Gretton, Robert Leo 1953 - 1999


Manager of Joy Division and later New Order, he was also involved with Tony Wilson and others in the running of Factory Records. Rob Gretton became involved in the Manchester music scene and especially the Punk music scene. Previously a DJ at Rafters, a local night club he eventually got a newly configured and named band Joy Division to appear there in 1978 in a battle of the bands competition.

Shortly after this he took over the management of Joy Division and having met Tony Wilson who was managing the Durutti Column at the time. Tony Wilson also organised a

club night, at the Russell Club in Hulme, called the Factory. Joy Division played there in 1978 and a little later featured on an EP released by Factory in 1979.

Rob Gretton suggested to Tony Wilson that Factory should produce the first album for Joy Division, rather than one of the larger London based labels. This fitted in with Tony Wilsons vision of breaking up the monopoly which the larger record labels had and give the artists a greater say during the production of their music. Eventually Joy Division left Factory Records, their success had financed various projects at Factory.

As well as managing Joy Division he also one of the Directors of the newly formed Factory (Communications) Ltd and was a driving force behind the Hacienda nightclub when it was opened by them in 1982. He had visited New York where he had seen the impact of the newly emerging dance and rave scene which were held in warehouse size dance clubs. It was these clubs which influenced how he wanted to see the Hacienda develop.

By 1992 Joy Division had left the Factory label and had joined the London label, shortly after this Factory (Communications) Ltd went into receivership. The Hacienda continued until 1997 under the management of Rob Gretton until it too closed in 1997.