Former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook announces music industry course at UCLAN

By Jonathan Humphries

Manchester music icon Peter Hook is launching a new music industry degree at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

The Salford-born New Order and Joy Division bassist has joined forces with experienced industry heavyweights to help run the course, which UCLAN claims is the first of its kind in the UK.

The ‘Madchester’ stalwart will act as a mentor to students and says he wants to help them avoid the same mistakes he made during his career.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “This is quite a logical and important step in helping young people because it’s pretty grim out there.

“Everybody comes out of courses full of ideas, full of ideals, and when they get to the job it’s completely different.”

As well as performing on stage Peter knows the business side of music from his work with Factory Records and The Haçienda nightclub, and is well versed in what can go wrong.

He said: “The way that Factory worked, it was full of very creative people who never looked after business and that’s why all those businesses crashed.

“They were based on very idealistic ideas, very creative, very naive.”

The course will include aspect such as managing creative portfolios, business planning, presenting and formatting music for commercial release and delivering professional music events.

Aaron Mellor is Peter’s business partner in Factory251, a music venue located on the former site of Factory Records, and is also involved in running the course.

He said: “Music’s old rule book is no longer valid. We need to propagate a new wave of management talent that embraces some truly great out of the box thinking.”

Another important figure involved in the project is Tony Rigg, a former operations director at the Ministry of Sound.

He said: “We’re really excited to be offering opportunities for students to get their hands dirty and gain experience of real professional projects.”

Peter also blasted the X factor style talent show approach to starting a music career.

He said: “The thing that makes me laugh is – what would Simon Cowell have said to Ian Curtis? He would have said: ‘Goodbye.’

“What would he have said to Ian Brown or people who I count as important in my life? They would have dismissed them. They don’t have technical ability, but they’ve got something called soul.”

For Peter, one of the main aims of the course is to marry this creative side of the music industry with ‘the dirty end’ of the business.

He said: “We’ve got to give them a rounded perspective – the two things are equally important.”

The course will be overseen by UCLAN’s Les Gillon, who also has a background in the music industry and who still records and performs regularly.

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