How does it feel ... to treat me like you do? Those New Order squabbles in full

Peter Hook says he is taking his former bandmates to court over royalties and ownership of the group’s name. It’s not going to come as a surprise to anybody who has followed Hooky and Barney’s barnies over the past decade

New Order’s estranged bassist, Peter Hook, who has announced that he is suing his former bandmates for “many millions of pounds” in a dispute over royalties and ownership of the band’s name – hasn’t always had the current tetchy relationship with the band’s singer, Bernard Sumner. In fact, they were childhood mates who bonded over records and rode around together on Sumner’s scooter. However, the now seemingly irreversible deep freeze in relations began at least before Hooky walked out of the band/they split up (yes, they’re arguing about that as well).

November 2006 Shortly before New Order’s Buenos Aires show, Hook tells Brazilian newspaper Pagina/12: “This might be our last show.” The same view appears to be taken by drummer Stephen Morris, who says: “We’re the old guys of the neighbourhood, so we should stop for a while and let [others] take our place.” Asked about relationships within the band, Hook says: “We still hate each other. It’s a love-hate thing.”

May 2007 Hook tells radio station XFM: “Me and Bernard aren’t working together,” meaning New Order have broken up. The NewOrderOnline website quotes a source close to the band saying that Hook’s departure doesn’t mean the end of New Order.

July 2007 Hook tells Sumner and Morris (via MySpace), “This group has split up! You are no more New Order than I am. See you in court!”

2008 Sumner, Morris and latter-day New Order guitarist Phil Cunningham form Bad Lieutenant and perform New Order and Joy Division songs. Hook plays them as well – in Europe with ex-Factory Records act Section 25.

The band in its 80s heyday.
The band in its 80s heyday. Photograph: Sheila Rock/REX Shutterstock

August 2009 Sumner tells a magazine: “[Hook] left and without him we wouldn’t be New Order.”

May 2010 Hook’s new band The Light perform a set of Joy Division songs on the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis’s death – they will later tour repeatedly, performing the Joy Division/New Order catalogue.

July 2011 In separate Guardian interviews, Morris insists New Order have “no future”, Sumner says Hook’s new band are “taking our heritage” and Hook calls Sumner a “twat”.

September 2011 New Order announce gigs in Brussels and Paris. Minus Hook. The “surprised” and “sad” ex-bassist compares New Order without him to “Sooty without Sweep”.

March 2014 Hook calls Sumner “Twatto” in NME and alleges that New Order reformed because Bad Lieutenant “couldn’t stand touring shitholes. He [Sumner] must have sat there thinking: ‘I can’t be doing with this. I’m stealing New Order off that bastard!’”

October 2014 Hook slams Sumner’s autobiography (“Bernard’s vitriol towards me has clouded out a lot of the things he has achieved in New Order”). Sumner tells the Guardian it would have been strange continuing with Hook

March 2015 Hook tells the Guardian that Sumner stitched him up, compares the current band to Coca-Cola without the fizz and says that if his son Jack joined New Order, “At least they’d get the bass played properly.”

September 2015 Music Complete, New Order’s first album without Hook, reaches No 2.

November 2015 Hook sues New Order. (To be continued …)


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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