KPCC Revisits UK Rock Band Joy Division’s Saddest Day

The book tour for Joy Division bassist Peter Hook’s memoir Unknown Pleasures stopped by KPCC’s Take Two this morning. A definite treat for show co-host Alex Cohen, who rates the 1976-80 band as one of her personal favorites.

Halfway through the interview, Hook eloquently addressed the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. He noted that unlike the rest of the band members at the time, Curtis had a mortgage and marriage to contend with. As well as a medical diagnosis of epilepsy and quiet-life recommendation from the doctor that he willfully ignored:

“I’d sort of convinced myself in the book that Ian had got ill towards the end of Joy Division,” Hook told Cohen. “When I came to do the timelines, I realized that he was ill very much from the start…”

“Whenever you went to him, I think he just looked in your eyes and thought, ‘I know what he wants to hear.’ He was a very generous, very warm guy. He was a really nice bloke. And the thing is as soon as he looked at you, he knew what you wanted to hear… The regret comes from that, really.”

Cohen went on to ask Hook whether Curtis might have been dropping clues in the band’s songs. Listen to the full interview here.

[Image of Hook courtesy]