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Ian Curtis


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Ian Curtis was the lead singer of band, Joy Division, until he commited suicide in May of 1980. The band later reformed as New Order.

Early Life

Curtis was born in the Memorial Hospital, Old Trafford, Stretford, in Manchester, Lancashire in 1956. He grew up in Hurdsfield, but would live most of his adult life in nearby Macclesfield. It was apparent from a young age that Curtis was a talented poet and songwriter. Although being awarded a scholarship to attend the The King’s School, Macclesfield at the age of 11, Curtis was never interested in pursuing academic success as his ambitions and hopes lay in the music industry. His passion for music led him to work in a record shop for a short time. Curtis also worked as a civil servant in Manchester and later, Macclesfield.

Joy Division

Curtis’s fate was said to have been set after attending a Sex Pistols concert in 1976, where he convinced himself his destiny lay as a performer rather than just a fan. One thing led to another and Curtis got to know a young Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook. Sumner and Hook told Curtis that they were trying to form a band and he simultaneously put himself forward as a vocalist and lyricist, an offer they accepted. The three of them recruited (and sacked) a succession of drummers before settling on Stephen Morris as their final member. The band was called Warsaw for a short while before changing their name to Joy Division in 1978 due to conflicts with the name of another band. Curtis’s persistence is said to have eventually secured the band a record deal with Tony Wilson’s now legendary Factory Records.


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