(Planet Me)
Monday, October 29, 2012
 
PETER HOOK. Unknown Pleasures. (Book)

And the Joy Division museum rolls on, curated and led by Peter Hook himself. Like the best music books, this makes me want to take my old records out and spin them again. Not necessarily to rediscover what has become dulled by years of exposure, but to remember what the fuss was all about. You don't forget Joy Division. They're not just some band. Wether you like them or not, you cannot argue that the band didn't mean it, man. They played as if the world was coming to an end in a moment, and they had just one shot to communicate. There was a time when Joy Division was new, brave, daring, and it was not long before it was then all over.

Told breathlessly, Hook follows the tale from his childhood to the end of the band quickly and efficiently, sometimes sparkling with detail and other times with notable absences, heavy on anecdote and event, but also, as you might expect, trying to retrospectively impose narrative and closure onto events that just happen, as life just happens, often without rhyme or reason. The book also leaps around in narrative, moving for a paragraph or a page or two to event of a decade or so later where the New Order story is tantalisingly opened and closed where it intersects with the Joy Division story. But is it any good? Yes, and no. It shows, perhaps more than any other book, the battle that exists in all of us, between who we want to be, and who we are forced to be, and how we can, some of us, the one in a million, escape from the world that the world wanted to give us, into a destiny of our own making : husband, father, lover, rock star, dole office clerk. We are a million people, and at once, each one is but a slither of who we are, a fragment. And in this, Hook tells a tale he both watched from afar and lived, of how love tore people apart, how they lost control, about how decades came and went, how unknown pleasures came closer, came still, and then came movement, about how everything happened so quickly, yet at one second a day at a time, and how all these things happened, and how these days, the came, they want, and yet the memory remains. Hooky observed the place in the showdown, he watched with a pitiful eye, all things happened and then they were over, and nothing left but memories.


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