Joy Division Bernard Sumner

There’s quite a few books out there, that have been written about the band Joy Division. l’m sure the best ones, are the ones written by the people that were actually in the band itself. first we had Peter Hooks Unknown pleasures book, and now we have Bernard Sumner’s Chapter and verse, which tells his side of the story and also what happened after Joy Division, with the mega- success of New Order and beyond, and lets not forget The Hacienda, a very big thorn that tore through the royalties of Joy Division and New Order everything is explained in these very pages.

Bernard Sumner had by all accounts a very tough upbringing in Salford, up Manchester way, even so he remained very optimistic, and credits this to his influences which gave him his edge in his playing style, but it was seeing the Sex Pistols play, that got him to actually start playing his guitar. For him though, his influences were more about his enviroment, rather than actual music heroes, probably because he did not come from a musical family, not that this was in anyway a handicap, as with all the changing landscapes of modern industry this seemed the perfect fodder in which to indulge, when he formed Joy Division.

During the heady ascent of Joy Division, Barney would move from guitar and start building Synthesizers, from kits to add textures to the sound of Joy Division. I remember the first time l saw Joy Division on TV, it was so mindblowing. The next day at school we were forming bands, and soon after, l would get a guitar, and join the ranks of figuring out how to get an identity. lt took a while, and l have still got a while to go. I reckon loads of people my age, and younger must have done the same thing, as even nowadays, l seem to still be playing with musicians, who are heavily influenced by the body of work they left behind, even though they only done a couple of albums, the damage so to speak was done.

New Order, who are also influential on musicians around the globe, and it’s amazing to think how it came to be successful, according to whats written here, with all the mishaps explained, to such comical effects, these guys knew how to have fun, and many lessons were learned, such as never get in cars driven by Bez from the Happy Mondays.

During New Orders time, Bernard also got together with guitar supremo Johnny Marr and formed Electronic another great band, who also got success, and the funny stories continue on, such as going on a press tour and missing vital radio interviews because you end up partying with Seal, and catching flights and bringing a bag of sick through the security gate, oh dear how bad does it get, before your in that kind of situation.

All in all, this is a mighty fine read, he is very honest and even addresses what happened with Hooky and brings the saga of New Order up to date and we also get a bit about Bad Lieutenant too. All in all you get a good insight of what it’s like to be in New Order and he’s totally open, with what went down.

Chris McDougall