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ACE HOOKY BOOK SEES SALFORD ROOTS OF JOY DIVISION
 

Star date: 24th December 2012

THE SALFORD LOT ARE BACK AS HOOKY DOES JOY DIVISION

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
By Peter Hook £20 (Hardback)

`No. We're not fucking Nazis. We're from Salford'

If Peter Hook's first book, The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club, was a total page turning clubbing and financial car crash, the follow up book, Unknown Pleasures, is the story of the emotional car crash that was Joy Division.

It comes complete with Salford roots, the un-deified Ian Curtis and real car crashes. Plus, the return of the Salford lot. Not be missed!

Full review here…


Unknown Pleasures Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook Barney, Hooky and Curtis
click image to enlarge

Can a book that has as its epicentre the death of Ian Curtis actually have you almost rolling around on the floor in parts laughing your tits off? Most definitely `Yes'.

In this follow up, or prequel, to the brilliantly self depreciating The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club (see Salford Star review click here), Hooky continues in the same easy to read, impossible to put down, style; as if telling the story to his mates down the pub.

You don't have to be a huge fan of Joy Division or be reverentially obsessed by singer Ian Curtis to get this book. It's just a tale told by Joy Division's bass player, Peter Hook, on what happened, and what it all meant to him as a `working class yobbo' from Salford.

Like, the Ian Curtis memories are not of the `deification of Ian' but of him being `our mate'…`No shrinking violet. He was poetic and romantic and soulful – of course he was – but he was still a guy in a band and he liked to do what guys in bands do. Which is to cop off with girls and have a laugh.'

Hooky gives an example of a giant toilet turd at the Leigh Open Air Festival… `the most unbelievable turd I've ever seen in my life – Ian didn't go scurrying off to bury his head in Dostoyesvsky…No, he was laughing just as hard and was just as grossed out as all of us. Just like one of the lads…'

Indeed, Ian Curtis is very much the background figure at first, having epileptic fits at gigs and collapsing but keeping work and home and harm in separate boxes…

"Writing it all down, I can pinpoint the moments where we should have said `Enough is enough' – because now they seem so obvious" writes Hooky "But at the time he just carried on and so did we. Selfishness, stupidity, wilful ignorance and a refusal to accept what was going on right in front of our noses - we were all guilty of it, even Ian."

Even when Curtis slashed himself with a kitchen knife "we avoided the subject…We carried on. With Ian's blessing we carried on."

To the fore in the book, larger than Scooby Doo life, is Hooky…

Hooky being `under investigation' in the Yorkshire Ripper case, his van parked once too often in the red light districts of Leeds, Bradford and Moss Side while the band were doing gigs in dodgy punk venues…

…Hooky getting his unique bass playing style from the fact that he couldn't play or even tune his own guitar…

…And Hooky and Barney going back to Salford Grammar School for an NME photo shoot getting chased out by their former teacher, now the Head, who remembered their bullying, thieving antics… `Get out' he screamed at us `Get out, you pair of twats!'

Indeed, far from the stark, scowling image of Joy Division, it's the working class Salford roots that form the basis of Hooky's reaction to the band's rise… `japing' other bands with mice, jam and maggots; battering fighting gig goers with his bass, and starving on the band's first Euro tour because he wouldn't touch any food that wasn't `English' –`Me mam says it's dirty'…'

Readers also get to learn about Hooky's `black and white' childhood in `wonderful, dirty old Salford' – moving to a two up two down terrace in Jane Street, Langworthy after his parents spilt up, then  to Jamaica with step dad Bill Hook, before returning to 32 Rothwell Street in Ordsall four years later, aged ten.

When Salford Council began demolishing Ordsall and wanted to move the family to Ellor Street by the Precinct, Hooky's mam wasn't having it… "It was fucking rotten, horrible, like a concrete wasteland. And this was when it first opened…The whole of Ellor Street she said was a shithole. Mind you she was right: it was a shithole. But all my mates lived in that shithole and I wanted to live there too…'

Instead they stayed at one of the last house still standing in Ordsall, `just ours and an empty one on either side to prop it up'. After six months of that they accepted a house miles away in Little Hulton, which necessitated Hooky sleeping on Barney's floor in his `strangely neat and tidy' Broughton family house after nights out in Manchester.

It was one of these nights out, to the infamous Sex Pistols gigs that set Hooky and Barney off on the `need' to be in a band and the story takes off from there…working by day in George Best's old job at the Manchester Ship Canal Company, and striving by night to gig and record his way to band fame and fortune, of which, of course, there was no chance with the Factory lot in charge…

En route is the drink, drugs, fireworks, car crashes and groupies, plus the love hate relationship with Barney, and the unfortunate Nazi imagery that has haunted the band in its various guises…

`Joy Division was the name given to a group of Jewish women kept in the concentration camps for the sexual pleasure of the Nazi soldiers. The oppressed, not the oppressors. Which in a punky `No Future' sort of way was exactly what we were trying to say with the name…for years people would be asking us `Are you Nazis?'

`No. We're not fucking Nazis. We're from Salford'.

The Prologue sets it all up beautifully, when the Salford lot out of the Flemish Weaver pub turn up at the first ever Joy Division gig at Pips Discotheque in Manchester and chaos ensues.

First lead singer, Ian Curtis gets kicked out of his own gig, then Hooky's string boings on the first song, then the Salford lot start fighting with Scousers…

`So there I was, kicking them in the head, trying to play `Exercise One'  while trying to hold my string in, the rest of the band really pissed off with me for bringing my daft scally mates. Shit!'…

For fans of Joy Division, almost everything is there, including the background to virtually every song the band ever did. For curious onlookers it's a rip roaring tragi-com trip from a Salford punk dream to New Order, setting up the next book perfectly…

Can't wait!

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division
By Peter Hook £20 (Simon and Schuster UK Hardback)

Review by Stephen Kingston

Main photo shows Hooky and brother Paul in Ordsall 1973

 

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