VOID OF LIGHT – JON SAVAGE

How do you get Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner of New Order back together?  In a book, of course:

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Some choice lines:

Bernard Sumner, founding member of Joy Division, now New Order/Electronic/Bad Lieutenant:

I’m more rhythm and chords, and Hooky was melody.  He’s got a really good talent for melody.  He’s got this powerful, barbaric part of his personality that people like, a strident quality that comes out in the music. 

I had the sleeping bag over me, and Ian was moaning about the gig and maoning about the sound, and he  said ‘Hey give met that sleeping bag,’ which wasn’t like him, because he wasn’t a selfish persona at all.  He turned round, grabbed the sleeping back off me.  I said, ‘Stop pissing about, give it back,’… he made this weird growling sound…I’m thinking ‘What’s going on?’ And next thing a hand comes out the sleeping bag, lashes out at Steve, comes out, punching the windscrren, and then he just starts punching, and that punching turned into a fully-fledged grand mal fit in the car while Steve was driving. … We just though, ‘One-off, never happened before, it’s a one-off.’ After that he got diagnosed with epilepsy, and they just started getting more and more frequent, and then it never stopped…it was quite difficult to accept that after that point, Ian’s different.

Martin  just sort of appeared like that.  I don’t remember having a meeting about it or anyone saying it would be a good idea; it just seemed to be suddenly we had a producer and his name was Martin Hannett.  Didn’t know who he was. 

The late Tony Wilson, TV presenter, Hacienda and Factory Records boss.

There’s all these great myths: that the independent British record movement was some kind of punk thing, a political statement, it’s like, ‘Fuck the majors, we’ll do it ourselves.’ That is complete and utter bollocks written by people after the event.  If you were there at the time, what had happened was through a series of accidents. 

Manager and Factory Records co-director, Rob Gretton, notebook, March 1979

Lost Control – excellent – nice + simple and also builds up well – drums very important – build up – beat emphasised. 

Transmission – very good – maybe screams too much?

Peter Saville, designer:

All I knew of recorded Joy Division were two tracks from the Factory Sample, which were kind of listenable, more listenable than the rest of the Factory Sample, but it was tough going, and I was little bit anxious.  I didn’t know if I could sit through forty minutes of Joy Division, especially in front of their manager, but I couldn’t really say no, I was delivering the artwork for the cover, couldn’t really say I didn’t want to listen to it.

Peter Hook, founder Joy Division, New Order, now Peter Hook and the Light:  ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’…I find the lyrics very painful now that I know what Ian was going through, so I view it in a completely different light.

Jon Savage’s oral history of Joy Division:  This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else is out now.

These books below were sold by IDEA Books a few months ago.

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These two remain available at time of publishing, at £250 & £95

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