Peter Hook opens up on feeling “guilt” 40 years after Ian Curtis’ death

Hook is marking the anniversary of Curtis's death by streaming a gig

Peter Hook has reflected on the death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis saying it riddled him with “guilt” and “annoyance” at the time of his passing.

It comes as Hook prepares to mark the 40th anniversary of Curtis’s death today (May 18) by streaming a gig in which he played every Joy Division song with his band The Light.

Curtis took his own life on May 18, 1980 at the age of 23. He suffered with epilepsy and depression.

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Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment the band’s bassist said: “Suicide of a very close friend or family member always leaves you with the guilt.”

Hook and the surviving members of Joy Division – Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris – went on to form New Order, following the inquest into Curtis’ death. He added that fans were not pleased with their subsequent tour.

He added: “Fans weren’t supportive. They used to spend the whole gig shouting for Joy Division titles. I didn’t expect them to be supportive, to be honest. … We actually lost a lot of our confidence. … The audiences were openly hostile. They wanted Joy Division.”

Hook also admitted that he felt “really annoyed with Ian when he died”. Feeling differently now he said: “The important thing you realize, as you get older, is that the fact that [Joy Division] didn’t carry on wasn’t the most important thing for Ian.

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“The most important thing was a daughter lost her father. Parents lost a son. A wife lost a husband. A lover lost a lover. That is really the important thing — because let’s face it, there’s lots of groups. There’ll be another along in a minute.”

Speaking to NME about today’s live stream, Hook revealed behind the scenes details of the 2015 gig perform at Christ Church in Curtis’ hometown of Macclesfield.

He said: “It was the church that Ian used to go to as a kid, he was in the choir. We got involved and did a charity gig to save it, which we did – it’s still there. We played every Joy Division song ever written and recorded in one go. It took over four hours and I was immensely proud of it.”

The three hour concert movie So This Is Permanent will be streamed for the first ever time today. It will be broadcast from 12pm and available for just 24 hours before a DVD becomes available in June. Fans are encouraged to donate to The Epilepsy Society.

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