A highly anticipated new podcast telling the story of Joy Division and New Order has finally launched with the first episode seeing Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner talk about meeting Ian Curtis for the very first time.
Transmissions The Definitive Story will track the start of the group, up to the release of their 1983 single ‘Blue Monday’, and will be narrated by Maxine Peake. The first episode of the series launches today and sees the band revisit their beginning. The series is set to feature interviews with Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert and Peter Hook alongside famous fans including Bono, Damon Albarn, Johnny Marr, Liam Gallagher, Radiohead‘s Jonny Greenwood and more.
Maxine Peake opens the episode by introducing the podcast as being “a story about friends, a story about music, about Manchester. About the people you meet who change your life. About the nights out that do the same. It’s about the people, places and songs that have become legendary. It’s the story of studios, record labels, nightclubs and dancing. It’s also about being your own worst enemy. Being stubborn. Wanting more. It’s about life and death,” Peake says as she articulately paints a Joy Division shaped picture.
“We put an advert up in a Virgin Records store just off Piccadilly in Central Manchester,” Sumner says on how his paths would eventually cross with Curtis — Sumner and Peter Hook famously went out to buy instruments after being amazed by seeing The Sex Pistols. “Then we got a few, a couple of cranky singers, one was a total hippie. I’d never met a hippie before. I was from Salford, you don’t get hippies in Salford,” Sumner continued.
“There were a couple of events like that and one night, the phone rang. ‘It’s about the singer that you want…’ I said, ‘Oh right what kind of music you into?’ I thought I better check this one first that it’s not like some hippie stuff. He was into music that we were into. He said ‘I go to gigs, I’ve seen you at gigs’ I said ‘Oh, what’s your name?’ and he said ‘Ian’,” Sumner recalled.
“I met Ian at the Electric Circus,” Hook remembered. “I can’t remember which concert it was. It might’ve been the Sex Pistols third gig.” The bass god then remembered that Curtis had “HATE in fluorescent capital letters” embroidered onto the back of his jacket which made him stick out like a saw thumb at the gig.
“He was unique and he stuck out, shall we say. I went to his house which was in Stretford. Him and Debbie were living with Ian’s mother or grandmother at that time, they didn’t have their own place then… or they’d just moved in there temporarily. Ian showed me his PA and said ‘Hey, have you heard this new Iggy Pop album? It’s just come out this week’. I’d never heard Iggy Pop before. He played ‘China Girl’ off that album and I thought it’s great, and fell in love with it straight away and I thought… this is the guy,” Hook said.
Listen to the first episode, below.