MySpace | Getty Lol Tolhurst, former drummer/keyboardist of the Cure and one…
- Posted on Nov 22nd 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
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"The interesting thing about 'Unknown Pleasures' is it was Ian at his best, at his strongest, his most aggressive and angriest and very confident in his lyrics," Hook tells Spinner. "When you look at the lyrics, you don't see any weakness. I see a very accomplished lyric writer and vocalist doing wonderful things with words. Looking at it in depth has really impressed me. I knew Ian was good. I didn't realize he was great."
Hook should know, having spent much of this past year reacquainting himself with Curtis' songs. On May 18, the 30th anniversary of his friend's death, Hook assembled a group of musicians and played 'Unknown Pleasures' from top to bottom at a charity concert in Manchester, England, Joy Division's hometown. Hook has since performed the album in full in Australia, New Zealand and countries around Europe, and on Dec. 1, he'll stop at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., for the first of nine US shows.
The 'Unknown Pleasures' gigs have been so successful, Hook says, that he's considering basing a similar show around 'Closer,' Joy Division's second and final album. That collection came out two months after Curtis' death, and according to Hook, it's indicative of how the singer's struggles with epilepsy had taken their toll.
"If we get to 'Closer,' you're going to be looking at a different part of his life," Hook says. "When he wrote 'Closer,' he was affected by his illness a great deal. He was suffering physically and mentally because of it, and that comes across in the words. He really laid his soul bare. I wish in many ways we were more experienced in the ways of the world, for us to be able to read that. I'm not looking forward to 'Closer,' as they say. But I enjoyed greatly [in 'Unknown Pleasures'] the strength, the wonderful cockiness and the skill and the wonderful lyrics."
Hook says he'd like to continue honoring Curtis' memory by making his Joy Division retrospective shows annual events.
"My idea was to do it every May 18th, because I did the gigs for charity, two very good causes here in England," he says, citing the mental-health organization Mind and Searching for Keith, which raises money for the family of Keith Bennett, a victim of Manchester's notorious Moors murders.
"The fact you're doing it for charity makes you feel good as well, so I probably will do 'Closer' for the same charities I did 'Unknown Pleasures' for," Hook says. "If it leads to half the pleasure I got playing 'Unknown Pleasures,' I'll be a very lucky boy."