Over its 14-year history, over 1.5 million people attended Manumission in Ibiza, it was the biggest weekly party in the world earning it a place in the Guinness World Records. In 1998 with Manumission going into its 5thyear, Mike and Claire decided to take over an abandoned brothel on the outskirts of Ibiza town and turn it into a 24-hour party destination – The Motel.
Under the neon glare of a sign that promised Bar, Bed and Breakfast for one lost summer, this doll’s house on acid became home to a wild menagerie of DJ’s, supermodels, international pop stars, bestselling writers, New York strippers and ask no questions drug dealers – the whole of Bohemia was there.
At its heart in Room 10 was Claire and her partner Mike.
‘When Mike and Claire fell in love with the little-known island, vowing to make their time there seminal and culturally rich by drawing as many great people and extraordinary artists to share it with them under their roof, this is the spot where it happened.’ Kris Needs
With club culture currently under the spell of VIP service, corporate sponsoring and branding, The Motel is a timely reminder that life in Ibiza wasn’t always that way.
Author Claire Manumission said:
“During the second mother-of-all-lock ins (the first being in the Motel, the second being the fuck up of the 2020s lock down) banished from the physical realm of nightlife aided and abetted by our extensive archive we took the painful, shocking, hilarious, embarrassing! – ‘let’s go for a walk in the garden to get some fresh air… did we really do that!?!?’ – trip back to the memory Motel.
The result is a memoir that takes a heady and honest look back at a time that no longer exists and perhaps provides an answer to the question, ‘what happens when you say yes to everything?…’ The Motel is a meditation on freedoms lost. It’s about a group of nonconformists from around the world who left their pasts behind them, lived on a small Mediterranean island and joined us in the adventure that was Manumission.
The story draws from all my years in Ibiza, weaves back and forward through time: from the carefree early days when I met and fell in love with Mike – on his quest for universal freedom – how together we transformed Manumission into the biggest weekly party in the world, the sex shows, the controversy, betrayals and finally the abolition of Manumission but it’s told predominantly from The Motel, on the long wild weekend of my 24th birthday – the weekend when Norman Cook met Zoe Ball and Lisa I’Anson missed her Radio 1 broadcast and was subsequently very publicly fired on the BBC News at Six. The Motel is a darkly humorous look at hedonism in drug-kissed 90s Ibiza.”
This is the story of the Motel – but also it is the story of the 1990s when for a few brief years a generation decided to throw off the shackles of the past and ‘be free to do what it wanted to do.’
Author Irvine Welsh said:
“The Motel was a cavern of chaos where the fun just never stopped. You literally did not know what sort of a day you were going to wake up into. Or if you were going to wake up. Or even go to bed at all, ever again. All you could be assured of is that you’d be talking about it for years to come.”
Mathew Clayton, Head of Publishing at Unbound said:
“The Motel is a classic counter-culture memoir in the same spirit as Howard Marks’s Mr Nice (no surprise that Howard was a regular at the Motel). A group of extraordinary people collected around Mike and Claire at the Motel, it was a 90s Mediterranean version of Warhol’s Factory or Ken Kesey’s Magic Bus. Mike and Claire consistently took creative risks that no-one else at the time was doing whether it was making a feature film or opening the Motel, championing sexual diversity, or having a giant blown up image of Noam Chomsky on the wall of the club (something you would never have seen at the Ministry of Sound!). I am delighted that we can play a part in bringing Claire’s story to the world and we welcome her into the Unbound family.”
Available via https://unbound.com/books/themotel/