In further news of musicians releasing memoirs whose claims to revealing ‘the truth’ should be greeted with a raised eyebrow and reminders that several people involved are unable to contradict said claims due to their being dead, estranged Joy Division and New Order bassist (and frontman of Monaco! Don’t forget Monaco!) Peter Hook has announced that his long-mooted take on his time with the former will be published by Simon & Schuster in October.
In keeping with Hook’s increasing tendency towards cashing in on Joy Division’s legacy whilst expending the minimum possible effort, the book will be titled Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, presumably because Closer: Inside Joy Division would have led to confusion for gossip magazine fans, and also sounds unnecessarily graphic.
Hook’s book – his second about the Manchester music scene of which he was such a central figure throughout the 80s and 90s, following The Haçienda: How Not to Run a Club, published in 2009 – will cover much the same ground as several prior tellings of the story of the band, whose slim output is in inverse proportion to its massive influence. Deborah Curtis – widow of Ian Curtis, the frontman whose suicide in 1980 prompted Joy Division’s metamorphosis into New Order – wrote her own remembrance of her husband, Touching From A Distance, in 1995, which served as the basis for Anton Corbijn’s 2007 film Control. The late Tony Wilson, meanwhile – owner of Factory Records, to which the band was signed, and no stranger to cashing in on past glories himself – served as the subject of the most widely beloved account of the time and the place to date, Michael Winterbottom’s riotous 2002 film 24 Hour Party People.
It’s unclear precisely how Hook’s version of events will differ, other than to take him at his word that these past accounts ‘got a lot of things wrong’ and his hopes that ‘this book puts my Joy Division demons to rest’, hopes undoubtedly shared by anyone who has seen him perform either Unknown Pleasures or Closer live with The Light, his glorified Joy Division tribute act, occasionally accompanied by Happy Mondays’ Rowetta. And all the while, a clamouring public continue to angrily demand a Jon the Postman memoir.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.