I’m kind of surprised it took me this long to mention one of my favourite bands from the late 1970s punk boom, and maybe the reason that I thought the Jam were less successful than I thought they were: Joy Division. For those of us who have seen neither the films Control or 24 Hour Party People, Joy Division were a band who grew out of the punk boom of 1976, but made more complex music which would later be termed post-punk. They wound up recording two classic albums before frontman Ian Curtis killed himself over physical and mental health problems. They promptly ceased recording under the name Joy Division, and became a new wave band entitled New Order. New Order broke up in 2007 when bassist Peter Hook left the band, and reunited in 2011 without him.
Apparently, Peter Hook formed a band called The Light, and performed Joy Division’s two albums, and this directly led to Bernard Sumner reforming New Order in 2011. And now, in 2013, Hooky’s decided to tour the first two albums of New Order, and Bernard Sumner’s reaction? “I think it sucks to be honest. We found out that he was touring ‘Unknown Pleasures’ through the press. He didn’t tell us, which we thought was pretty low. It just seems like a real commercial thing to do. “He seems to be doing it for the money,” he added. “To me, Joy Division and New Order were never about that. I thought it was disrespectful to the rest of us. But I must admit that once he started doing it, we did think, ‘What are we doing holding back with New Order?’ So, in a way – if you’ll excuse the pun – he showed us the light.”
And Hooky’s response: “Obviously, they are unified in their hatred of me and their desire to belittle. I’m actually quite flattered that they still feel the need to do it when they’ve toured the world for a year as New Order, earned a shitload of money, and yet they still feel the need to let everybody know what a bastard I am… I’ll have to take it as a compliment that I have got up their noses so much. What we’re arguing about is the business side. It’s nothing to do with me trying to stop them [touring]. I must admit that I was very shocked at first and angered by the fact that they had [reformed] completely behind my back. But the thing that I was most angry about was the business deal that they had left behind for me. Without asking me or consulting me, they just said: ‘Here you are. Here’s your cut of New Order going forward.’ That’s what I’m trying to legally remedy… It’s more about financial stability than it is about music. The thing that I dislike about them most is the way that they just keep playing the greatest hits all the time. That was one of the things that I hated when I was there – when we were actually New Order, as opposed to a New Order tribute band, which is what I feel that they are now. They are as much New Order as I am Joy Division. In a funny way, now that I’m New Order, they are as much New Order as I am New Order. ”
And so, in essence, they’ve accused each other of selling out. Which side are you on, readers? On the off chance that people are still going to comment on this, I’d like to see who you think is going to come out better: Bernie or Hooky? Personally, since I’m more of a Joy Division fan than a New Order fan, I think Hooky comes out better.