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Peter Hook Is Suing New Order for 2.3 Million Pounds in Unpaid Royalties

Mark McNulty
Mark McNulty

Ex-New Order bassist Peter Hook is suing his erstwhile bandmates for 2.3 million pounds in unpaid royalties.

New Order formed following the dissolution of Joy Division after frontman Ian Curtis’ death in 1980. Hook split with the band in 2007. In 2011, his former bandmates Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert — who have continued on as New Order and released Music Complete earlier this year — established New Order, Ltd. to handle the band’s royalties. Hook’s lawyer, Mark Wyeth, claims the move was “clandestine, premeditated and deliberate” and has allowed the rest of New Order to withhold millions in income from Hook. Hook currently receives 1.25% of the band’s royalties and is asking for 12.5%.

“It’s as though George Harrison and Ringo Starr had got together at George’s house one Friday night and had acted together to divest Paul McCartney of his shareholding in the Beatles,” Wyeth told BBC News, “and didn’t tell Yoko about it either.”

Wyeth noted Hook’s lawsuit has nothing to do with his supposed misgivings about the band’s “musical direction or musical differences or personality clashes.”

David Casement, the lawyer for Sumner, Morris and Gilbert, asserts New Order have been “entirely reasonable” and Hook’s complaints are “completely misconceived.”

A judge has cleared a path for Hook to take his ex-bandmates to trial, determining the bassist’s lawsuit is justified and refuting the idea that Hook’s “true motive was to get back into the band or spite the defendants, who are pursuing their careers successfully with the use of the name when he is not able to participate.”

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