Monday, June 21, 2010

Unknown Pleasures

I heard on the radio this morning that Peter Hook is coming to Australia to perform Joy Divisions debut album, Unknown Pleasures, live.

I remember this poster being in my brother's room growing up and even when I was really little I understood the value of that Warsaw single he would play on his record player. I'm pretty sure it was a single - but my brother reads this blog so he can correct me if my memory is mixed up by nostalgia. Either way, Joy Division was an important part of my brothers musical history, and therefore, by extension, mine.

I always had my own taste in horrible music, but I was still heavily influenced by my brother's taste in music growing up (as I'm sure are many younger siblings). I didn't love everything he listened to, and I still proudly made my own choices (good and bad) but his love of music was definatly handed down to me and his own passion and experimentation have led to me having a lifelong love of seeing live music and buying and collecting music.

Our tastes took very different paths as I went to uni. He used to hang out at Red Eye records (and still does) and I was a regular at Waterfront Record and Half a Cow. I'd study the Drum every week for the Waterfront specials, and rush in for whatever signed/limited edition/ coloured vinyl they had on offer. It was a great way to collect stuff, but also introduced me to so much music I'd never have listened to. I loved those days.

So when I heard about this tour, I was first excited, and then a bit unsure. All of this music nostalgia of late has been fun, with the Pixies touring, and Pavement too - but this? I think it is fantastic and a little bit sad all at the same time. What I do know though, is if my brother wants to go - it would be pretty cool to go together.


  1. Woo. A day late reading this. Things are a bit crazy round here right now.

    That Unknown Pleasures poster is still hanging on the wall in our study / studio (between two book cases, to counteract the presence of whistling willie and another wooden austrian Frank trip souvenir). That Warsaw single is probably that bootleg picture disk with really really really rough recordings of some early songs.

    Aaah, Joy Division and Unknown Pleasures. It marked a big transition in musical tastes for me. Just like the girl in the yellow house (I'm not sure we're using your name here ;-)) my own early musical tastes were pretty horrible, then later were influenced by what the guys at school were listening to, which was mostly music of the previous generation (Led Zep, Deep Purple and in the more enlightened quarters Pink Floyd).

    It was only when I went to uni that I encountered people listening more to music being made by people of my own generation. I was a couple of years late for Joy Division, but fell for them heavily when I did find them. Borderline obsessive, to tell the truth.

    I still follow the news about New Order and the whole Factory scene, so my first thought about Hooky playing Unknown Pleasures is that (giving his reopening of a Factory-related club in Manchester) that he's spending a bit too much time trading on past glories. But, on the other hand, c'mon this is Hooky and Unknown Pleasures we're talking about. And it's not like I've never gone to see recent shows for things I missed (or weren't here) at the time (ahem, Kraftwerk, 2004 since I was ignorant about them in 1981).

    I do know that if Hooky carries this off well, I'll have lump in my throat and a tear in my eye ("I saw the tears as they cried, They had tears in their eyes, Tears in their eyes, Tears in their eyes, Tears in their eyes.") Ahem. 'Scuse me.

    Pity Joy Division never made it down here. I was really lucky to see early on playing in grotty pubs some bands that at the time were still obscure. I wonder whatever happened to them? You know, non-entities like The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, New Order, Magazine, Siouxie and the Banshees (I was always much more taken by the British bands than the US bands).