I just finished this book. Now this is on my radar:
And here's my review:
Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I knew absolutely NOTHING about Joy Division before I read this book. I was familiar with New Order (which gets many references in this book but since it's not called "New Order," there's not a lot on their music). I do like a memoir, so I learned about the band as I read - getting angry when I'd tell people I was reading this and they'd tell me what happens to some of the band members. Instead of being super spoilery, I'll tell you the seven things I learned from this book that I will carry with me forever.
1. Just when I thought this rocker's memory was pretty fantastic, Peter went and brought me back to earth. "There are a lot of things I don't remember," he said by page 48. I guess these musicians must hear stories over and over, so they can recall events at a later (non-booze/drug influenced) time.
2. Peter's friend Terry learned something for all of us. "Then he became the sound guy, and he was shit at being a sound guy too, because Harry DeMac had taught him - as a joke, presumably - to turn things up with the 'gain pots' on the desk instead of the faders (ask your roadie), which resulted in some pretty wild mixes." Um, I don't have a roadie, so while I think this is probably important information I need someone to explain that to me.
3. I learned new slang. When the band was looking for a drummer, "Our first reply was from a student whose name I can't remember. We took him on but he really got in our tits, so even though he was an okay drummer we decided to get rid of him." I've never used "got in our tits," but I might now.
4. Their van cruised a red-light district where the Yorkshire Ripper was preying on prostitutes. People, if your wheels are the same as a serial killer's DON'T cruise his turf unless you want to meet the police OR you want to piss off the killer who's still at-large!
5. Who knew you could get health tips from a rocker's memoir? "Listen, right, if you lot don't stop spitting, we're not going to play," Pete Shalley begged before the crowd showered him with spit. Not only gross. "That's how Joe Strummer got hepatitis, from swallowing someone's spit. Disgusting." UNDERSTATEMENT.
6. "Never have a support band who are at the top of their game. As New Order we had OutKast supporting us once. Big mistake that was." Hey ya! That sounds like a crazy concert combination!
7. When roadie Twinny borrowed Peter's second favorite shirt (after promising he'd be careful with it), he was attacked and left bloody. "Later on his mum got the blood out by washing it in a bath of saltwater. The salt lifts the blood out, she told me later, and she was absolutely right because the shirt was fine. Little tip for you there." I've watched enough crime shows on TV to know this is just an appearance thing. CSI people can totally still find the blood on your clothes, so if you're a killer (and if you are, I think you're awesome so take me off your hit list) you'll need to get rid of your clothes.
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