Remembering Rob Gretton: Manchester’s maverick rock manager


rob gretton

Originally uploaded by Maddie Yervant

I am looking forward to reading the notebooks of the late Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division, co-founder of Factory Records and the Hacienda. The notebooks, recovered from a secret lock-up in Manchester are published by by Rob Gretton’s widow, Lesley Gilbert, with a foreword by Jon Savage, the book condenses over 20 working notebooks into a single volume, and contains posters, letters, diaries, band manifestos and studio notes, dating from August 1978 to late 1980.

“These notebooks aren’t diaries – they are not a record of Rob’s emotional life during the Joy Division years – but his personality and thought processes are on show throughout. His notes on the band’s image and aesthetic at the beginning of ’79, for example, read like a kind of Joy Division manifesto, and underline his role as ‘fifth member’ of the band … It paints a picture of post-punk Manchester and its community of like-minded musicians, promoters and journalists; and, perhaps most importantly of all, it allows us a glimpse of a one of Manchester music’s most influential yet elusive characters: it is the real Rob Gretton.”

  • ‘1 Top Class Manager’ is strictly limited to 1500 copies and is available to pre-order now exclusively through 1 Top Class Manager

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