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15th Jul 2014

Seven Things You May Not Have Known About… Ian Curtis

Just a couple of things...

There are so many things that we encounter on an almost daily basis that we never stop to think about some of the more interesting facts about them. From our favourite movies to food and makeup, we will attempt to bring you some random information that you will most definitely be able to use as a future party trick.

Given that it is Ian Curtis birthday today, we thought we would talk about the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of the 20th century, Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.

1. He was always broke.

Despite the fact that Unknown Pleasures is now considered one of the defining albums of the 20th century, Ian spent most of his time strapped for cash. He apparently even used to clean up the studios after recording just to earn a bit of extra cash.

ian curtis

2. He was a little bit of a thief.

Ian loved music but was often unable to afford the records he wanted so he would steal them from local markets. Usually we would be totally against anyone stealing but in this case, it served us well.


3. He was prone to allergic reactions to the sun.

His dark lyrics seemed to match that dark view on life. His wife Debbie confirmed in her book “Touching from a Distance” that Ian had a peculiar reaction to the sun. His hands would swell and turn red, almost looking like gloves.

4. He never wanted to move past Unknown Pleasures.

Even though Closer is just as magnificent an album as Unknown Pleasures, Curtis often claimed he was happiest after the release of the 1979 album. He lived in fear of the American tour, taking his own life just before the band were meant to embark on the career changing move.

5. He was one of the lads.

Despite this ideal that we hold up of Ian Curtis as a moody singer who loved beautiful lyrics, art and poetry, he was also very much one of the lads who loved a good practical joke. Peter Hook commented: “A poetic, sensitive, tortured soul, the Ian Curtis of the myth — he was definitely that. But he could also be one of the lads — he was one of the lads as far as we were concerned. … He had three personas he was trying to juggle: he had his married-man persona, at home with the wife; the laddish side; and the cerebral, literary side. By the end he was juggling home life and band life, and had two women on the go. There were just too many Ians to cope with.”

6. She’s Lost Control was about epilepsy.

Ian Curtis wrote the moving song about a girl having an epileptic seizure. Curtis himself suffered from the attacks that became worse over the years, often taking place on stage and mistaken for his wild dancing.

7. He nearly became a male gigolo.

Well, not nearly. Curtis once answered an advertisement for work for young men in London. However, when he got there, he found out the advert was for male gigolos for older ladies. Oh, to see Ian’s face.