Today (May 18, 2012) marks the 32nd anniversary of the death of Ian Curtis, the former frontman of the Mancunian post-punk band JOY DIVISION. Curtis committed suicide on May 18, 1980, leaving a wife, Deborah Curtis and daughter, Natalie. Joy Division formed after being inspired by a Sex Pistols' performance, where Ian met Bernard Sumner and Peter Cook and finally they recruited STEPHEN MORRIS as a drummer.
They went on to release two seminal albums, 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'Closer.' Curtis was a distinctive, though clearly troubled singer. He was affected by epilepsy and often suffered from seizures. Onstage, he would often appear to be mimicking the physical effects of the seizures, developing a unique dancing style. His final live performance with Joy Division took place on May 2, 1980, at Birmingham University. In the early hours of May 18, 2012, he hanged himself at his home in MACclesfield, after apparently listening to 'The Idiot' by Iggy Pop and watching Werner Herzog's 'Stroszek.' A memorial stone was placed in MACclesfield cemetery, which was inscribed by the words. "Ian Curtis 18 - 5 - 80" and "Love Will Tear Us Apart." It was stolen in 2008 and plans were made to replace it.
Since his death, many tributes have been paid to the singer and many words written about him. None have been so affecting, though, that Deborah Curtis' own account of their time together. Entitled 'Touching From A Distance,' the book was published in 1995 and in 2007, was adapted into a film entitled 'Control.' Directed by Anton Corbjin - a photographer who took some of the earliest publicity shots of Joy Division - the movie starred little-known actor Sam Riley in the role of Curtis.