The book isn't… a critique or dissection of New Order in those early years, and there's also no great attempt to ascertain or argue the band's place in the scheme of those times. The former has been done by others and the latter is safe forever. There are heartfelt references to a moment, a song, a night, a person... but that's about it. It's pretty much a given we were having a great time.
The Later Years section is a slightly different beast. Absolutely nowhere in sight in the original idea, it then was intended just as some form of postscript. However, as I wrote, it lengthened. Although I was happy to be at a distance over this far greater time period, it doesn't mean there wasn't stuff to get both cheery and, at times, a bit cheesed off about. New Order still meant a lot to me. Having said that, at times the writing here does feel like it came out of the dark to mug me.
I'm well aware that, as it sits, From Heaven to Heaven might not pass base camp close scrutiny in a mainstream book publisher editor's office but that's not the point. The largely unedited text (certainly the main body) may drift between past and present tense with a slight wobble here and there, and ramble like... a real rambling thing, but it's the way it's meant to be; written, as if to friends, like a massive diary/chat/observation/conversation. A few of the photos wouldn't survive an editor's scalpel either, but even the blurriest of them captures and preserves a split second of a magical band and an equally magical time, when the combination of where you are, who you're with and what you're taking in (to some that may have meant also 'taking'?) is, maybe, never to be beaten. You could throw Hendrix at Cafe Wha? the Beatles at the Cavern or any of another dozen iconic 'dawn of' rock moments at me as options of places to have been at, but I'll take the early years of New Order every time.
From Heaven to Heaven is definitely more Thirteen Go Mad In Manchester/Blackpool/ Bristol/Wherever or What We Did On Our Holidays than, say, Mark Johnson's An Ideal For Living. Some of us certainly thrived on every over-the-top article or review in New Musical Sounds Maker but there's no way this was going to be some lengthy extension of one of those. There could, maybe, have been a passable stab made at that style of writing (you know, the 'shimmering cathedral noise' malarkey) in an attempt to feel an extra affinity with whoever might read the book but it's certainly not the people we were then or are now. If there had been a notion to lay down the enclosed as the foundations for some form of New Order biography I'd also think back to observing the grief Mark Johnson got (slightly uncomfortable or very funny, depending on the circumstances within any gig he turned up at) and... forget the idea like a shot. From Heaven to Heaven is pretty much what it says on the tin.
The book was initially hatched and blitzed over four months, late 2001 and then completely ignored until Sept, 2007 when it was steadily gone at until Dec, 2008. Avoided then with a vengeance until Aug, 2008 I and it became friends once more and this time we persevered to the end. Should it transpire that there are factual inaccuracies within all this, it wasn't for the want of trying to get it right. The memory…