In a career that only spanned three years and produced two albums, the post-punk rock band Joy Division altered the direction of rock music. Their influence can be heard in the music of U2, The Cure, Interpol, and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A fair portion of their success is due to bassist Peter Hook, who details his life in the band in a new autobiography entitled Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division.
The 416-page book, which is the first book about Joy Division written by one its members, chronicles the group’s formation, rise, and abrupt end after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. And while it details the events, its magic lies in the stories the reveal more about the characters that made up the band. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Hook expressed his dismay at other biographies of the band and their portrayal of the musicians as melancholic.
“That was one of my problems reading books about Joy Division – that while I recognize some of it, I always thought, “You did not get the right end of the stick,” the bassist said. “There is something, from my point of view, lacking, which was the humanity and the humor. I always felt that making Ian out to be this deep, dark genius was sort of committing the same sin as the musical dinosaurs used to commit – whereas Johnny Rotten and the punk movement were all about demystification and that anybody can do it.”
Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division is available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, and audiobook editions.