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Added 19th February 2024 by The Editor, Alan Wise Project

Featured in the following Online Exhibitions:
Don't Mention The Hacienda - The Adventures Of Alan Wise


Alan Wise
The Hacienda

Strippers At The Hac

Christmas 1983. Only You by The Flying Pickets is top of the charts. The Hacienda has been going a year and Tony Wilson and Co are pouring money into a workers' paradise where all the workers are ripping them off.

Tony Wilson and Alan Wise are still friendly but Wilson doesn't want him as the club's main promoter. However, Alan has hired The Hac for his annual Creditors' Ball and the Factory lot need the custom.

The show starts with John Cooper Clarke introducing strippers. Some of the audience see this as Bernard Manning's Manchester making a comeback, in the new left Holy Land. Interestingly, a woman is filming the whole show. Anyone know who?

Neil Riley, gay scene correspondent of the new magazine City Life, throws beer over Alan and then boasts about it an outraged report. There is some politics behind the scenes, with Factory Records taking the line this was a private party and not their fault. The next edition includes an apology for unspecified inaccuracies. And that prompts a letter from Alan saying he and his friends are, indeed, fat people of the worst possible taste, and he is more upset by the apology.

Cuttings start at

precis of first report for reading into narrative ...

Round One
Got some tickets for Alan Wise's Hacienda party. The whole house is going.
Liggers aplenty tonight. The ghosts of performers past, Nico and John Cooper Clarke, arrive.
Here is Frankie telling me there is three strippers on the bill and he is off.
Can it be?
Cooper Clarke wizzes on and announces Jane. Could it be the "It's A Fine Day" woman? Like hell it ain't. This woman is in black underwear.
Inside I burn. Is this the Hacienda we know and love?
I wade Wisewards and throw a beer at the fat man. Bob shakes my hand. I say I wish I'd done it face to face.
The fat man drips and looks around before sloping off to seek safety.
I hear Cooper Clarke joke - Hard luck Alan, get a new shirt - and announce another stripper.
The act is on screen, grosser than life - and a woman is doing the camera work!
The fat man seeks solace at the mixing desk. I say here it goes again and donate my second pint straight into his mush.
As I step back, I see Bob's pint follow mine, woosh, then Ruth and Stella's abuse, Delight - he throws shit at us and we throw back.
The fat man's sidekick, Phil Jones, lunges forward screaming: You twat - that beer went on my shirt.
Wise lurches at me, eyes bulging. Then here come bouncers to prise us apart and throw us out. Their message - Don't disturb The Doughnut.
We walk off into Christmas and 1984, glad we protested and survived

Round 2
I ACCUSE Alan Wise of ignoring women's feelings and of pandering to dope-crazed cronies.
I ACCUSE John Cooper Clarke of having overdrawn his credit as a Socialist. To announce strippers with jokes is the work of a burnt-out bankrupt.
I ACCUSE the Hacienda management of co-operating with this perversion of entertainment.
They have toyed with bad taste too often. Let us dance anyway, but to our own song, not a tune that is out of time. Manchester AWAKE!

The whole thing was an embarrassment to Factory, just as New Labour councillors and politicians were getting interested in their project. Everyone agrees that Alan Wise calculated it as a provocation to the Didsbury end of town.

Two weeks later, the magazine ran this half-hearted apology ...

The next issue had this from Alan:

Dear City Life

Re that apology in Issue 4, apropos strippers, the Hacienda, John Cooper Clarke, Round For Wise, etc: I should like to ask why it was you felt you had to apologise? All Neil Riley's facts were correct,viz -
1) The strippers were in awful taste and an insult to the female audience.
2) JCC did behave like a strip-club compere.
3) Alan Wise is looking FAT and should shape up, like the rest of his friends ...

I was very happy about matters til you apologised. Now, I am afraid, as an ex journalist of no repute, I must 'black' your publication forever and withdraw my customary offers of help, artistic advice and financial support.

I think that Neil Reilly, whoever he is, is sexy and I admire his moral righteousness.

Goodbye forever. You should never apologise.

Alan Wise, Chelsea

* John Cooper Clarke recalls Nico advising one of the strippers to lose a little weight.

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