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Spotlight Exhibit: Joy Division / New Order

Friday, February 3: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Joy Division / New Order bassist Peter Hook in front of the Spotlight Exhibit with his bass

The members of Joy Division were post-punk visionaries. In contrast to the raw fury of the British punk scene that gave birth to the band, Joy Division created a more nuanced, expressive template for emphatically projecting discontent. Tortured lead singer Ian Curtis' introspective lyrics and melancholic worldview were reflected in the band's manic live performances and moody arrangements. This motif was captured in songs like "Disorder," "Transmission" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart." In addition to Curtis' vocals, Bernard Sumner's angular guitar work and Stephen Morris' frenetic drumming, the band's signature sound owed much to the bass of Peter Hook, who cultivated a lead-bass style that rejected the notion of a bassist's sole role as being backup. "I never did really play bass, because I always found it intensely annoying whenever some twat of a guitarist would turn around to you and say, 'could you play the root note?' said Hook during a 2010 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. "Luckily, I found a style."

That signature style involved playing lead lines high on the fretboard, creating melodies that were often mimicked in the vocals. “That came about early, when ...


continue Categories: Spotlight Exhibit, Exhibit

Peter Hook kicks off his U.S. tour at the Rock Hall

Monday, December 6: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Peter Hook performs at the Rock Hall's Legends Series event.

Bassist Peter Hook has been the pulse of two of rock’s most enigmatic groups: Joy Division and New Order. He discussed the history of both bands at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Tuesday evening, November 30. The Legends Series session featured a sit-down interview and performance. The event’s free tickets disappeared quickly, and it streamed live via rockhall.com. If you missed it, some highlights are here. 

It was a busy week for Hook, who stopped in Cleveland between a concert in Italy and a show at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club. The DC show was the opening night of a US tour for Hook’s latest band, the Light. The Light is playing original material, but opens their set with Joy Division’s entire debut album, Unknown Pleasures. The Joy Division set is hotly anticipated and long overdue: In 1980, singer Ian Curtis committed suicide the night before the band was scheduled to leave for an American tour.

Hook sat for a two-hour Q&A session with Rock Hall Director of Education Jason Hanley, but first the Foster Theater screened the same short film that is preceding the Light’s live ...


continue Categories: Exclusive Interviews, Education, Foster Theatre, Event

Electropop and the “Ah-Ha” Moment in the Classroom

Tuesday, September 22: 4:56 p.m.
Posted by Jason Hanley
Jason Hanley, director of education at the Rock Hall

An inside look at the SAGES program.

Many people are surprised when they learn that we teach all ages at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – from toddlers to adults. As a Presidential

Fellow in Case Western Reserve University’s SAGES program  (the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) I have been teaching Rock and Roll Hall of Fame courses to undergraduates for the last three years with topics such as “Writing Rock and Roll” and “Rock and Roll Subcultures.”

When I teach, I always try to lead students to that elusive “ah-ha” moment, when they begin to really understand why the subject matters.  Last week in my college course “Electro Pop: The History of Popular Electronic Music,” the class had that kind of moment. Through our discussion of Luigi Russolo’s 1913 essay The Art of Noises students realized that electronic music allowed them to use any and all sounds.  Because of this it gave each of them, regardless of their musical background, a chance to be composers.  And that musicians and artists have been saying that since as early as 1913.  Ah-ha.

Last year, Ted Ottaviano of the synth-pop band Book of Love contacted ...


continue Categories: Education
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