Joy Division : Ian Curtis


Ian was Joy Division's singer, lyrics writer and occasional guitarist.

Ian Curtis
Photo Kevin Cummins
reproduced with kind permission

Ian Curtis
Photo Kevin Cummins
reproduced with kind permission

He was born on 15th July 1956 in Stretford, and grew up in Macclesfield. Ian was employed in a variety of jobs and notably worked at Manchester's Rare Records Ltd in 1973. He married Deborah Woodruffe in 1975 and they had a daughter, Natalie in 1979. He joined the band which was to become Joy Division in 1976.

His lyrics often depicted traumas and self-questioning, in the existentialist approach. His deep baritone voice was the perfect medium to render the unusual importance of words in the songs.

On stage, Ian would stand still close to the mike, almost leaning on it, then suddenly frenetically dance, throwing his arms and legs all around, in a way that would relate to the epileptic fits he suffered.

His health condition worsened with the intense touring of Joy Division and the personal problems he had to face. He hanged himself in his house in Macclesfield, 77 Barton Street, on 18th May 1980, just before Joy Division was due to tour in the USA. Ian was cremated in Macclesfield cemetery.

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Update 2014-10-25    Copyright Michel ENKIRI