Sunday, September 09, 2007

All Things Wise
and Wonderful

Here are more excerpts from Deborah Curtis's Touching From a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division (1995). Click here for part two.

The experience of being Joy Division was really, really funny
and up, and the whole thing's been coloured by Ian. But we
weren't a deep, heavy band, which no one will ever see. No
records will show that; no films, videos, or anything will
ever show that. We used to have a right good laugh.

-- Bernard "Barney" Sumner, Joy Division/New Order

Barney and him [Ian] used to disappear and swan about like two
fucking fairies. I remember going up to Barney one night, getting
hold of him (the next band were on stage; he'd fucked off with Sue
for a drink somewhere) and saying, "You better go and get your
amp off stage." And he said, "Where is it?" The next fucking band
were on and I'd left his amp on stage. I said, "I'm not fucking lifting
your amp, you cunt, you can do it your fucking self."

To their credit, it doesn't really matter, neither of them had much
realism. I mean, Barney's really creative in the way that Ian was
and maybe that's the effect it has on you. I used to be a bit different,
a bit more realistic. There's a very fine line between being artistic
and being a dickead—it's like love and hate.

-- Peter "Hooky" Hook, Joy Division/New Order

Endnote: I've been trying to excavate revealing details unlikely to make it into Anton Corbijn's biopic—at least not in the literal sense—although Michael Winterbottom's surrealistic depiction of Curtis's death in 24-Hour Party People is surprisingly accurate. He really did watch Werner Herzog's Strozsek before taking his life.

Deborah describes it as a "film about a European living in America who kills himself rather than choose between two women." Ian was torn between his British wife and his Belgian mistress, Annik Honoré. Deborah adds, "The last line of the film talks of a dead man in the cable car and the chicken still dancing, which is why the run-offs to Still include 'The chicken won't stop,' 'The chicken stops here,' and chicken footprints walking between the grooves."

The last record Ian ever played? Iggy Pop's The Idiot,
which was still spinning when his body was recovered.
Band photo from Google Images. Click here for part four.

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