There’s a BBC Radio 4 series called ‘Chain Reaction‘ where a celebrity gets to interview someone of their choice for an hour, then that person interviews someone else the next week and so on. At last years ‘Ilkley Literature Festival’ we saw John Cooper Clarke who was the ‘chain reaction’ guest of one of this years highlights – Peter Hook. There was a lot of love in the room when Hooky came on to talk about his new book ‘Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division‘ We knew he’d turned up as his 4×4 with a personalised ‘Hooky’ registration was outside. Flanked by 2 big photos of Ian Curtis (as used in the ‘Atmosphere‘ video) he looked a little nervous but soon got going with tales of Joy Division, New Order and his love of all things Manchester…….he was even glad to get back to Salford after living in Jamaica as a kid! He lived near us in Little Hulton……give me Jamaica any day of the week.
My love for JD and NO is no secret and was lucky enough to see JD play once (I was 15 at the time) and NO a shedful of times. Peters low slung bass and high notes always being a highlight “My mum told me I need a gimmick”. The division between him and the rest of New Order is more bitter and obviously painful than it’s ever been (which is saying something) and seemed to start when Hooky started to play Unknown Pleasures with a new band featuring his son on bass “Who was the same age I was when I first played it”.
Great stories about Ian joining “we’d never heard him sing” and Steve “Ian said ‘I’ve found a drummer’ and we said great – never asked if he was any good!” It was all a happy accident for 4 Salford scuffers. He talked about doing ‘Transmission’ at a sound check and having everyone in the room stop and listen as the first time they knew they had something special. When asked about the sublime bassline for ‘Atmosphere’ he noted that ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams is the most played track at weddings, and ‘Atmosphere’ the most played at funerals – a song of 2 halves “Me and Steve had this great bass and drums part and Ian and Bernard had written a song on a little Woolies organ – listen to this, no listen to this….so we put them together and it was Atmosphere”.
I could have listened to him all night – he’d be one of my 10 guests for an ultimate dinner party any day of the week. There was a book signing after but everyone who’d attended was in the queue so we went for a pint first…..which turned into a couple and by the time we got back, the 4×4 Hooky-mobile was winding its way across the Pennines. Ah well, a top evening all round anyway.
Bob the Chiropodist