Many fans of Joy Division were aghast Monday over Disney’s new Mickey Mouse T-shirt that (lovingly or cluelessly) riffed on the Manchester, England, post-punk band’s iconic album art for 1979’s “Unknown Pleasures.” Our own commenters called it “wrong, just wrong” and the “worst shirt ever.” But the design’s unlikely pairing of one of the most tragic acts in rock music with one of the most recognizable images of childhood has at least one begrudging fan: Peter Hook, bassist for Joy Division and New Order.
“I take it as a compliment,” Hook said, adding that to his knowledge, Disney didn’t approach representatives handling Factory Records’ catalog or the surviving members of Joy Division for permission. “If I had a pound for every time someone bootlegged Joy Division, I’d be as rich as Disney. But it’s interesting in a kitsch way. It’s this cross between something very adult and this well-known image of childhood. I’ve heard it’s sold out, so maybe it’ll become a kind of urban legend.”