“Who is Ian Curtis?” asked Hunter S. Thompson over breakfast at Veselka’s.
Archive for May, 2009
Hooky was an icon, and ought to have been mine.
Sumner’s identity fluctuated too much to be iconographic.
Morris was too terse to be an icon.
A delay, a stutter, a space in which sound is engorged.
So you press play and the echo slaps you.
Wallowing in the echoes of someone else’s sadness, she never embraced the Fake Irish moniker; she never got the joke.
Imagine having the power to change the life of a city. No, really, sit back and imagine yourself part of an engine that unpacks material desolation and provokes pride.
Microcosmic: Factory. A universal broken mirror. Art as concept and product. Existence as catalogue number. Enemy to the completist, friend to the tinpot surrealist. Blueprint of inspirational failure.
It is a dangerous thing to have a little knowledge about the gang of junkies and chancers that formed Factory Communications.
I needed an Alan Erasmus.
Martin Hannett scored my coming-of-age.
Tony Wilson ate my hamster.
I got lost in Peter Saville.
I was born on the seventeenth day of May, and I learned quickly that lost boys with blue eyes ought to stick together.
I was inspired to buy Unknown Pleasures after a thousand Tuesday nights spent religiously wasted at Panic! The CD sat unopened in my satchel until I lurched home one week. 3am and I play it through Media Player, my album dominating my conscious thought thereafter.
The first big weekend of the summer and I leave the house to the sound of ‘Disorder’, playing that seminal album for the first time through tinny headphones while my being is altered.
Bassett played me Unknown Pleasures for the first time in his room in Angel, educating me about post-punk over vodka and squeezed lemon.
I heard Unknown Pleasures for the first time as it leaked out of my Dad’s car stereo. We were returning from URBIS to his rented house on the outskirts of Manchester.
The first recorded reference I made to Joy Division can be found as an abstract mention of a playlist on a napkin. I have no memory of the song or the instant. About two years later I found myself in the shitty surrounds of my flat in Angel, hunched over my stereo, soaking up the sound of Unknown Pleasures.
“Who is Ian Curtis?” asked B. S. Johnson, over breakfast at Veselka’s.
“I always preferred The Smiths” she said.
Imagine creativity as a grandfather clock: On the tick you’re soaking up sources, on the tock you’re broadcasting output. It takes a while to regularise that tick and tock, and only at the best and worst of times will it beat in time with seconds.
Cultural explosions have mapped my life.
They won’t write the book about FROG because most people won’t remember being there.
Few things match seeing your idols crumble. Pete(r) Doherty became a tabloid monkey-boy manchild shortly after we embraced at Camden’s Barfly. It broke my heart to see his words and music soaked up by polo-shirts and branded tracksuits, but I let the icon rot. I stopped caring.
“Maybe you could write about your failures with women?”
“Don’t I already do that?”
Harmony, metaphorical or not, is a powerful discovery.
A large hall, many ages, split into two sections:
1: AH! O-Ooo! AH! O-Ooo!
2: OhAhOh! OhAhOh!
So, with one exception, I could never really keep friends around for long.