Ian Curtis

Missing image
Ian Curtis performing
Ian Kevin Curtis (July 15, 1956May 18, 1980) was a singer-songwriter born in Stretford, England. Curtis lived most of his life in Macclesfield and attended King's School, Macclesfield.

He is notable as leader of the band Joy Division, which he helped form in 1977 in Manchester, England.


Life and death

Missing image
Curtis expressed his lyrics with movement

While performing for Joy Division, Curtis developed a unique dancing style reminiscent of the epileptic fits he experienced later in life. The resemblance was such that audience members were occasionally uncertain whether he was dancing or having a seizure. He sometimes collapsed and had to be helped off stage as his health suffered due to Joy Division's intense touring. His epilepsy was said to have inspired him to write the song "She's Lost Control".

Many of the song he wrote were filled with images of emotional suffering, death, violence and urban degeneration. These recurring subjects led fans and Curtis' wife to believe Ian was, frighteningly, singing about his own life. Curtis once commented in an interview that he wrote about "the different ways different people can cope with certain problems and how they can adapt". With lyrics like "I'm ashamed of the things I've been put through, I'm ashamed of the person I am", it was clear Curtis was at least a complex person. He also possessed an eerie baritone voice, which was used to great effect in Joy Division's songs.

Curtis's last live performance was held in the same month as his death and included Joy Division's first and last performance of the song "Ceremony", which was later used by New Order.

The effects of epilepsy and personal problems, such as an impending divorce from his wife Deborah Curtis, may have contributed to Curtis' suicide at the age of 23. The night Curtis died, days before Joy Division was to begin its first American tour, he watched one of his favourite movies, Stroszek by Werner Herzog. He later hanged himself in his kitchen while listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot. Curtis' viewing and listening choices continue to generate speculation as to the true reasons why he took his life. Some commentators hold that he simply wished to die young, being "in love with the myth of the rock'n'roll star who dies young" [1] (http://www.smh.com.au/news/Music/Joy-Division-unknown-still/2005/05/10/1115584949463.html).

Curtis was cremated and his ashes were buried in Macclesfield, with the inscription on his memorial stone reading, "Love Will Tear Us Apart." The epitaph, chosen by Deborah Curtis, is a reference to Joy Division's best-known song.


The remaining members of Joy Division formed New Order following Curtis' death. The band had agreed to not go on as Joy Division if one of the members were to leave, or die.

In the mid-1990s, Deborah Curtis wrote Touching from a Distance, a biographical account of their marriage, in part detailing his infidelity, particularily with Belgian journalist Annik Honore. In late 2004-early 2005, plans were made for a Ian Curtis biopic [2] (http://www.nme.com/news/111004.htm). The film, tentatively entitled Control will be based on material from Touching from a Distance. Popular rock photographer Anton Corbijn will direct while Deborah Curtis and former Factory Records head Anthony Wilson be executive producers. Jude Law is a candidate to portray Curtis on film.

The band Thursday wrote an eponymous song about Ian Curtis which appeared on their 1999 album Waiting.

Further reading

  • Curtis, Deborah (1995). Touching from a Distance - Ian Curtis and Joy Division. Faber and Faber Limited. ISBN 0571174450.
  • Heylin, Clinton & Wood, Craig (1988). Joy Division: Form (and Substance). Sound Pub. ISBN 1871407001.

External links

es:Ian Curtis it:Ian Curtis pl:Ian Curtis sv:Ian Curtis


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (https://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (https://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (https://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (https://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools