Book Review: Twisting by the Pool

Rock & roll summer reading

Twisting by the Pool

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division

by Peter Hook
It/Harper Collins, 416 pp., $27.99

Proto-electro, proto-goth, post-punk; whatever you called Joy Division, bassist Peter Hook seemed the leather-clad outrider. He was also their rock and biggest fan. From when their best reviews were for Hooky's hat to the transformation into New Order, he kept every receipt, ticket, and set list, pouring them from the tour bus onto the page. The death of Ian Curtis inevitably hangs over the tale, but Hooky doesn't attempt revisionism of the artist legend. Instead, he shows both sides of Curtis' coin, tortured genius versus the Northern English working-class kid who laughed at farts. The real meat is in the never-ending tension with his oldest ally and bitterest adversary, guitarist Bernard Sumner, aka Barney Rubble. The Lennon and McCartney of the Eighties, they were the band's basis and downfall. That's what Hooky understands: that Joy Division was all contradictions. The sound was exquisite but untrained. They couldn't always stand each other, but they'd smack anyone who crossed them. Keyboards were their success and downfall. Even how he wore his bass – slung low, in rock-god style – was accidental. It's what the Sex Pistols taught them: You don't have to be good to be great.

READ MORE
More Joy Division
Reissues
Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures, Closer, Still (Record Review)

Audra Schroeder, Dec. 14, 2007

More Music Reviews
Rock & Roll Books
Seduced By Sound: Austin
Seduced By Sound: Austin – 100 Musicians on Why They Make Music

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 9, 2016

Rock & Roll Books
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

Neph Basedow, Dec. 9, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
Film Flam: Neon, Blue Starlite, and Kiss
Film Flam: Neon, Blue Starlite, and Kiss
Movie news, Tim League, and Gene Simmons (not dueting, sadly)

Jan. 20, 2017

Owen Egerton Gets Spooked Writing <i>The Axe Murders of Villisca</i>
Owen Egerton Gets Spooked Writing The Axe Murders of Villisca
Austin author on his new haunted house movie

Jan. 20, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Joy Division, Peter Hook

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)