recently i started reading SUBSTANCE: INSIDE NEW ORDER (SIMON & SCHUSTER, 2017) by legendary bassist PETER HOOK and it got me thinking all over again about what he wrote years earlier in his previous book UNKNOWN PLEASURES: INSIDE JOY DIVISION (IT BOOKS, 2013).
JOY DIVISION are one of those bands for me that are seemingly impenetrable, like they are aware of some other higher reality of consciousness that can only be conveyed through music. don't even know if that makes sense, but their music is something i constantly revisit re-examine and re-experience.
the structure of this book is a show-by-show, song-by-song recounting of the band's experience throughout their brief (less than 5-year) career.
what i love about HOOK is how honest and cavalier he is with the mythology and cult that has followed his former band since their demise. i've seen far lesser bands try much harder to come across deep and obfuscate their identity in order to maintain a facade between them and their audience (cough, cough, MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN).
the picture HOOK paints of the band are a couple of unremarkable, under-sexed, working-class lads who squabbled constantly with each other and basically stumbled onto their sound by stealing equipment, trying to out-volume each other (HOOK's massive melodic bass tone was his attempt at controlling the song) and, of course, fighting their producer MARTIN HANNETT. HOOK openly admits he hated the mix of UNKNOWN PLEASURES, but was wrong. it is almost hilarious how pigheadedness he admits to being throughout the story, which only further affords him that much more credibility. self-mythologizing a la MOTLEY CRUE'S THE DIRT isn't the aim here, rather you get the sense he is attempting to atone for the loss of his friend and band-mate IAN CURTIS and answer questions regarding him in an honest and thoughtful way.
i loved this book. made me laugh even though the subject matter was anything but.