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Lawyer aids punk story from stage to page.

Byline: Iain Laing

AN intellectual property lawyer at a Newcastle firm has helped produce a book by and about the former manager of influential rock bands Joy Division and New Order.

Laura Harper, an associate in Ward Hadaway's IP/IT team who specialises in advising clients in the creative industries, provided legal advice for 1 Top Class Manager, a book which collects previously unpublished notes made by the late Rob Gretton.

Rob was the manager of iconic post-punk band Joy Division and New Order, the group formed after the suicide of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in 1980.

The two bands made some of the most influential songs of the past 30 years, including Love Will Tear Us Apart and Blue Monday, and Rob managed them for 21 years until his untimely death in 1999.

Famous for his dry sense of humour and love of Manchester City, he was portrayed on screen by Paddy Considine in the acclaimed film 24 Hour Party People. 1 Top Class Manager has been compiled by Rob's widow Lesley Gilbert in association with Manchester District Music Archive and contains letters, to-do lists, posters, accounts and excerpts from 20 notebooks kept by Rob between 1978 and 1980.

Highlights include a list of rejected possible band names for New Order and an account of Joy Division tour expenses documenting the cost of the mice and eggs which the band used to play a practical joke on tour-mates Buzzcocks.

Laura Harper provided legal advice on the contents of 1 Top Class Manager after being approached by Lesley Gilbert and Manchester District Music Archive.

Laura said: "It was a real privilege to be involved in the project. Joy Division and New Order are iconic

British bands and Rob was a legendary figure in the Manchester music scene.

"The book is a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day reality of life as a band manager - including the importance of things like getting contracts signed! - and I feel proud to have played a small part in helping to get it published." 1 Top Class Manager is published by Anti-Archivists in association with the Manchester District Music Archive.

Further details can be found online at Division and New Order are iconic British bands and Rob was a legendary figure ...


PRIVILEGE Rob Gretton, left, managed New Order, above. His story has been published with legal help from Laura Harper, right.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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