Robert Gretton, known as Rob Gretton (15 January 1953 – 15 May 1999), was the manager of Joy Division and New Order. He was partner in and co-director of Factory Records and a founding partner of The Haçienda.
Life and career
In 1977, Gretton became a leading figure in the Manchester punk scene with his involvement with Slaughter and the Dogs. He was DJ in Rafters club and manager of The Panik.
Gretton's involvement with the Manchester scene began when he contributed £200 to co-finance Slaughter and the Dogs' first single, the punk classic "Cranked Up Really High". After joining Factory Records in 1979 Gretton brought many new bands to the label, including Section 25, X-O-Dus, Crispy Ambulance, Stockholm Monsters, Minny Pops, The Names, Quando Quango, The Wake, 52nd Street and Happy Mondays. Generally speaking, Gretton tended to prefer conventional bands with conventional songs, whereas Tony Wilson favoured avant-garde projects. The relationship between the pair is explored in depth in the book Shadowplayers by James Nice (2010). Between 1996 and 1999, Gretton managed his last Manchester fledglings Gabrielles Wish, signing them to his own label, Rob's Records. He was a loyal supporter of Manchester City F.C.. He died in May 1999 at the age of 46 as the result of a heart attack.
Gretton was portrayed by Paddy Considine in the 2002 film 24 Hour Party People, which dramatized the rise and fall of Factory Records, and by Toby Kebbell (who coincidentally plays Considine's brother in Dead Man's Shoes) in the 2007 film Control, a biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.
Gretton was proprietor of the Rob's Records label and a co-founder along with Tony Wilson of The Haçienda nightclub in Manchester, England.