1 year ago
LA Weekly: Peter Saville’s cover art has appeared on everything from Urban Outfitters T-shirts to sneakers. How do you feel about the image becoming part of pop culture and the commercialization of punk in general?
Peter Hook: I spend a lot of time trying to stop most of it because it’s all bootleg, which is one of the unfortunate aspects of the business. I went into a shop and saw a Sex Pistols mug and thought, ‘that’s fucking gross.’ And I bought it [laughs]. It’s proudly displayed in my office. I guess it’s nice that it becomes part of life. You have to take it as a compliment because of the impact it had on so many people. When I play a gig and look out at the audience, you’re literally looking at a sea of Joy Division T-shirts. And it always makes me wonder, ‘who had the last laugh?’ The band for not doing it, or the bootleggers for doing it? Are you right in denying them, or should you give it to them? Then you become a whole new thing, don’t you? You become a Walmart of Joy Division. It’s a thin line that any band has to tread. You’re bootlegged on the Internet, so you can’t sell records. And you can’t stop people from bootlegging your images. On the other hand, it’s an acceptance, and they are part of your life. It would be better if the bands were benefitting from it in some way, but it can’t be a hindrance in what you do.

LA Weekly: Peter Saville’s cover art has appeared on everything from Urban Outfitters T-shirts to sneakers. How do you feel about the image becoming part of pop culture and the commercialization of punk in general?

Peter Hook: I spend a lot of time trying to stop most of it because it’s all bootleg, which is one of the unfortunate aspects of the business. I went into a shop and saw a Sex Pistols mug and thought, ‘that’s fucking gross.’ And I bought it [laughs]. It’s proudly displayed in my office. I guess it’s nice that it becomes part of life. You have to take it as a compliment because of the impact it had on so many people. When I play a gig and look out at the audience, you’re literally looking at a sea of Joy Division T-shirts. And it always makes me wonder, ‘who had the last laugh?’ The band for not doing it, or the bootleggers for doing it? Are you right in denying them, or should you give it to them? Then you become a whole new thing, don’t you? You become a Walmart of Joy Division. It’s a thin line that any band has to tread. You’re bootlegged on the Internet, so you can’t sell records. And you can’t stop people from bootlegging your images. On the other hand, it’s an acceptance, and they are part of your life. It would be better if the bands were benefitting from it in some way, but it can’t be a hindrance in what you do.

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