Bassist accuses 'former friends' of 'pillaging' group's name and robbing him of money
Former New Order bassist Peter Hook is suing his ex-bandmates for “many millions of pounds” in a row over royalties.
Hook – who left the band in 2007 – has accused “former friends” Bernard Sumner and Stephen and Gillian Morris of setting up a new company to handle the band’s income, “pillaging” the group’s name and leaving him £2.3 million out of pocket.
Hook states that he has been left with just a “fraction” of what he is owed and has taken the case to the High Court.
Hook’s barrister, Mark Wyeth QC, said (via Strand News): “It was 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, and didn’t tell Yoko about it either.”
The barrister told the judge the dispute 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.”
“Mr Hook seeks restoration of the company’s misappropriated property, property it has held for more than 20 years,” he added.
However, in response, David Casement QC, said the band had acted entirely reasonable, accusing Hook of using the case as leverage to rejoin the band.
Judge David Cooke ruled that Hook is not acting out of “spite” and that there should be a full trial.
Judge Cooke told both parties: “I strongly urge the parties to seek to resolve the issues between them by entering into some commercial negotiations so that they do not incur the expense of pursuing this matter to trial”.
NME has approached New Order for a comment on the claims.
New Order frontman Bernard Sumner recently said that the band’s ongoing feud with ex-bassist Peter Hook is “getting boring”.
Sumner told Rolling Stone: ”It’s a real shame. My heart bleeds for him. He left the band, and then he complained about leaving the band. But I wish him good luck and that he gets on with what he’s chosen to do instead of calling me all sorts of names. He’s so angry. If you choose to take a path in life, don’t blame other people for the path you’ve chosen to take … it must be getting a bit boring for people. He did leave a bad taste in my mouth.”