Addition for my to-read-list:
Hook himself is revealed as a born anecdotalist, firing off quips, pithy asides and self-lacerating mea culpas like a scatter-gun. The sections that interleave his narrative — DJ playlists, club nights, minutes of board meetings, pie-in-the-sky company accounts, a roll call of artists, including Madonna, who appeared at the club — are often revealing or evocative, but it is the author’s own voice that makes the book such a compelling read. The opening chapter — 24 hours in Hook’s life in 1991 as he careers from pub to club to cop-evading joyride, devouring every drink and drug in his path — is exhilarating. One night, Hook is so off his face that he has to rely on friends to fill in the memory gaps later. “Apparently,” he writes, “I’d stood in front of the stage, nodding, telling anyone who’d listen, ‘The guys in this f***ing band are great. They’re really, really good. You should get their name. They’re gonna be big.’” A pause no longer than a heartbeat. “There was nobody playing.”
He edges towards an admission that the whole mad journey exacted a price — lost fortunes, broken marriages, addiction to alcohol and drugs, and the spawning of a lad culture whose malign influence continues to this day — that wasn’t worth paying, but Hook has too much invested in the experience to make the final leap. Yet he is an engagingly rueful and often hilarious chronicler. When he at last enters rehab, he encounters a young bloke who comes up and says: “Hello, remember me?” No, Hook says, he doesn’t. “Don’t you remember?” the lad continues. “I used to serve you up with Es in the Hacienda.” It turns out, Hook adds, “he would be my rehab counsellor”.