Peter Hook on 40 Years Without Ian Curtis: “I Wish We Had Done More”

On Joy Division, New Order, Gorillaz, and keeping the party going in quarantine

Peter Hook Interview

As we celebrate the life and music of Ian Curtis, who died 40 years ago this week, we revisit Peter Hook’s thoughts from earlier this month on his late bandmate and Joy Division’s legacy.

“The best thing you can do in life is stick on that smile and get out there and enjoy as much as you possibly can,” Peter Hook says over our lunch on Skype. “Because as we’ve seen from the way that you’ve suffered in America — the way that we’ve suffered here in the UK — time can be very short. You don’t know what’s around the corner, do you?”

With the utmost tragic timing, an alert flashes on my iPhone screen, informing me of the death of Kraftwerk legend Florian Schneider, who I learn has passed away from his battle with cancer. Absolutely destroyed, I tell Hook, who reflects, “There you go, Phillip. A prime example, isn’t it? Life can be very short. Too short … and not filled with harmony…”

Hook knows a thing or two about harmony, both off stage and on it. The veteran musician, who laid down some of music’s most iconic basslines with Joy Division and New Order, has lived a life full of harmonies. He still does, as he continues to perform with The Light, but also keeps the party going in Manchester, UK, with his own nightclub FAC251.

Much of that life has settled down amidst lockdown and the coronavirus, but Hook has found new ways to maintain such harmony. He’s started a new series of virtual DJ events aptly dubbed the Hacienda House Party — and they’re working. The first installment drew in a whopping 1.6 million viewers, prompting a second event for this Saturday.

“It has to be said that good people come together at times like this and do good,” Hook tells me. “These people that we’ve got doing this, United We Stream Greater Manchester, are good people.” Needless to say, those fine folks he speaks of will be back behind the boards tomorrow, Saturday, May 9th, from noon to midnight UK time.

In anticipation of the event, we spoke to Hook about what goes into setting up such a house party, in addition to his current life in quarantine, his recent work with Gorillaz, and his sprawling legacy. This month marks the 40th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ tragic passing, and Hook reflects on missing his friend and the art they created together in Joy Division.


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