Joy Division became the favourite for a new name. We decided to try it out on people and see how it went down. In Macclesfield, predictably, it didn’t go down too well.
‘Sounds like the fuckin’ Salvation Army or sommat’ was the man-in-the-pub’s response, and I suppose he did have a point. But after a while whatever you call yourself, however silly it sounds at first, does take on another meaning. Once it gets tangled up with how you look and the music that you play, it becomes part of your image, but we didn’t think of implications of that . . .
Before he was responsible for some of the most iconic drumming in popular music, Stephen Morris grew up in 1960s and ’70s industrial Macclesfield, on a quiet road that led seemingly to nowhere. Far removed from the bright lights and manic energy of nearby Manchester, he felt stifled by suburbia and feared he might never escape. Then he joined Joy Division – while they were still known as Warsaw – a pioneer of the rousing post-punk sound that would revolutionise twentieth-century rock.
Following two landmark albums and widespread critical acclaim, Joy Division were at the height of their powers and poised to break the US, when lead singer, Ian Curtis, committed suicide.
Part memoir, part scrapbook and part aural history: Stephen Morris’s innate sense of rhythm and verve pulses through Record Play Pause. From recollections of growing up in the North West to the founding of New Order, Morris never strays far from the music. And by turns profound and wry, this book subverts the mythology and allows us to understand music’s power to define who we are and what we become.