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Hellbent: A Conversation with New Order's Peter Hook

We sit down with the New Order and Joy Division bassist to talk sex, drugs, money, and abuse in the wild ride that is his new book, 'Substance.'

by Andrea Domanick
Mar 1 2017, 3:25pm

Thirty or 40 years ago, Peter Hook might've beat up a guy like him. The 60-year-old Joy Division and New Order co-founder is reclining on a chaise outside a prim lobby bar in LA's Omni Hotel, every bit the picture of an upstanding English gentleman: Tailored gray suit, coordinated silk scarf and pocket square, a judicious spritz of cologne. Twelve years sober, he sips from a virgin Bloody Mary whilst nibbling at a charcuterie plate.

The image is decidedly not that of the bloody-fingernailed bassist who, along with his bandmates, took to drugs and sex like "pigs at trough," as described in Hook's comprehensive new account of New Order's 30-plus year history,  Substance: Inside New Order.

That's not to say that the sneering, outspoken Hooky fans have come to know is no more: That fellow very much remains, there in the voluptuous Mancunian drawl of his "ponk" rock recollections, and in the mischievous grin and twinkling eyes that punctuate the astute, if often unfiltered, thoughts he gleefully doles out in both conversation and his writing.

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