The year 1980 on the day of 18th May sent shock waves around the world. It was Ian Curtis from the popular band Joy Division who killed himself by hanging in the kitchen at 23yrs prior to the day of their US tour.
The reason was due to developing depression, deterioration of epilepsy, and failed marriage that was not aware of the limelight. But its effect was witnessed amongst the musicians for years. Ian’s music was always heartwarming with his poetic brilliance.
Now on his 40th death anniversary sources had a chat with their bandmates, followers and his children to get a sneak peek on the legend.
Talking to one of his bandmates and bassist Peter Hook he shared that: “I remember meeting Ian in the bar at [Manchester club] the Electric Circus. It was only a small clique that followed all the punk bands around at that time, and he was recognizable in that he was, like the rest of us, excitable. We were a group of like-minded individuals, misfits, and freaks… a very incestuous, small little clique of people in the scene in Manchester.”
He continued: “We recognized him pretty soon from a lot of the concerts and got talking to him. He was young, like us, he was as enthusiastic, as friendly. And he had ‘hate’ written on his back in orange paint, which was pretty weird. He was somebody that you looked at and if somebody said to you, ‘I’ll give you a million pounds to guess what he’s got written on his back’, you would not have looked at Ian Curtis, the wonderful kitten of a man that he was, and said he had ‘hate’ on his back.”
“Ian was very, very likable. He was very easy-going until he got drunk. He was a real nice man. Very easy to, if you like, fall in love with it. And then when he started singing – and don’t forget, our equipment was absolutely s***e – we couldn’t hear what he was doing but you could see what he was doing, which was putting in the same amount of passion, enthusiasm, and anger. So I didn’t have to hear what he was singing about. All I had to do was look at him and his actions let me know that he was perfect for this group. We didn’t look at him and think ‘he’s got a unique voice’. To us, he was just another snotty kid screaming his balls off. We were screaming our balls off with our guitars and he was screaming his balls off into a microphone.”
“It was Ian that had the enthusiasm and the vision to think about what we could do. He educated us very well, musically, but he never came in and took over. He was very generous and was always up for sharing the limelight. The trouble was that he was so good, as soon as you started listening to him the occasional flash would come through this awful noise and you’d think ‘f***, that was good’. You suddenly realized that as a lyricist and as a songwriter he was in another league.”