Former Joy Division and New Order bass player Peter Hook is suing his former New Order bandmates for millions of dollars.
The legendary Joy Division bass player claims he is at least £2.3 million out of pocket as a result of “underhand’ tactics by “former friends” Bernard Sumner and Stephen and Gillian Morris. According to the Manchester Evening News Hook has launched a court action in the High Court, accusing his former bandmates of secretly “pillaging” the group’s name and starving him of cash.
Hook claims that the trio set up a new company which “asset stripped” the New Order name and has earned almost £8 million in the last four years. Hook claims that only a tiny percentage of that money has made its way to him.
Consequence of Sound reports that in 2011, current New Order members Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, and Gillian Gilbert dissolved their company with Hook, Vitalturn Company Ltd, and formed New Order Ltd to handle licensing of the band’s name and music. As a member of Vitalturn, Hook was a 25% shareholder and received 12.5% in royalties and other income from merchandising and performances. Through New Order Ltd., Hook claims to receive only 1.25%.
Hook’s attorney Mark Wyeth said “this is not about musical direction or musical differences or personality clashes, but first and foremost about wrongdoers taking control of a company and stripping it of its property.”
The Judge in the High Court has thrown out New Order’s claim that Hook’s “true motive was to get back into the band or spite the defendants.” Hooks case against New Order will now go to trial.
Mr Hook, who now performs with his son in the group Peter Hook and the Light, says underhand moves by his former bandmates licensed New Order to a new company they formed in secret and the move exiled him from his musical past and cost him a fortune.