Beefs 2014: Peter Hook Blasts Bernard Sumner for "Cruel and Spiteful" New Memoir
Published Oct 03, 2014Here's news that should come as a surprise to no one, least of all Bernard Sumner: embittered veteran post-punk bassist Peter Hook isn't a big fan of his former Joy Division/New Order bandmate's new autobiography, Chapter and Verse.
Showing off his distaste loud and clear, Hooky wrote a scathing op-ed about the tome for Billboard. While Hook said that he enjoyed the chapters about Sumner's childhood, he criticized the vocalist's "disappointing lack of revelation and attention to detail" during the Joy Division years.
It's in the discussion of New Order that things get extra ugly, though. He accuses Sumner of fabricating stories to make the bassist appear in a negative light, calls the singer "cruel and spiteful," and points out that Sumner has had his own share of personal feuds and falling-outs (which are conveniently omitted from the book). In particular, he takes Sumner to task for a story in which Hook supposed called collaborator Peter Saville a "parasite."
Here's Hook's account:
When I read this I had no recollection so I phoned Peter. "Pete, I'm really sorry if I did this but I can't remember," and he said "No, I don't remember it either. It didn't happen and I'll tell you why I think that. If we had fallen out we would have had to make up and that I would definitely have remembered." From then on, for me, Bernard became a very, very unreliable witness.
Ultimately, Hook concludes that falsified stories such as this "are solely aimed at justifying the taking of the New Order brand name and good will in 2011 — an action I view as illegal and am still fighting." He adds that book stores "won't know whether to file this novel under fantasy or tragedy."
And yet, for all the negativity, Hook points out that his personal clashes with Sumner were a big reason why they created so much classic music over the years. "We banged heads all the time and always have done ever since we started out," Hook wrote. "That's what always made our music so exciting and intense."
He even ends the piece with a wink-y emoticon, joking, "Maybe I should rejoin the band now they're all so happy?"
Of course, this is all coming across a bit he-said-she-said, but the new op-ed is interesting stuff and can be read over at here.
Meanwhile, New Order (sans-Hook) have a new album on the way. We expect that Hook will have another negative review when it comes out.