You know Tony Wilson's great regret, as he was dying from his illness, was he said, "You know I wish I had bothered about the money more." But he just wasn't that interested. There were so many other things about what we were doing that interested him, business was the last. If you didn't get on with Tony, you had to at least respect what he created and what he accomplished in his career. . . His outlook on life was all about life, and he didn't let things like money or success spoil what he believed in. And I think that was the most refreshing thing as a member of the group — that you weren't on that treadmill that artists do get on when they sign normal record deals with normal record companies.
The previous few trips to America have been performing Joy Division albums, but now you're touring a book. How do you prepare mentally for a book tour as opposed to playing live?
The nice thing is that I am able to recognize that it's all part of the same thing and talking to people and identifying with them. The great thing about writing the book is that people do come across and tell you how important that timeline you had written was to their lives. The Hacienda in particular, 16 years people went there; got married, had children, got divorced, and then their children started going, and it was quite humbling and quite awe inspiring what a huge part you played in people's lives. And it's the same thing about doing the book. It's all about inspiration.
I went to see Led Zeppelin about two weeks before I went to see the Sex Pistols, and I didn't look at Led Zeppelin and think "I could do that!" But I looked at the Sex Pistols and thought "I could do that!" So if one person reads my book and goes, "I can do that, I could have a go of that," then to me it's all worthwhile because to me Rob Gretton and Tony always used to say: "You should always try to give something back. Manchester made you, you need to help Manchester." And that's part of the reason why I did the club to save the Factory building, because I was so annoyed when the Hacienda building went [converted into condominiums]. You can keep things going, you can put on band nights, using the legacy, all to help the future.
You also once told me that this book is all part of larger vision, and you will tour all the New Order albums. Is this book another step in that plan? Will there be a book onCloser,Movement,Power Corruption and Lies? Or maybe just a tell-all on New Order?
There is going to be a New Order book, and in my mind I've started it. And I wasn't going to do it, because the great thing is that it isn't sullied by what we can say. Joy Division were not sullied by sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Unfortunately New Order were. The New Order book will be a very different book.