Dr Hook! Manchester music icon Peter Hook to receive honorary doctorate at University of Salford

Manc music icon Peter Hook is to become Dr Hook – with the award of an honorary doctorate from the University of Salford.

The musician, whose bass guitar playing was a driving force in the sound of New Order and Joy Division and who continues to perform across the world with new band The Light, will receive the honour at the University’s graduation ceremony at The Lowry on Thursday July 19.

He is receiving the Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of his services to rock music and the history of rock music, after writing three well received books about his life, The Hacienda nightclub and the bands in which he has played.

Peter Hook

Born in Ordsall, close to the University’s MediaCityUK campus, Hooky – as he is known to his many fans – has strong links with the city, attending Salford Grammar School and working as a clerk at Manchester Ship Canal Company on Chester Road in the same job that was once held by George Best while the footballer was an apprentice at Manchester United.

But it was an obscure gig at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall that changed Hook’s life forever when he attended the now legendary Sex Pistols concert in 1976 and, after borrowing £35 from his mother to buy his first bass guitar, formed Warsaw – the band which went on to become Joy Division.

The band reinvented itself as New Order after the tragic death of lead singer Ian Curtis, releasing a string of seminal albums under Tony Wilson’s Factory Records label and creating a sound which continues to influence bands decades later.

Legendary bassist Peter Hook
(Image: Sasha Ray)

As well as revisiting New Order and Joy Division’s extensive back catalogue with his new band The Light, Hooky has also revived The Hacienda nightclub brand – seen by many as the birthplace of rave culture – and is a director of FAC251 in Manchester.

He now oversees Hacienda Classical, which performs orchestral versions of the euphoric dance tracks the club became known for, at venues such as Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and the recent sold-out Castlefield Bowl concert.

Peter Hook at Hacienda Classical
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

Hooky remains a passionate supporter of his home city, working actively with a wide range of organisations such as Salford Lads Club, Ordsall Juniors Football Club and Salford Arts Theatre.

Peter Hook said: “As a very proud Salfordian, this is very much a personal pinnacle for me.

“I always looked on the University of Salford as a very special place, from my nights in the Student Union until Joy Division played the main hall, I always thought of it as a very special institution. To now be a part of it is incredibly humbling.

“Tony Wilson and Alan Wise always used to impress on me how underplayed Salford was in our region’s musical history. I am very happy to use this occasion to prove how important Salford was and still is.”

Peter Hook
(Image: Eddie Garvey)

Tim France, director of music at the University of Salford, said: “Peter Hook has had a huge influence on music and popular culture over the last four decades, as well as a proud Salfordian who continues to have a deep involvement in his home city.

“Hook’s bass playing instilled the importance of rhythm and melody in punk rock, inspiring a generation of dance-oriented new wave bands.

“Through New Order, Joy Division, Factory Records and The Hacienda he showed what artists can achieve if they are brave enough to take risks, and as an institution that encourages innovation we are delighted to welcome him as an honorary graduate.”

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