Joy Division: Peter Hook

Peter was Joy Division's bass player

Peter Hook
Photo © Paul Slattery
reproduced with permission
Peter Hook
Photo © Santo Bastone
Peter Hook
Photo © Alain de la Mata

Peter Hook, né Peter Woodhead, was born on 13 February 1956. He grew up mainly in Salford even though he spent part of his childhood in Jamaica. He decided to take his stepfather's surname that is the origin of his nickname "Hooky". He befriended school mates Bernard Albrecht/Sumner and Terry Mason.

After leaving school, Peter worked in Manchester. Along with his two friends he attended the two Sex Pistols gigs there in 1976, which prompted them to form a band, that was to become Joy Division.

His playing style is quite unique, both in the role of the bass in the music, the sound of it and the visual aspect on stage. The bass is omnipresent in Joy Division's music and has the role of a lead instrument, being a fundamental part of the melodies, with many high bass lines - something that would continue in New Order. Peter's distinctive sound is characterized by a signature heavy chorus effect. Last but not least, the way Hooky plays his 4 or 6-string bass is absolutely stunning: he almost holds the bass at knees level and seems to fight with it while moving all around.

With Joy Division, Hooky also contributed backing vocals in concert and sang co-lead with Ian on Interzone. After Joy Division, Hooky continued as New Order bass player, being the lead singer on two of their early songs too. In addition he worked as a record producer and formed side project bands Revenge, Monaco and later Freebass.

He announced that he was leaving New Order in 2007 due to major disagreements with Bernard. He formed Peter Hook and The Light with the members of Monaco and his son Jack in 2010, initially to celebrate Joy Division and Ian Curtis on the 30th anniversary of his death. He has toured with The Light all around the globe since, performing Joy Division as well as New Order material, with the intention to play live all the songs that both bands ever wrote.

Hooky was the first member of Joy Division to write a book on their story.