Peter Hook: 'I only fly business class – I don't bend anymore'

My life in travel - Peter Hook is a musician
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

A caravan holiday in Rhyl when I was 15, with my mates. It was like The Inbetweeners with no money. It was so long ago, the caravan actually had gas lights. At night, when the gas ran out, we used to sit in the dark listening to Radio Luxembourg. That was our only source of entertainment because we were too young to go to the pubs.

Best holiday?

The island of Pangkor Laut in Malaysia with my wife. When you're on it, you feel very cosseted and the world feels very far away. It's a beautiful place, with wonderful food and people. We stayed in a villa that stood on stilts above the sea.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Home. I live in Alderley Edge, just south of Manchester. When New Order got together, I was looking for a house and moved here because [lead vocalist] Bernard Sumner said they had very good state schools in the area. It was one of his better bits of advice. I must thank him for that.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I'm not a good flyer. Because I do it so much, I think the odds of something going wrong are not in my favour. Last weekend, I did seven flights over the space of 48 hours. I've developed a slightly fatalistic attitude to flying.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife and kids. It's always a problem travelling so much with work and being away from them – so I'm very happy when we're all together. This year we went to Venice. It's one of the most expensive places we've ever been but its sheer beauty really left an impression. It's the only place you could pay €50 for a Bloody Mary and a coffee, as we did in St Mark's Square, and still enjoy it.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Beach bum. When you've travelled for 34 years as a musician, you do all the culture stuff when you're young and full of energy. In the middle stage, you indulge too much and are scared of daylight. Then, in the final stage, you've seen it all so you tend to take things a lot easier. My son Jack is a musician now, too. When we're on holiday he's up at eight o'clock every morning, regardless of what time we got to bed, ready to see go see the sites.

Holiday reading?

I'm reading Blue Monday by Nicci French at the moment, and recently finished Life by Keith Richards. You'd just have to change the title of that book and it would be the same story as New Order's; there wasn't much difference. I'm also writing one myself called Inside Joy Division. I got sick of reading accounts by people who weren't there.

Where has seduced you?

Mallorca. For eight weeks every summer, I live in Andratx, near Palma. It's actually easier to travel to gigs in the UK from Mallorca than it is from Manchester. I couldn't believe how I could feel so comfortable in a foreign place. The people are wonderful. You have to win them over at first, but we've been going there for 10 years. I'm even starting to learn a little Spanish.

Better to travel or arrive?

At my age, I only travel business class because I just don't bend anymore; my body can't cope with it. I always think – when I'm sitting there with a drink in my hand, being attended to by the air stewards – that if the plane did go, at least I'd go down in style.

Worst travel experience?

I've had some scrapes, especially in the late Eighties with New Order, that were mainly caused by ourselves. I remember one very drunken evening wandering around a favela in Rio de Janeiro at night, and another time ambling around downtown Detroit.

It's an odd thing being in a group: you feel like you're wearing armour because on tour you're surrounded by lots of people.

Worst hotel?

I've stayed in hotels where you were scared to even put your feet on the floor, or had to sleep in a chair. The all-time worst was when we first toured Europe with Joy Division. We played a gig in Groningen, Holland, and when we arrived at the hotel afterwards, it had red lights around the door. The receptionist said we couldn't check in until 2.30am; there were speakers built into the bed, and UV lights in the room.

Best hotel?

The Hotel Adlon in Berlin. The décor is fantastic and it's right by the Brandenburg Gate. If you go to the bar at five o'clock in the morning it's like a scene out of Cabaret.

Favourite drive?

The road to Scotland from Manchester. I travel up there regularly to DJ, and once you get past Scotch Corner, it becomes very scenic. I'm lucky to have a great car and some great tunes, so I really enjoy myself. I've got the points on my licence to prove it.

Best meal abroad?

The Blue Sea sushi restaurant at the Delano hotel in Miami. We splashed out on caviar, bellinis and smoked salmon. It cost a fortune, but it was a hell of a night.

Dream trip?

The Maldives. My wife and I have had it on our list for years, but keep getting swerved by trips to Mallorca. I imagine it to be a lot like Pangkor Laut – with massages, luxury hotels and lazy days on the beach.

Favourite city?

Manchester. After spending most of my time away from it on tour, I'm now always happy to get back. I'm proud of my city and what we've achieved. If I knew what it was about Manchester that has created so many good bands, I'd be a millionaire. It's something in the fabric and the people, but it never ceases to amaze me how musical it is.

I feel connected with it partly because of my years with Joy Division and New Order, starting the Hacienda club and Factory Records; but also because I feel trusted with its future in a way.

Where next?

I'm touring America, Canada and Mexico with my band The Light.

Peter Hook is featured in 'LoveMusicLoveFood: The Rockstar Cookbook', in aidof Teenage Cancer Trust: teenagecancertrustshop.org

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