was
our club in Manchester?'
"She gave me an ice-cold stare and said, 'My memory seems to have wiped that.'"