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Ode to Joy Division 

Thursday, Jan 31 2013
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Last year, Disney started selling T-shirts online inspired by the cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. You know your band has reached pop culture's apex when even Mickey Mouse is jacking your image. Add to that countless books, movies, documentaries and more misappropriated images, and there's not much left to uncover about four guys who released only two albums. Unless it comes straight from the bassist's mouth — Peter Hook, who's signing his new book, Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. Hook's first book, 2010's The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club, was about the post-New Order Manchester nightclub. Here, he sticks to his first love, from Joy Division's initial incarnation as Stiff Kittens to singer Ian Curtis' suicide in 1980 on the cusp of the band's ill-fated American tour. (Hook even includes an American tour schedule that lists a June 8 show at West Hollywood's Flippers Roller Boogie Palace, now a CVS.) The pictures are sparse — ticket stubs from the Sex Pistols, Curtis' wedding invite — which makes the book rich in detail when it comes to the group's gig history and recording sessions, as well as stories about Joy Division's other key players, including Factory label founder Tony Wilson, manager Rob Gretton and the legendary Martin Hannett (The Buzzcocks, Durutti Column, Stone Roses), whom Hook calls "a producer who had mad hair and looked like a wizard and spoke in riddles." The book is also as much about the "deification of Ian" as it is about Hook's life; while not always kind to his other bandmates, especially Bernard Sumner, Hook heaps praise on Curtis, essentially describing him as a gifted artist crippled by epilepsy and home life. "I really think that if he'd made it to America he'd have lived," he writes. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave.; Fri., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.
Fri., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., 2013
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