Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ian Curtis 

Ian Curtis, the singer with Joy Division, died 25 years ago today. He hanged himself in his kitchen, having produced two great albums, painted his bedroom blue (after a Bowie song, "Sound and Vision") and cheated on his wife. His lyrics don't exactly make his death surprising. Take, for example, lyrics from "Passover":

This is the crisis I knew had to come,
Destroying the balance I'd kept.
Turning around to the next set of lives,
Wondering what will come next.

or "Isolation":

Mother I've tried please believe me,
I'm doing the best that I can,
I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through,
I'm ashamed of the person I am.

Joy Division has been one of my favourite bands for a long time now, and I remember sitting in my house on Christmas eve, 1999 - in a deckchair, oddly - reading Deborah Curtis' biography of Ian, and playing my scratchy copies of Closer and Unknown Pleasures over and over in the background. That's probably the most morbid Christmas I've ever spent (reading American Psycho a couple of days later, and learning that my grandfather had just died).

Of course, the next Christmas eve I spent watching Wham! videos on VH1, so I really have no claim to musical (or depressive) credibility...

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