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Nominees for the Class of 2023 were revealed earlier this week, with Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Cyndi Lauper, Rage Against The Machine, George Michael and The White Stripes among some of the big names in line for potential induction.
Joy Division and New Order were nominated jointly. It stems from the fact that the former band’s guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, drummer Stephen Morris and bassist Hook regrouped as the latter in the wake of the death of their vocalist, Ian Curtis, in 1980.
Speaking to Billboard about the joint Joy Division/New Order nomination, Hook said that the nod “made me smile all day”, and may well offer the “olive branch that we may need to end the injustices”.
Those “injustices” Hook alluded to relates to a fall-out more than a decade ago when Sumner, Morris and New Order keyboardist/guitarist Gillian Gilbert reformed without him (Hook left the band in 2007) after a four-year hiatus in 2011. There was also an earlier row over royalties.
A lawsuit over royalties was later settled out of court. Hook said that the musicians “still haven’t spoken, personally in 11 years. We’re still fighting hammer and tong, tooth and nail… I think we’re going for the record for the longest group fallout in history. It’s very tragic.
“It will be a difficult awards ceremony if we get there, but as my wife said we’ve got to rise above these things… and be nice and be courteous and think the best.
“Maybe this is the olive branch that we may need to end the injustices that were done with New Order in the end. It’s a very strange position to be in but, y’know, we’re not the first group that’s been ostracised by each other, and we won’t be the last,” he added.
Hook spoke further about his pride at being nominated. “To be honest with you, we were always against this sort of thing when we started,” he said.
“It was the old punk thing – we hope we die before we get old and destroy all the old musicians, etc. etc. and what rubbish awards ceremonies are. Then all of a sudden you get one, and as you get older you realise… yeah, it’s a wonderful thing. I’m humbled, I really am. It’s nice, and it’s fun to be appreciated.
“I will be rooting for us. Ever since we started as Warsaw, I’ve always felt great competition towards other bands. You want to do better than them, you want to achieve something. So this really appeals to me.”
Joy Division have been eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since 2004 and New Order since 2006. Acts become eligible for 25 years after the release of a debut album.
Hook added to Billboard he’s happy about the joint nod. “It feels OK to me,” he said. “It was an odd thing. Joy Division was such a wonderful, powerful entity, and it was so sad the way it ended. But the three of us – Bernie, Stephen and I – got real strength from starting New Order together.
“We started [Joy Division] after seeing the Sex Pistols, and we’ve been banging our heads against walls and doors and kicking them down musically since then. We were always the square peg in a round hole as Joy Division and very much a square peg in a round hole as New Order. [The Rock Hall] is a hell of an accolade, but my God, I think either band has earned it. We are definitely up there without a shadow of a doubt.”
The Class of 2023 will be announced in May and the induction ceremonies will take place this autumn.
Hook has been leading his band, Peter Hook & The Light, for more than a decade in which he also performs Joy Division and New Order albums in full. He kicks off a UK tour in April, playing both of Joy Division’s albums (Unknown Pleasures and Closer), a variety of New Order songs, and the Substance compilations from both bands.
New Order, meanwhile, recently announced plans to play this year’s South By Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) along with four other shows in the US.