Former New Order and Joy Division star Peter Hook is in negotiations to buy a treasure trove of lost recordings by his old bands which were found in the trash.
The master tapes were rescued by Julia Adamson, a former studio assistant who became a member of influential British rock band The Fall, and when she made it known she was ready to sell up, the bass player made her an offer.
The tapes reportedly include a master copy of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album.
Hook tells Pitchfork.com he has big plans for the trashed recordings, stating, “It’d be nice to issue something that fans would love and cherish.”
But he’s still a little upset to think he has to pay for something he believes is rightfully his: “There’s a culture of finder’s keepers, so invariably, over the years, I’ve bought many items of memorabilia back from various people. But English law is very explicit about ownership. The band owned the copyright and the music, and under English law it’s illegal to give away people’s music without their consent. So, if Julia did want to give them away, she needs our permission. It’s the same as illegal file-sharing on the Internet.”
And he admits he has become quite the expert at tracking down lost New Order and Joy Division material over the years, adding, “It’s like finding an old diary tucked away at the back of a cupboard… I got some tapes recently that had (New Order singer) Bernard (Sumner)’s handwriting on them. It’s always a strange thing. Whilst your relationship may sour over the years, it is a bit like finding an old love letter.”
Hook is currently embroiled in a bitter dispute with his former New Order bandmates after they reunited without him and went out on tour.