Joy Division : associates

Rob Gretton

A famous mancunian DJ (at Rafters), who became Joy Division's manager in May 1978, and later on manager of New Order. He helped Joy Division come to maturity, organizing numerous gigs for them and being always very careful about their artistic independence. Protected by the "gentle giant", the band achieved a myth status, and managed to survive Ian's death as New Order. Rob was a partner in Factory and the man behind the Haçienda, Manchester most famous Club. He died of a heart attack on May 15 of 1999, aged 46.

Martin "Zero" Hannett

First a soundman and bass player, he later organized gigs with his agency Music Force (booking some Warsaw gigs) and he finally turned out to be one of the most gifted producers of his time. Partner in Factory, he worked with Joy Division on most of their recordings, but also with New Order, U2, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, A Certain Ratio, Buzzcoks, Magazine, Durutti Column... He played synthesisers on some of Joy Division studio recordings. He left Factory at the end of 1981 after a disagreement, and died of a heart failure on April 18 1991, aged 42.

Tony Wilson

Anthony H Wilson was born on February 20 of 1950. He worked for Granada TV as a presenter, mainly of music programmes. A punk rock enthusiast, he founded the Factory Club (hosted at the Russell Club) in Hulme, Manchester in May 1978, and a few months later Factory Records, the creative and remarkable independent record label. The spirit of Factory was that everyone should enjoy what they were doing, and that the profit should be fairly shared between the bands and the company. This spirit, the music and design quality would be the trademark of Factory. Tony died of a heart attack, 10 August 2007, aged 57.

Alan Erasmus

A theatre actor - he also appeared in the TV film "Hard Labour" by Mike Leigh - and a band manager who co-founded Factory Records, at 86 Palatine Road.

Peter Saville

The fifth partner in Factory, he was the designer of the label. He designed most of Joy Division and New Order record sleeves and other Factory artwork, including posters, badges etc. He favoured graphic design, artistic pictures, in total opposition to the usual "design" of pop records (the name and face of Joy Division members would never appear on the sleeves). The cover had to be a work of art too. He later left Factory and formed Peter Saville Associates, but kept on working with New Order, often with the late photographer Trevor Key.

Bernard Pierre Wolff

The french photographer was linked to Joy Division through the pictures chosen by Peter Saville for "Closer" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

Gillian Gilbert

A Joy Division fan, she joined New Order as keyboard player and guitarist at the end of 1980. She was born January 27 1961 in Macclesfield and is married to Stephen Morris.

John Peel

DJ on BBC Radio 1, in his show, the Peel sessions, he invited for decades artists whose music he loved. Joy Division performed there twice in 1979, recording eight songs for him. He played "Atmosphere" in tribute to Ian after he heard the bad news. Many sessions were later released as LPs or CDs (including Joy Division, New Order, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Fall, The Ruts, The Cure, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Hammill...). He died of a heart attack on October 25 of 2004 while he was on holidays in Peru, aged 65. Each year a John Peel Day is organized to honour his memory.

Paul Morley

Born in Stockport in 1957, journalist at the NME, he was the very first critic to discern the power of Joy Division's music and the strength of their live performance. His admiration and love for the band never stopped growing. He has also brought out books, apart from his numerous reviews and writings on pop music. "Nothing" is a biographical book reflecting on his father's suicide and that of Ian Curtis and on parts of his teenage life. He also co-founded a record company and made avant-garde electronic pop music.

Anton Corbijn

Born in 1955 in the Netherlands, he moved to London in 1979, attracted by post-punk music. He worked for the NME as a photographer. A Joy Division fan, he took some pictures of the band : a photo session in a tube station, another one during the recording of the "LWTUA" video, and one or two shoots during concerts. He is quite well known for his work (including photo sessions, album covers and videos) with U2, Echo And The Bunnymen, etc. He has directed the movie "Control" about the life of Ian Curtis, which has been released in 2007 to critical acclaim, after winning several prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.

Kevin Cummins

Born in 1953, Kevin is a famous photographer who took many photos of Joy Division - among other bands. A long awaited book of his photos of the band finally saw the light of day thanks to Kevin's self-will and thanks to Laurence Johns and everyone else at To Hell with Publishing.

Terry Mason

Terry, a Salford school mate of Peter and Bernard, who also attended the Sex Pistols gig, was a co-founder of the band and their first drummer. He soon moved to the role of manager until Rob Gretton took over the job. Terry became the band's road manager - working with Twinny, the band's roadie. Terry was also their driver, sometimes working as the mixing desk operator. He was New Order tour manager until the mid 90s.

Rex Sargeant

Ronan, known as Rex, was born in 1965. He was an early fan, frequently hanging around TJ Davidson's rehearsal rooms. Rex did backline for the band and later for New order. He did the sound for Peter Hook's side projects (Revenge, Monaco) and engineered many bands. He played bass in his own group, PR5. Hooky remembers a great professional, supportive, friendly, loyal. Rex loved to say he was Hooky's butler when they lived under the same roof in the late 80s! He decided to leave us in December 2010.


Twinny met Peter Hook in Salford prior to Joy Division forming. They attended gigs together and later the band asked him to go on the road with them. Though he initially refused, he was on board for the Buzzcocks tour - supported by Joy Division - to help with security, to later become their roadie. Years later, he concedes: "They're still my favourite band. They would be even if I didn't work with them! I get asked a lot if I think they would have been as big as New Order and I think they would have been bigger! They all still listen to Joy Division, don't they? U2, Moby, as well as kids 14-15 are all listening to Joy Division."


Many other people were involved in the short life of Joy Division - or later the longer life of New Order: Michel Duval and Annik Honoré with Factory Benelux, photographers, journalists/writers, etc. It is impossible to mention them all, but many of them appear in the related sections (books, photos...).

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Update 2021-02-19    Copyright © Michel ENKIRI