Inside Joy Division
By Peter Hook
!t Books. 386 pp. $27.99
Iconic post-punk English quartet Joy Division, best known for the moody single “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” didn’t write songs about surfing and sunshine. Not only was the band from a suburb of freezing, industrial Manchester, but frontman Ian Curtis, an epileptic who had seizures onstage, hanged himself at the height of the group’s popularity, days before its first American tour. Surviving members went on to found New Order, best known for another moody single, “Blue Monday,” but things were never the same.
“It was hard to write songs without Ian because the spot we looked to for help was empty,” writes bassist Peter Hook in his memoir, “Unknown Pleasures.” After New Order’s manager died in 1999, that band drifted as well. “It’s been downhill ever since — until, at the time of this writing, it’s as bad as it could possibly be,” Hook writes. “Joy Division and then New Order were ships that needed captains, but our captains kept dying on us.”