Mickey Mouse t-shirt features the band's 'Unknown Pleasures' artwork
Peter Hook has said he feels it is “quite a compliment” that Disney have been “inspired” by Joy Division‘s ‘Unknown Pleasures’ artwork for their latest Mickey Mouse T-shirt.
The former bassist with New Order suggested that the garment, which you can see by scrolling up to the top of the page, may well be a “tongue in cheek compliment” to the defunct band.
The T-shirt features the classic image of a pulsar, which was originally taken from the Cambridge Encyclopedia Of Astronomy. It was chosen by the band’s guitarist Bernard Sumner, with help from graphic designer Peter Saville.
Speaking to NME, Hook confirmed that he had not given permission for Disney to use the image, adding that it was a legal grey area. “From a legal point of view, the image is in the public domain, as Disney know and, in a funny way, it’s quite a compliment for a huge conglomerate like Disney to pick up on a poor little Manchester band that only existed for a couple of years, it’s quite startling,” he commented. “I’m amazed they’re that hard up that they need to prey on little indie bands, but I get the feeling that someone may have done it as a tongue in cheek compliment.”
I must admit, over the years I’ve become used to Mickey Mouse T-shirts, especially where Joy Division are concerned, because it was something that we never bothered with early on in our career and we’ve never attached much importance to that side of things actually. I’m used to bootleggers.
The bassist added that though he spends a chunk of his time “policing” Joy Division bootlegs, all he usually required was that wannabe bootleggers made a contribution to an Epilepsy charity in memory of Ian Curtis, and called on Disney to do the same.
Hook added: “I spend a lot of my time policing Joy Division bootlegs and normally we ask for a contribution to be made to Ian’s charity for Epilesy. So, maybe if we wanted to make Disney feel guilty we could suggest that they did that.”
The T-shirt is priced at $24.99 and can be purchased from the Disney store.
This is not the first time Joy Division imagery has been used for seemingly incongruous commercial purposes. A website appearing to stock Joy Division’ trainers appeared in 2007, and Ian Curtis’ likeness was used as part of Converse’s ‘Connectivity’ campaign in 2008.