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Issue 90 - Joyful order

Whisky Magazine Issue 90
September 2010


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Joyful order

Dave Broom talks to one of the pioneers of an innovative electronic/guitar blend of music and a founder member of Joy Division and New Order

Rock stars and yachts, eh? A fatal combination surely. The acquisition of a sail boat is up there with the farm in the country as a signifier that the musician in question has made a little too much money. Moor it in the Med, employ someone to sail it for you and pose with your famous friends as you spend your royalties.

As a veteran of the punk wars of the late 70s it's an image which still rankles, despite the fact that I love sailing myself, but, hell, who said there needed to be consistency?

So when you're quietly cruising along on the Classic Malts Cruise and get an invitation to interview a rock star on his yacht you don't say no. You gird the loins once more and go out to pick a fight one last time with the pastel-clad, loafer-wearing prat. But when the rock star in question walks in: shy, bespectacled, with tousled sandy hair, a face glowing from a battering by Hebridean winds and a salt-encrusted fleece, all thoughts of revenge disappear. When you realise this sailor is Bernard Sumner of New Order it's double-take time.

This is, after all, the guitarist from two bands (Joy Division and New Order) who were hardly famed for a glitzy lifestyle, and whose music was, is, urban to its core. Simon Le Bon he most certainly is not. LeBon stars in videos on his yacht, he dresses like he owns a yacht. He sounds like he should own a yacht. His yacht is an extension of him and his lifestyle. He wants people to see him on his yacht. You can imagine a conversation with him going...

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