Back in the day, clubbers at The Haçienda were too cool to care much about celebs. The club gained a huge profile boost when the Channel 4 music show The Tube via The Sun, hosted by Paula Yates, filmed an episode there in 1984. Madonna performed there as a rising star, on The Tube, she failed to get the rapturous reception she might have thought herself entitled to.
Fans were furious with Madonna
DJ and talent booker Mike Pickering, who formed the Manchester band M People in the Nineties, said: “She came on and she was just dancing, really, and in those days in Manchester people did not like people miming.
“We had to really keep an eye on her because there were cans flying and stuff.”
Leroy Richardson was working on the bar when Madonna arrived with her entourage. He said:
“I remember having to take ice to her dressing room. Most people would be like, ‘Thank you’. But [with her] it was scowls and, ‘Who are you? What are you doing?’. It was like, ‘We have a superstar here’. She knew it but I don’t think anybody else did at the time.”
But the attention brought to the club, and the subsequent Madchester scene, also brought the problem of gangsters moving into the venue — lured by the prospect of dealing drugs. So the management came up with a clever idea, which initially worked — they started staging huge gay nights there to scare away the mobsters.