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About a joy
The band’s iconic bass-player, Peter Hook has just finished a book recollecting the Joy Division-era and the suicide of Ian Curtis.
Stuart Clark, 25 May 2012
"What’s the weather like in Dublin? Shitty? Well, it’s sunny and 20 degrees here, mate.”
The last time Hot Press chinwagged with Peter Hook he was having his highlights done – I know, how very metrosexual! – in rainy old Manchester. Today he’s soaking up the rays in Majorca where he’s been doing most of his living recently in a villa with a pool and all the other trappings befitting of a British rock behemoth.
“Yeah, it’s a tough old fucking life!” Hooky chuckles. “I’m in a place near Palma called Port Andratx, which is really chilled. I know it’s a bit typical, Brit getting a Spanish holiday home. I need some sun on my old bones!”
From David Bowie and John Lydon to Mick Jones and Liam Gallagher, I’ve encountered many a rock star who’s reluctant to discuss their distant past. Not so Hooky who brings up Joy Division unprompted within 30 seconds.
“I’ve been kind of immersed in Joy Division recently,” he reflects. “There have been the live shows playing the various albums, and the book’s finished. I’m just agonising over the bits that I know are going to really annoy people. Not the band, but other people who should be afraid… very afraid! I started it in the same way I started the Hacienda book – I thought that everybody else was to blame but me. As I got stuck into it, I realised I was as guilty as they were – more so in some cases. I came to the Joy Division book thinking, ‘Who’s to blame for Ian’s suicide, ‘cos it sure as hell wasn’t me?’ I do the bloody thing and it’s, ‘Shit, I’m just as much to blame as everybody else’, because we all went along with him. The tough thing about Ian is he always told you he was alright – ‘Don’t worry about me, I’m fine, let’s just get on with it.’ That was the thing you wanted to hear, really. He was his own worst enemy in that respect.”
Why wait until 2012 to address a tragedy that happened 32 years, a lifetime, ago?
“Before New Order split – and we’ll get to that in a moment! – it actually felt okay not to celebrate anything to do with Joy Division because your mind was concentrating on something else. But when we went our separate ways the first thing that occurred to me was, ‘Hang on, why are we almost airbrushing Joy Division out of history?’ It actually seemed quite sad.