“It’s funny, I was doing a gig in Leicester last week, and this American guy came up to me. He obviously wasn’t a New Order fan and didn’t know who I was. He said, ‘Hey, man, play some Smiths.’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Why not?’ And I said, ‘Because I fucking hate Morrissey. He’s a twat.’ The guy was floored; he literally almost fell over. He’s used to DJs saying, ‘Sure, man, I’ll put it on in a bit.’ But you might as well be honest, right?”—Hooky, January 2006 (for Vaughan’s request)
He was born on 15th July 1956 in Stretford, and grew up in Macclesfield. He married Deborah Woodruffe in 1975 and they had a daughter, Natalie in 1979. He joined the band who was to become Joy Division in 1976.
His lyrics often depicted traumas and self-questioning, in the existentialist approach. His deep baritone voice was the perfect medium to render the unusual importance of words in the songs.
On stage, Ian would stand still close to the mike, almost leaning on it, then suddenly frenetically dance, throwing his arms and legs all around, in a way that would relate to the epileptic fits he suffered.
His health condition worsened with the intense touring of Joy Division and the personal problems he had to face. He hanged himself in his house in Macclesfield, 77 Barton Street, on 18th May 1980, just before Joy Division was due to tour in the USA. Ian was cremated in Macclesfield cemetery.
Bernard was born on 4th January 1956, and grew up in Salford. He formed the band with Hooky in 1976.
He played the guitar and some synthesiser (in the last two years of Joy Division existence). Without the shadow of a doubt, Barney was on stage the motionless one, except for his hands on the guitar. His playing evolved a lot from the early punk songs to the late ones.
After Joy Division, he became New Order’s singer and guitarist. Later, he also served as a record producer for Factory Records and formed Electronic. He has used different names : Albrecht, Dicken and Sumner.
In June 1979 Joy Division released their first studio album, Unknown Pleasures, recorded with the producer Martin Hannett, in April. The cover image comes from Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy and shows pulses from the first pulsar discovered. One of the artwork desingers was Peter Saville, who collaborated with later with them with other covers. After releasing Uknown Pleasures, the band went on the tour in Europe. Unfortunatelly, Ian started having more epileptic attacks, even on stage. Because of intensive tours and taking medicines epilepsy, Ian’s depression started growing on. All the bad thoughts that haunted him these days, were described on the lyrics from the second album, Closer, recorded in March 1980 with Martin Hannet. Soon after finishing the recording session of Closer the tour in USA was announced. But before that the band played the gig in Birmingham, 2 May 1980. The recording from that performance was released on the album Still, a year later. Ian’s problems, such as epilepsy and heart problems led him to the suicide. He hanged himself in the kitchen on 18 May 1980. So Joy Division stopped existing. In July 1980 Closer was released, with the original photo by Bernard Pierre Wolff, chosen before Ian’s death. Ian’s ashes were burried in Macclesfield. On the thumbstone you can read “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. The original thumbstone was stolen in 2008 and was replaced by the identic one.
After Ian’s death Bernard, Hooky and Stephen formed New Order, but this is a different chapter in the Music history. Both Joy Division and New Order are ones of the most influential bands in history.
He was born on 28th October 1957, and grew up in Macclesfield. He was the last one to join the band, in 1977.
The drums were very important to Joy Division, and their sound was quite worked out. Some songs were based on a steady beat, but others filled with rolls or rhythm shifts.
After Joy Division, Steve continued as New Order drummer - including electronic drums - and played synthesisers too. He later also formed The Other Two with wife Gillian Gilbert, keyboard and guitar player of New Order.
“So this is permanence, love’s shattered pride.
What once was innocence, turned on its side.
A cloud hangs over me, marks every move,
Deep in the memory, of what once was love.”—Twenty Four Hours, from Closer
He was born on 13th February 1956, and grew up in Salford. He worked in Manchester and along with Bernard decided to play in a band in 1976.
His bass playing is quite unique : the bass is omnipresent in Joy Division’s music, it has more or less the role of a lead guitar, and the way Hooky plays it is absolutely stunning. He almost holds the bass at knees level and seems to fight with it while moving all around.
After Joy Division, Hooky continued as New Order bass player. Later, he also worked as a record producer and formed Revenge and Monaco. He has done DJ sets too.
The early performances caught the attention of Tony Wilson and Rob Gretton. Rob Gretton was amazed by their performances so much he proposed them to be their manager. The debut EP, called An Ideal For Living was self-released in summer 1978 (on 7” vinyl; 12” vinyl was released on 10 October 1978). The cover is a drawing by Bernard Sumner and shows Hitler Youth member beating a drum. Because of that the band was accused of Nazi sympathies (also naming themselves Joy Division didn’t help them in saying they’re not neo-nazis).
After solving some disagreements with Tony Wilson, the band finally played their debut performance on Tony’s show Granada Reports and joined Tony’s record label Factory Records. In late winter 1978 Ian suffered his first epileptic episode and was taken to the hospital. The early releases were appreciated by John Peel and other music journalists. In January 1979 the band played their first session for John Peel. The second session took place in November 1979 and the songs played during the both sessions were later released on The Peel Sessions album.
The beginnings of Joy Division are in 1976 when Bernard Sumner and his school friend Peter Hook saw Sex Pistols playing in Manchester, June 1976. Sumner and Hook formed the first band with the drummer Terry Mason. As the lead vocalist was hired their school friend Martin Gresty, but he quitted the band soon after. So Hook, Sumner and Mason put the advertisement that they’re looking for the singer. Ian Curtis answered the advert, he knew the guys from the gigs that were played in Manchester. The band originally called themselves Warsaw, after David Bowie’s song “Warszawa” from his album Low (1977).
As Warsaw they played their first gig on 29 May 1977 as a support for Buzcocks and John Cooper Clark in Manchester, Electric Circus. After some changes, Terry Mason became Warsaw’s manager, and in August 1977 Stephen Morris was hired as a drummer.
Because of the confusion with the band Warsaw Pact, the name was changed into Joy Division “early 1978, borrowing their new name from the prostitution wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel The Hose Of Dolls.” (wikipedia)
Because of the 31st anniversary of releasing An Ideal For Living (debut EP by Joy Division), I’m starting a short episode on my tumblr. I’m going to post some pics and quotes from guys from JD. hope you’ll enjoy it.