I can't lie: when I bought it, I expected a book about how cool it was to be a founder of Joy Division and, most of all, a sad essay about Ian Curtis' death. Instead, just some pages inside the story, I found myself laughing and having fun. I love the sense of humour and the ironic view on how Joy Division were born and grew, no divism or boring teaching on how to be famous. The next parts made me laugh again, then angry, surprised and, yes, sometimes sad. Thank you, Peter Hook, because you decided to tell us the true story, and you clearly did it from your heart.
A book I will miss. So bad there's no italian translation, I recommended it to friends but they don't feel to read it in english.
Joy Division are my favourite band. Well, one of my favourite bands, almost certainly the one will win the Tower game.
I loved this account from Hooky and his perspective on Manchester, Salford, his fellow musicians and life.
Of course it's biased, and it would be interesting to read Barney's version (ha ha), but also Steven's. However, it's so good to have a different insight (ha ha, 2) on the band and on Ian Curtis, the fact he was "one of the lads", which is something we all tend to not take into consideration along with the fact they were all so young! I mean, I am now older than them at the time they recorded Closer!
And the book is so funny. Really. Only the last chapters are full of sadness and some resentment for what happened in more recent days (if you know New Order you get why), and of course it's up to you to decide if you want to be involved in the huge Bernard VS Hooky saga or say "fuck it, their music is more important".
Definitely recommended for all Joy Division fans, also for the comments/behind the scenes track by track of Unknown Pleasures and Closer.
(Recensione in Italiano qui: http://aproposofthewetsnow.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/books-peterhook-unknownpleasures/)...Continua
Okay. Two reasons why I requested this book for review. 1. The hombre loves Joy Division. and 2. I wanted to know more about the band. Now I’m not a fan. Yes, I listen to a few of the songs when the hombre plays them (I must say, he still has the CD set of Heart and Soul that I bought him as a gift years ago - which makes me all warm and fuzzy because I got him something that he loves and still listens to..anyway! I’m going off topic here....)
I thought the book was pretty good - now I completely understand a fan would greatly appreciate this book as it gives you an insight on how the band was. I liked the way it was written, it was to the point, and at some times really blunt. I found myself laughing at bits of it. Gradually as the book progresses though, it does get more serious and more sad - since you know what’s going to happen to Ian Curtis and although he was undergoing serious health issues they just kept going. It’s admirable because they went through a lot of struggle in the beginning, but they persisted (it’s also extremely difficult to be successful as a rock band as I learnt while reading through this book)
The book also includes a more detailed description on each track the band has made which I believe fans will greatly appreciate and lots of references to other bands they have met, toured with, and sometimes fought with (hah, those were funny parts). It was also interesting to see how Hook describes Ian Curtis during their tour stops. (He can be just one of the guys too - which was hard for me to see) You also had to sympathize for him and his struggle with epilepsy. Hook’s narrative is very good and easy to follow and above all very entertaining.
Fans will greatly appreciate this book, non fans wanting to read how a real (yes I say REAL) band works should pick this up to get a glimpse at how hard it really is (no seriously, it’s really hard and not as easy as you think!) also, nice small appearances from The Cure and Bono!!!!...Continua
If you are into this band then you must read this book. Peter Hook here gives a complete insight of what really happened in the band. From his early days to forming Joy Division, talking about the first concerts to the last one, till Ian died....Continua
<blockquote>When I saw Control, all those years later, I didn’t even notice it was in black and white because it was exactly what my childhood had looked and felt like: dark and smoggy and brown, the colour of a wet cardboard box, which was how all of Manchester looked in those days.</blockquote>
This is a seemingly honest look at how things were back in the day when Peter Hook started out in not only Joy Division, but in life. He writes about having lived in Jamaica, in Manchester and of meeting Bernard Sumner, Ian Curtis and a plethora of drummers before coming across Stephen Morris.
He writes of the good, bad old days, and not so much of the current situation - where Hook and Sumner have communication issues that prevent them from functioning together - which is good. This is after all a book on Joy Division.
Hook has done a lot of thinking, maybe not because of Curtis' death, but maybe because he has re-hashed everything now that he's no longer part of New Order.
There's a lot of piss-taking of himself here, e.g.
<blockquote>You know what? It was the same being in a group. Just goes to show that you can take the boy out of Salford but you can’t take Salford out of the boy, because we were terrible for nicking things in Joy Division and New Order. We used to go to these wonderful gigs with all this beautiful stuff backstage and nick it all. Now you’ve got bands like the Happy Mondays, or Oasis (in the early days), who had big scally reputations, but they had the same background as us: just working class thieves. You never had anything so you took it. Same attitude to music: you’ve got to start somewhere. The difference was that nobody expected that sort of behaviour from us in Joy Division or New Order because we had the arty intellectual image. These days I restrict it to hotels.</blockquote>
At the same time, it's great to see another angle of Ian Curtis, which is not the apotheosised person we often see today:
<blockquote>But looking back that’s exactly what he was: a people pleaser; he could be whatever you wanted him to be. A poetic, sensitive, tortured soul, the Ian Curtis of the myth – he was definitely that. But he could also be one of the lads – he was one of the lads, as far as we were concerned. That was the people pleaser in him, the mirror. He adapted the way he behaved depending on who he was with. We all do a bit, of course, but with Ian the shift was quite dramatic. Nobody was better at moving between different groups of people than he was. But I also think this was an aspect of his personality that ended up being very damaging to him. He had three personas he was trying to juggle: he had his married-man persona, at home with the wife, the laddish side and the cerebral, literary side. By the end he was juggling home life and band life, and had two women on the go. There were just too many Ians to cope with.</blockquote>
The book also displays what it's like being in a band, even one which has been lauded since after Curtis' death:
<blockquote>22 September 1978
Joy Division play the Coach House, Huddersfield. “One person turned up. It was diabolical.”</blockquote>
Plus some other details on other bands, e.g.:
<blockquote>14 November 1978
Joy Division play the Odeon, Canterbury, as part of their tour with the Rezillos and the Undertones. “The Undertones – they were so young. They’d bought an air pistol and were having target practice backstage, shooting cans off the stairs. Then someone brought in letters from home because they’d been away touring for a while, and next thing they were all crying in the dressing room reading letters off their mums. Me and Ian were looking at each other like, Aw, isn’t that sweet?”</blockquote>
I love the bits about how the tracks came about, e.g.:
<blockquote>‘Shadowplay’ happened in a similar way: Bernard had been listening to ‘Ocean’ by Velvet Underground and wanted to write a track like that, with the surf sound, a rolling feeling in it. So we started jamming and that’s how we came up with ‘Shadowplay’. You wouldn’t say it sounded anything like Velvet Underground, but once you know you can hear the root.</blockquote>
And a bit on how very little money was very good:
<blockquote>So that was two days to record Unknown Pleasures. Closer took three weeks. Movement took about two months and Waiting for the Siren’s Call, New Order’s last, took three years.</blockquote>
<blockquote>The beauty of Joy Division is that we never made much money while the band existed so there was nothing to sully it – no piles of drugs or cases of booze in the dressing room. We went everywhere in a convoy of knackered van and Steve’s Cortina and stayed with friends – no hotels for us, just the odd B&B. Even when we went to London to record Closer we stayed in a quite scruffy pair of flats with £1.50 per diem: you could spend how you wished, dinner or a couple of pints but not both. We didn’t yet have any money from the record. (Publishing, as in who wrote what in the songs, brings nearly all bands down. I remember the immortal quote from the Mondays: ‘Why is the one playing the maracas getting as much as me who writes the songs?’ Ironically Bez is now as important as all the songwriters, if not more. How the world turns.)</blockquote>
So how reliable is the book? Hook answers that himself, and I deem him to be quite reliable just by judging on how he writes, e.g.:
<blockquote>I liked Annik, though, and still do. Years later we talked about that interview she did at Dave Pils’ flat. It was featured in Control and my character’s sitting there saying dopey things about the name ‘Buzzcocks’, which I hated when I saw it. Made me look a right twat. I told Annik I would never have said anything so daft and she said to me, ‘Ah, but I have the tape, ‘Ooky, and zat is exactly what you said.’ So there you go. You shouldn’t trust a word I say.</blockquote>
And in ending:
<blockquote>But we didn’t do it the normal way, of course. We did it the Factory way. Not that I’d change anything, mind you. I’d stop Ian hanging himself, obviously. But otherwise I really wouldn’t change anything.</blockquote>...Continua