Joy Division (2006) Movie Script

O God, grant us a vision of our city,
fair she might be.
A city of justice,
where none shall prey on others.
A city of plenty,
where vice and poverty shall cease to fester.
A city of brotherhood
where all success shall be founded on service,
and honor shall be given to a nobleman alone.
A city of peace
where order shall not rest on force,
but on the love of all for the city,
the great mother of the common light and weal.
I don't see this
as the story of a pop group.
I see this as a story of a city
that once upon a time
was shiny and bold and revolutionary,
and then suddenly, 30-odd years later,
is shiny and revolutionary all over again.
And at the heart of this transformation,
is a bunch of groups,
and one group in particular.
Go further back in time,
further back through time,
to another set of memories.
Time, you see?
5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
I can remember very precisely
what Manchester was like in the mid-'70s.
It felt like a piece of history
that had been spat out.
This had been the historic center
of the modern world.
We invented the industrial revolution in this town.
And yet, even though we did,
we also invented these conditions.
It was really grimy and dirty...
a dirty old town.
You were always looking for beauty
because it was such an ugly place...
whether, again, on the subconscious level.
I mean, I don't think I saw a tree
until I was about 9.
Here are your playgrounds,
your porches and sun lounges
and whatever else you can use them for.
I just remember factories and...
nothing that was pretty, nothing.
I like that!
I remember the first time I was in Manchester,
seeing all these hou...
end-to-end terrace houses.
And then the next time you went,
it was just a pile of rubble.
Then the next time you went,
there was sort of, like,
all this building work.
And then, by the time you were in your teens,
there was this big concrete fortress...
quite futuristic at the time.
Then, of course, concrete cancer set in,
and it looks horrible.
I was born in 1956.
I lived in my grandparents' house,
and they used to talk
about the war all the time.
My grandparents' history had been bombed.
The house had gone.
I remember we had a room there,
and it was full of, like,
gas masks, and...
tin helmets, British flags,
and, you know, old radio sets,
paraphernalia for the war.
I'm at Bernadine Salford Grammar School.
Um, when we're 11,
you get less for murder, don't you?
I guess, living in Salford,
you're a bit of a nobody, really.
You know, you didn't have much chance
of progressing in the world, really.
You were thought of as factory fodder.
So, um, we just sort of wasted our time together.
We were really, really normal, daft beer boys,
I suppose you'd have to say.
I had some myriad instructions
while I was working,
and basically,
it was reading the evening news.
When I was going through the adverts in the classified,
just scanning for anything of interest,
and the Sex Pistols 50p,
Lesser Free Trade Hall,
I thought,
"That looks interesting."
I thought it was shit.
It was like a car crash.
It was like, "Oh, my God.",
I've never seen anything like it in me life.
I mean, I'd been to see most groups...
you know, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin.
I'd never seen anything as chaotic
or as exciting
and as... rebellious.
It was how I felt.
You know, you just want to trash everything.
It was a right racket, you know,
and you thought...
you just thought,
"Fucking hell, I could do that."
You know, I could just about do that.
We... We'd formed a band then,
that night, there and then.
We formed a group.
It's easy to form a group.
It's all the rest that's difficult.
We went to see the second Sex Pistols gig,
when the Buzzcocks supported them.
And, um, we were in it then.
We had a meeting with them on Friday evening
because they said,
"But we'd like to start a band,
but we need some help."
And because, as I say,
punk being an inclusive thing,
and we needed all the...
all the best similar minded people
that we could have,
you know, to make it, uh, a growing concern.
We advertised for a drummer and singer.
One guy called and he didn't sound mad.
I said, "What's your name?"
He went, "Ian."
I said, "Ian who?"
"Ian Curtis"
I said, "Oh."
Because there was two guys called The Two Ians.
They advertised for a singer,
and Ian answered it.
We met in the pub in Sale.
Looking at him, you think,
Christ, you know.
Quite frightening-Iooking guy:
Leather pants,
combat jacket with "Hate" on the back,
getting daggers from the locals,
"What the hell is this? What's he?"
Pretty dangerous thing to do in 1976 Manchester.
I said, "Oh, The Two Ians, right?
We met you at the Clash gig the other day."
Or whatever, you know...
And I was going, you know,
like, punk ideals, yeah:
Being married, boring.
He went,
"Oh, I'm married."
Yeah, he shows me his wedding ring.
We thought...
"You're such a nice guy."
I thought,
"Oh, yeah, it doesn't matter."
He's like,
"Yeah, yeah, that's me, that's me."
I said,
"All right, yeah, yeah.
Yeah, all right, you've got the job."
And that was it, over the phone.
The first set of material we wrote
was just... was aping punk, really.
Completely aping it and doing it really badly.
Don't know what I'm doing,
don't know where I'm going
Leading me to ruin,
I should have traded you in
Yeah, you think you're something,
But you're no good for me
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Fuck off, fuck off
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Bollocks, bollocks
You know, these really dreadful...
dreadful, dreadful songs.
No good
Na na na na na na na na, no good
I get on the phone.
I expected some sort of oafish punk type...
And it was very mild-mannered,
very chatty Ian.
The first gig that I had with them
was the last night at the Electric Circus.
The Electric Circus is one of the places that we...
hired from bemused hippies on their quiet night
to put on, uh, emerging punk rock.
Can you explain to me
why you come to the Electric Circus?
Because it's the best place
where they put punk rock bands on.
Because it's got a great atmosphere.
Looks like he just come out of Risley
for the day, don't it?
He won't go see it.
Bottles from plastic pumps.
I want you to do something for me.
Because look at me now,
I'm nothing.
That's what punk is...
You can start going and really enjoy yourself,
you know, jump about a bit, let yourself go.
Why not?
It became a punk club, and... and...
and absolutely a very important part
of the whole landscape.
And then suddenly,
we were saying good-bye to it
in an emotional weekend do,
that was recorded rather pitifully by Virgin Records.
And, yeah,
The Warsaw, and the, um,
"Remember Rudolph Hess" thing,
and all that kind of nonsense.
At the time when any of that happened,
those of us within it had not a moment's doubt
that it was anything dicey.
You know, it just...
you just sort of trusted,
somehow, the instincts of locals
that it was not dicey.
Can't buy everything, that's true
Only one thing wrong with that
What it don't buy I don't use
Some guy at work gave me a couple of books.
One was called House of Dolls,
and I knew it was about the Nazis,
but I didn't read it.
And I just flipped through the pages.
It was the brothel that soldiers went to.
And I thought,
"Well, it's pretty bad taste,
but it's quite punk."
And everyone I told the name to went,
"That's a great name."
It sounds too neat and tidy,
but it almost seems to be
that it all came when they had the name.
It was like Roxy Music or Velvet Underground.
You know, you knew instantly
from the moment it happened,
it was one of those names.
At that stage,
when we made our first record,
An Ideal for Living,
we just were making this music,
and we wanted people to hear it.
And it was very much punk ethos
of do-it-yourself, independence.
Forget big labels,
just small, you know, cottage industries.
I'd actually forgotten
that Ian borrowed the money.
God, if I did it now,
my wife would kill me.
So how he got away with it then
is unbelievable, you know.
So we banged it down, heard it in the studio.
We thought it sounded great.
A couple of weeks later, we got the vinyl.
You know, Ideal For Living,
I draw on the sleeve.
"All right, I know what we'll do.
We'll take it to Pip's,
a local club that we go."
Went to the deejay...
"Hey, mate, play our record.
It's us, you know, us."
This guy's like,
"No, fuck off."
"No, no, come on, come on.
It's us.
We've been coming in for years, bloke."
So those people on the dance floor...
he puts it on, and they listen to it.
And the pressing was so bad,
it was, like, completely muffled...
so quiet, you wouldn't believe it.
And it just cleared the dance floor.
Everyone just walks off,
and he took it off halfway through.
We were like,
"Oh, shit. What have we done?"
We didn't play for six months.
We couldn't get a gig.
Nobody would give us a gig as Joy Division.
It was really difficult.
I think they thought we were yobs,
which we were.
He spurred us on
to rehearse and rehearse and rehearse,
and write and write and write,
and get really, really tight,
so that when we did get a gig
we would show the bastards.
We used to rehearse twice a week.
And in those three and two hours,
we'd invariably get a song.
We had an enormous factory floor to ourselves.
In the winter,
we used to just brush all the rubbish
to one end of the room
and set fire to it to just keep warm.
We were all on our own island,
what we're doing,
and we just really made sure
that what we were doing sounded great.
So I didn't pay attention
to what the others were doing.
When I played low,
I couldn't hear anything.
I saw when I played high,
I could pick it out,
because of the row ,
because Barney's amp was really loud.
Then Ian just latched onto you playing high,
and he'd say,
"That sounds good when you play high."
Barney plays guitar.
"We should work on that.
That sounds really distinctive."
Just a happy accident like that
gave us our sound, you know.
Ian always had a box of words,
and we just pulled some words out
and started singing them,
so we already had them, really,
because he would be at home
writing every night anyway.
They had, like,
a "Battle of the Bands" night
for young bands that were just starting out.
I remember Paul Morley being there in a band.
Kevin Cummins was in his band,
I think Richard Boon was in it.
It was like a joke band,
you know, having a laugh.
Everybody, including Joy Division,
turned out to be...
to be, you know, to win.
You know, like, some weird prototype X Factor.
This is when I first saw the other side of Ian.
Ian was a really lovely,
really nice, polite, intelligent guy.
If he didn't get what he wanted
through being like that,
he would explode into this kind of frenzied...
You know, frenzied thing.
Because that's the only way
he could get what he wanted.
I remember him kicking the door down
to their dressing room,
and going to Paul Morley and Kevin Cummins,
them going,
"You're not fucking going on.
You're not fucking going on.
We'll kill you.
If you go on, we'll bowl you.
We're going on."
Ian had previously gone up earlier in the night
to Tony Wilson to complain.
Called him a cunt, you know.
He says, "Cunt you."
Tony was like,
"Why, why, why, darling?
What have I done, darling?"
He'd be like,
"Well, you won't put us on your..."
Tony had a TV program then.
I didn't answer him,
but I know I remember thinking, you know,
"You're next on the list, you fucking idiot."
I spend a lot of my days working out
how I could possibly explain to people
how bizarre this is,
that this man would suddenly come to be involved.
Tony Wilson reports.
The Southwark, Lambeth,
and Lewisham Area Health Authority
is the largest single health authority
in the country.
Welcome to the circus...
It was like seeing an alien
with tentacles and eight eyes,
really, when I first met Tony Wilson.
He was just like from another planet.
He was a show-biz one, you know.
He was a star.
Tony had So it Goes,
one of the only platforms
that championed punk and the New Wave.
And that was wonderful.
And strangely,
it championed within the establishment.
I mean, there's nothing more establishment,
particularly to young people, than television.
Every other band that night at Rafters was on stage
because they wanted to be on stage.
They wanted to be rock stars.
They wanted to be in the music business.
But this lot were on stage
because they had no fucking choice.
The next day,
I remember being in a phone booth
in Spring Gardens in Manchester,
just outside the Post Office there.
There was a knock on the booth.
I opened the door. "Yeah?"
This guy stood there.
It was Rob Gretton.
I knew Rob Gretton because he was one
of the other deejays at Rafters.
I just have this picture in my mind,
I can still see of him ranting at me ecstatically
about how wonderful he thought they were
and weren't they the best band
you'd ever seen in your life?
And he was going to manage them,
and he was going to take them
to all sorts of places you wouldn't believe.
One of the first things
that Rob Gretton did when he came along,
was "Stop the fucking record that you've done."
He says,
"Get rid of that fucking cover.
Everyone thinks you're nuts just because of it.
Get rid of that fucking cover.
Whose idea was that?"
And he tossed it, you know.
"So we're going to do a new cover,
and we're going to press it
as a 12-inch so it sounds loud."
So he did it, and we played it,
and then it was like,
"Wow, he was right, yeah,
it sounds fantastic."
No, no love lost
No, no love lost
When he was deejaying,
he was playing soul music, I think.
But his ideology was really punk.
We'd met a guy called Richard Searling
from RCA Records.
Ian was a regular visitor to the RCA offices.
The main reason for that was he adored Iggy Pop.
And they wanted a punk band.
A punk band.
I didn't know anybody other than...
"Oh, Ian's got a band."
He wanted us to do a cover version
of this Northern Soul record called
"Keep On Keepin' On",
which, when he played it,
we were quite impressed with it actually.
There is a stomping guitar riff in it.
Pick out your moment
You'll be interested, I'll bet, yeah
The engineer must have been pretty good.
I can always remember him
trying to get Ian to sound like...
James Brown.
Telling him to sing like James Brown.
He just got a bottle of whiskey,
plying him with whiskey,
and telling him to belt it out like James Brown,
and it's not the way.
Really, he just kind of got very fractious
and started yelping like a dog.
And then decided we'd best take him home.
Punk enabled you to say,
"Fuck you."
But somehow, it couldn't go any further.
It was just a single, venomous,
one-syllable, two-syllable phrase of anger
which was necessary to re-ignite rock-'n'-roll.
But sooner or later,
someone was going to want to say more
than "Fuck you."
Someone was going to want to say
"I'm fucked."
And it was Joy Division
who were the first band to do that,
to use the energy and simplicity of punk
to express more complex emotions.
Seeing as how this is the program
which previously brought to you
first television appearances
from everything from The Beatles to the Buzzcocks,
we do like to keep our hand in
and keep you informed
of the most interesting new sounds in the Northwest.
This, Joy Division,
is the most interesting new sound
we've come across in the last six months.
They're a Manchester band,
with the exception of the guitarist,
who comes from Salford...
very important difference.
They're called Joy Division.
This number is Shadowplay.
To the center of the city
where all roads meet
Waiting for you
To the depths of the ocean
where all hopes sank
Searching for you
Moving through the silence without motion
Waiting for you
In a room with no window in the corner
I found truth
One time we started doing the Factory nights,
there was always this...
this kind of void that was the band,
then there was nothing,
and then there were some people sort of lurking.
And the second time, this sort of void
was kind of getting itself
sort of narrower and narrower,
so that eventually there was even
the odd person dancing.
Well, hey, we've got an audience now.
I sort of remember it was absolutely astounding.
It was unbelievably good,
and I felt so in awe of somebody I knew.
Ian's just that, and he starts like that.
It just seemed the very kind of,
like, Caesar.
And it was other-worldly.
And I'm thinking, "This is Ian,
who can buy flowers for his wife",
and he's up on stage, and it's...
totally inspirational and hypnotic.
And I'm... I'm...
I'm sold to it.
I've bought it, totally.
To the center of the city
where all roads meet
Waiting for you
To the depths of the ocean
where all hopes sank
Searching for you
I was moving through the silence without motion
Waiting for you
In a room with no window in the corner
I found truth
You would just be drawn into it.
It functioned like those shaman things do.
You're just kind of pulled into the moment.
They're a very interesting band about time
because they're very informed by the past.
But also, you're always propelled
into just a moment of present with them.
Time sort of stops.
In the shadowplay,
acting out your own death
Knowing no more
They were just absolutely stunning.
I couldn't believe it.
I've gotten real goose bumps now,
because I can remember it.
But not in me head, in me stomach.
This just got me there,
you know, just, whoa.
But I could only stare in disbelief
As the crowds all left
We were only originally going to have two songs,
and then do a short film
about what was happening
within Manchester with Anderton.
He was a very right wing
and very vociferous chief constable.
He believed he spoke directly to God every night.
He believed that God sent him messages,
and it felt really genuinely threatening.
It felt there was a bad moon rising.
You know, it felt
like there was bad shit on the way.
Well, there was, actually.
The sewers were up at the time.
What a great metaphor
for whatever the fuck was going on.
And then yet, the looming Factory thing
creating this consumerist fascist society.
And then we cut to, if you like,
the underground feel of the rehearsal rooms,
where it's almost like a resistance group.
That was the idea to get across,
that these... this was a resistance
through our own culture.
When Tony sat with Alan and I
for Christmas '78 and said...
"I think we might...
we could do a record from the club
for the bands that haven't got contracts yet."
This was just like terribly, terribly exciting.
Suddenly we had a producer,
and his name was Martin Hannett.
So what's the first thing you do for them?
Idea for Factory Sample?
I feel it closing in
I feel it closing in
The fear of whom I call
Every time I call
I feel it closing in
I feel it closing in
Day in, day out, day in, day out
Day in, day out, day in, day out
Day in, day out, day in, day out, oh
The lyrics of Digital are actually digital.
There's on, off, day in, day out,
day in, day out,
And they're switching.
It's also somehow weirdly related
to Curtis' persona itself,
which is, we know now, is bipolar.
On the one hand we have the lad
going down to the pub with his mates,
fooling around.
On the other hand,
we have the aesthete, who's reading poetry
and imbibing himself
with all kinds of highfalutin ideas
that he's going to be a romantic pop star hero.
Ian just looks straight into the camera
while he's smoking.
It's the eyes,
that slight translucency of his eyes,
looking into the camera
that sends a chill through people.
16... 17...
20 and 21... we're getting there.
One was in silhouette, and there was one...
when they came slightly out of the passageway
and we got some sidelines.
Already by then
I've shot 2/3 of a roll of film.
And I'm conscious of the fact
that I didn't really think I had anything.
I'm walking up the bridge,
and they're waiting for me,
and I just felt they looked so bleak
and they were so un-rock-'n'-roll-like,
that I took two frames and then took
an upright shot of the same thing,
and that's all I did of that picture.
And that's, I guess, become, probably,
the most recognized Joy Division image.
The whole idea was to get your band
signed to a major.
I was sitting in the Band on the Wall
one Sunday night with Gretton,
who suddenly turns to me and goes,
"Why don't we do our first album with you
and then go to Warner Brothers?"
I remember, far from being, "Wow,"
it was like, "Are you sure?
"How much is that going to cost?"
"Martin says it will cost ten grand."
It cost 25, the bastard.
With Unknown Pleasures,
I think we had three weekends.
I could be wrong, but I think
it was three weekends to record and mix it.
So we played them all live.
So the first thing we did with Martin
was to just get them recorded in the studio.
And then it would be experimentation time,
and then he'd start putting wacky noises on it,
like, he recorded the lift shaft.
It was kind of like you're going on some sort
of strange science-fiction-based journey.
There was a lot of pot smoked.
He wouldn't say to you,
"I want you to do it like this."
It was kind of all,
"Do it again, but a bit more cocktail party",
or "a bit more yellow."
"Magnificent but humble."
"Faster but slower."
- Whether it was pot or whether it was...
- You're right.
The Zen school of production, I don't know.
We're ready.
Let's try one.
Give me a fucking break.
Put coffee in.
Memorably at the AMS, a digital delay line.
He pressed the button,
hit the snare drum, it goes...
Oh, the snare drum's in the box now.
How have you done that, Martin?
That's amazing.
It was using that machine
that Martin changed drum sounds forever.
But I never knew that Martin
was significantly involved in creating the machine.
These two strange whiz kids from AMS,
Burnley, Lancashire, England,
had discovered Hannett and...
once a month they would meet him in a car park
on top of the moors,
in between Manchester and Burnley.
And this lunatic... stroke drug addict
would climb out of his old Volvo,
into the back of their car,
and would rabbit on for 30 minutes
about the sounds he was imagining in his head.
I think Martin proposed
a way to understand Joy Division.
He heard something.
He saw something.
He felt something from them...
and was able to project in his mind
what it could be.
Well, the songs were great anyway.
Martin didn't write them.
He only produced them.
He started, you know,
chipping in when we needed him.
But that's the job of a producer anyway, really.
I just remember the whole...
the sleeve, you know.
It was just an uncanny moment
because it did belong in your collection,
next to Roxy Music, next to Velvet,
and it didn't look wrong.
It was just next to Diamond Dogs,
it was a great piece of work.
But it didn't borrow any of that language.
It didn't borrow any of that visual language.
It was totally itself,
and I couldn't work out how or where
it had come from.
I made the cover that I would have wanted,
had I found it in a record rack.
And nobody, um,
obliged me to do otherwise.
They'd given me the elements.
I mean, the wave pattern is astonishing.
I mean, one amazing image
for something called Unknown Pleasures.
I took it to Rob's house.
I took the artwork to Rob.
And he said,
"I have a test pressing.
Do you want to listen to it?"
I didn't know if I could sit
through 40 minutes of Joy Division,
especially in front of their manager.
Um, but I couldn't really say no,
and within moments I knew that I had a part
in a kind of life-changing experience.
Minute after minute was beyond anything
I could have expected.
It was just beyond.
It was astonishing.
And just as soon as it started,
and the drums sounded like
no drums had ever sounded,
and everything seemed to belong in its own space
and not quite connecting somehow.
Something amazing had happened.
I've been waiting for a guide
To come and take me by the hand
Could these sensations
Make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?
These sensations barely interest me
for another day
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling
Take the shock away
When Unknown Pleasures came out,
it was sort of like,
this is the ambient music for my environment.
I mean, you know,
when I think about Joy Division,
they're an ambient band almost.
You don't see them function as a band.
It's just the noise around where you are.
It was almost like a science-fiction
interpretation of Manchester.
You could recognize the landscape
and the mindscape and the soundscape
as being Manchester.
It was extraordinary that they'd managed
to make Manchester international, if you like,
make Manchester cosmic.
It's getting faster, moving faster now
It's getting out of hand
On the tenth floor, down the back stairs
It's a no man's land
Lights are flashing, cars are crashing
Getting frequent now
I've got the spirit, lose the feeling
Let it out somehow
Unknown Pleasures is also, of course,
a very iPod-ed kind of world.
It's urban, but it's not.
It's about... a landscape,
but that landscape is primarily an interior landscape.
And so, what is very,
very important about it now,
is to see where we've traveled from since then,
and exactly why it still sounds
so bloody contemporary.
I'm watching you, I'm watching her
I take no pity from your friends
Who is right, who can tell?
And who gives a damn right now?
Until the spirit new sensation takes hold
Then you know
Until the spirit new sensation takes hold
Then you know
Until the spirit new sensation takes hold
Then you know
I've got the spirit
But lose the feeling
I've got the spirit
But lose the feeling
Feeling, feeling, feeling, feeling
Feeling, feeling, feeling
When Unknown Pleasures came out,
it got universal critical acclaim.
It must be only me and Bernard
in the whole bleeding world
that don't like Unknown Pleasures,
you know, which is quite ironic, isn't it?
The only thing we agree on.
I mean, Unknown Pleasures,
I admit, even after we recorded it,
I find it quite difficult to listen to it myself
because it was so dark.
I don't think the production helped
because that made it darker, even darker still.
But I felt,
"Well, no one's going to listen to this.
It's too bloody heavy."
You know, it's too impenetrable.
Were strangers
I think also in our lives,
we'd all had very dark experiences, you know.
We were only, like, 21, but see, for me,
I had a lot of death and illness in my family.
And to experience such things at a young age
makes you quite a serious person.
Ian, I guess in his line of work,
what he did, you know, was quite serious.
Were strangers
For way too long
She's Lost Control was about a girl
that he worked with at Disability Center
that came in to, um, see him
and I think he really liked her, you know?
Thought she's a nice girl.
And he was trying to get her work
at a different place,
and one day, she didn't come in
and she died from a fit.
And... And he was quite shocked by that,
and I think he... that this was before
he had epilepsy himself.
And so he wrote She's Lost Control about her.
And you can see them now, as Ian Curtis sings
the brilliant She's Lost Control.
Confusion in her eyes that says it all
She's lost control
And she's clinging to the nearest passer-by
She's lost control
And she gave away the secrets of her past
And said she's lost control again
And a voice that told her when
and where to act
She said I've lost control again
In September '79, we turned over to BBC 2,
and I'd never seen a TV performance like it.
Ian Curtis' performance and the band's performance
has just totally broke through
the plastic of the media.
Going from musicians
who couldn't even play their instruments,
suddenly they were a super group.
And I was just astonished to see this.
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Well, I would call out
when the going gets tough
The things you've learned
are no longer enough
No language, just sound,
that's all we need know
To synchronize love to the beat of the show
And we could dance
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
Dance, dance, dance, dance,
dance to the radio
They must have had a sense within the unit
that they'd done something special.
Ian's ambition, obviously, was the one ultimately
that created the great catastrophe.
But I think the others had
their own ambition within that.
Even it was just to be
the greatest bass player on the planet.
I just wanted us to be how we sounded live.
And it was purely that, you know.
I didn't want it to sound melancholy.
I didn't want it to lacerate.
I want just to lop people's heads off,
like, uh, Iggy Pop live.
I wasn't interested in depth or anything.
I just wanted to, you know,
kick them in the teeth.
Joy Division sounded like no one else.
Very, very powerful on stage.
And Ian on stage was something fascinating.
He sang and he danced in a unique way and...
Plan K, that was kind of like...
Ian had met Annik.
They never traveled much,
I think, as teenagers.
And when they first went to Europe, yeah,
I think something really happened for them.
It's a major milestone.
You're leaving home turf for the first time,
and we were playing a gig at Plan K.
Cabaret Voltaire was on the bill.
It was a converted sugar refinery,
So, you know, it was pretty arty.
So we went over there, and we thought,
"Right, you know, we're big time Charlies."
The big attraction was that
they actually had William Burroughs.
Pay it all, pay it all,
pay it all back.
Play all your reports back.
The bands would play the concert space.
The other floors,
that was kind of performance art,
and then one room where they just showed movies.
Boys, school showers and swimming pools.
There was such an arty do.
Everyone was so arty, wandering around,
"Oh, God, Joy Division,
that's so wonderfully sublime, darling,"
in French.
I mean, the hilarious one there was when Ian decided
he was going to get a free book off William Burroughs,
because he felt like he'd read all of
William Burroughs' books and bought them,
so for some strange reason
he thought that this time,
William Burroughs would give him a free book.
And Bernard and I were most amused,
and we went with Ian to William Burroughs,
where William Burroughs was reading first,
and then he was doing the signing.
And, uh, he went over,
and me and Bernard
were pissing ourselves behind the pillar.
Can't remember what he said,
but we were there,
and then all we heard was William Burroughs'
"Aw, fuck off, kid!"
We have had enough of your common bullshit.
Oh, we used to laugh at him for hours.
Ian was so embarrassed.
Ian was a big Burroughs fan
because his writing was very much
a post-industrial nightmare.
It was about the bigotry and lack of ethics.
Cynical, hate-filled, totalitarian, dark underside,
greed of Western society gone mad.
The secret nature of perception...
- Good, thank you.
- The cut-up.
It all seemed to fit and suggest
that there was a way to integrate
that more artistic and literary idea
into what was otherwise a rather paltry glam rock,
prog rock wilderness.
As we became more popular
and started doing more and more gigs,
we just went,
"Right, we'll have to give our jobs up now.
Stop being semi-pro."
Fully professional.
The Buzzcocks tour was our first real sort
of experience of proper rock-'n'-roll
and, uh, roadies and all that.
And of course, their crew and Buzzcocks' crew
got up to all kind of stupid roadie mischief,
as did members of both groups.
He was pissing in the ashtray,
the dirty bastard.
Big lump of draw like that.
Caretaker came in.
There, eat that.
And he grabbed hold of him
while he was pissing in the ashtray...
It felt like my head had fallen off.
And he went, "Oh, oh, oh!
You tell me what you want me to do,
and I'll do it!"
He would show you his tattoo...
Bucket of maggots...
And coming out of his backside were two hands.
Live mice and put them in.
"Yeah, the gear's in the van, yeah."
So I opened the thing
and it was just full of beer.
"You must have these."
He'd robbed the bar!
And these two red stars.
"I'll have them."
Then the barman came out with about five bouncers.
Oh, it was like, you fucking twat...
Off his fucking nut.
Inane, laughing, grin on his face,
like a lunatic. Couldn't speak.
He's French, right?
He doesn't understand "Fuck off."
He went,
"All right, then, all right, then.
Fuckie offie!"
Once Joy Division really found their...
their seam,
they'd almost always start with Dead Souls.
Now, that track has a very,
very progressive, intense build-up.
There's nearly three minutes
before the vocal comes in.
Now, this gives Ian a chance
both to calibrate positioning himself,
to start to read what the atmosphere is
coming off the audience,
to feel how the band behind him
are locking in with each other
on that particular evening,
and to decide how high he wants to travel.
A lot of people thought
he was off his head on drugs,
and he wasn't... never ever, ever.
And, um, because he looked like he was on drugs,
but he was just...
the music seemed to just put him in,
like, a trance
and he'd just start dancing away,
and he'd go in, like, another world.
Keep on calling me
They keep calling me
That's Joy Division,
and it's called Dead Souls.
Always choose cheery subjects,
don't they, these boys?
I know that tens of thousands of you
are going to sit down
and write letters to me
here at BBC asking about that.
I can't really give you
a great deal of information
except that it's on
the Sordide Sentimental Label.
That's sordid with an E added
to the end of it
to make it look French because,
indeed, it is French.
It is available in one or two shops
and it comes in this sort of folder,
which makes it obviously larger than a record,
and, um, more book-like, in a sense.
He loved that record.
He was so proud, so proud of the sleeve,
of, uh, such a beautiful object.
It was quite funny because when it did come out,
in an edition of 1578,
Rob was down in London,
and he was handing them out,
you know, like, kind of,
"Have one of these. I just got this over from France.
Have one of these."
And then, you know,
two days later, they were gone,
disappeared forever.
And it had been widely distributed on cassette
because Peel played it all the time,
because he was, you know, feeling sorry
for all of those who couldn't get hold of a copy.
And I promise to play
the other side of it tonight,
and, indeed, I shall.
In fact, I shall do it on now.
Walk in silence
Don't walk away
Oh, curses, I'd forgotten.
Sorry. Oh, how irritating,
I'd forgotten that it was a 331/3.
I've remembered about half the times
I've played it.
The French, you see,
they flood the country
with millions of apples
that taste like cardboard,
and then send us records
that play at the wrong speed.
Anyway, I was talking
to my child bride on the phone...
It's just four young guys
who are standing there smoking, shaking,
like this, "Oh, yeah, okay", you know...
underdressed, malnourished,
you know, that's what...
what I always thought of the North of England.
It was quite a shock if you came from Holland,
where, socially, you know,
everybody was taken sort of care of.
Then you come to England,
and there's incredible... extreme poverty.
And, and, and, you know,
people drinking and smoking
and having just a little shirt on
and a thin coat.
And they stand outside in the winter.
It was hard to believe in these four guys there,
making jokes, and they were really lads, you know,
very young, and they could have such a deep,
heavy sound.
And certainly for Ian, when he was on stage,
he was coming out of himself.
He was a different person,
possessed by some very strong power.
And he looked like he was coming from another world
and, himself, in another world.
And very, very emotional.
He looked at the same time
very strong and very fragile,
very vulnerable, you know?
I think he was very brave to...
to sing and dance like he was doing.
We all live very boring, ordinary lives.
And with our great lead singers,
we look at them, and for that one hour,
we live life through their eyes.
Ian walks on, and he seems a little shy and quiet,
and then he just takes command of the stage.
Light comes onto him, and he goes inside.
Take a chance and step outside
Take a chance and say you tried
It was very much as if he was plugged
into some kind of huge electrical voltage
that was creating this sort of twitching, jerking...
tranced-out symbol for a human being.
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Say you tried
Once he'd done that thing
where he shook himself into a frenzy,
you just didn't know where it was going to take you.
He was like a kind of puppet,
and you felt his vulnerability
in that puppet-like movement.
It was a bit like watching performance artists
who deliberately lacerate themselves,
cut themselves,
except with Ian, he didn't bleed.
But he sacrificed something of himself for you.
Say you tried
Say you tried
We've played in Europe already
and Holland and Germany,
and we are going to America.
We're only going for about two weeks, three weeks.
I'd hate to be on the usual record company,
where you sort of...
you do all the Odeons.
I just couldn't do that at all.
That experience like that supporting the Buzzcocks.
It was really, uh, soul destroying.
We played a concert
at Hope & Anchor in London.
I remember Ian being in a weird...
kind of a little bit childish mood.
Not quite himself, you know.
This was in the morning.
We drove down, and we did the concert,
and only about three people turned up.
It was about 2 in the morning.
We're driving back up the M1, you know.
And I had the sleeping bag on me,
and Ian just was moaning about the gig,
moaning about the sound, moaning about this,
and he said,
"Hey, give me that sleeping bag."
Which was not like him
because he wasn't a selfish person at all.
He turned around and grabbed the sleeping bag off me.
I said,
"Stop pissing around. Give it to me back."
And I pulled it, so he pulled it back.
I pulled it back, and then held onto it.
So he just wrenched it out of my hands,
put it over his head this time,
and wrapped himself in a ball,
and then just started making this weird
growling sound,
just growling, you know, like...
well, growling like a dog.
The next thing,
a hand comes out of the sleeping bag,
flashes out at Steve,
then comes out, punches the wind screen.
And then he just starts punching,
and that punching turned into a fully-fledged
grand mal fit in the car,
while Steve was driving.
I was like,
"Pull over, pull over, pull over."
Dragged him for his own protection out of the car,
and held him down, flat on the hard shoulder,
you know, dark, middle of the night
and just pinned his limbs down and...
while he basically had a fit.
After that, really,
he just got diagnosed with epilepsy,
and they just started getting
more and more frequent.
Those with epilepsy are going to have
a much more difficult life
because of the age-old stigma
attached to the word epilepsy,
and the real fear which people have of it.
We didn't know what to do.
You know, it's not one of those things
that you're used to.
I mean, we'd certainly never come across
people who'd had fits before.
You know, we... we were there, and...
we didn't know what to say to him.
Plus we're men. Men don't talk.
And we certainly didn't talk to each other.
So we just kind of carried on
the way we were carrying on,
which was working a lot,
and didn't give him much quarter, really,
in which to recover,
because basically, his doctor's advice was...
"Don't drink. Go to bed early."
You know,
"Avoid flashing lights."
Well, he was 22 or something.
Everything that boy has joined a band to do...
you know, the drink, the drugs, the women...
all of that is sort of written out of Ian's script.
You know, he did have epilepsy.
Very suddenly it occurred,
but he also had it very, very, very strong.
Big, you know, grand mal fits.
It wasn't... no messing about.
It was very strong.
Very strong, you know.
He couldn't pick his daughter up.
He couldn't drive a car.
He had to be careful at railway stations
that he didn't stand too near the edge.
As I witnessed a few of his...
of these fits,
you know, I can tell you it was really,
really frightening.
It was like he was being possessed by the devil.
I know it sounds silly to say,
but he was literally raising from the ground.
That's how I remember it.
Nowadays, in the mentally normal patient,
it should be possible to control fits
in at least 85%.
You've got to take lots of drugs,
and the drugs that you have to take,
they're really, really kind of heavy.
One day, he'd come in,
and he'd be laughing his head off and totally happy.
The next day, he'd come in,
and he would be depressed and in tears.
And he wasn't like that before,
before the drugs that he was on.
He wasn't like that.
He was much more...
didn't have the mood swings.
The other thing is, he obviously
had problems with his relationship
with his...
his girlfriend Annik and his wife.
They had to make a life decision there.
It was very, very, very difficult for him.
He had a child.
I don't know what was going on in his mind.
I really dread to think
what was going on in his mind.
I think he could see limits to the way
he was possibly going with the band.
I think the band were about to change
because they were becoming much bigger.
That, and they were on the verge
of becoming absolutely huge.
And creatively and psychologically,
that must have been a real challenge for him.
He felt that he was holding us back.
And he...
That was just probably one of the reasons
why he drove himself so hard,
was because he didn't want...
because he knew we all wanted it so badly,
and we were all enjoying it so much.
I think that his problem was
that he didn't want to let anybody down.
People started writing about them
in February 1980,
as if they were the second coming.
The weight of expectation upon them to come out
with the most amazing gig ever,
every time they played, was enormous.
I remember standing in the audience
at London University
and thinking,
"Oh, fuck, now they've got...
Now they've got a single."
You would first hear
Love Will Tear Us Apart live,
and you... you... you know,
you'd go "Oh, my God."
Because you did have enough about you to think,
"That is a fucking great pop song."
You know, That could be number 1!
That kind of moment, because it was catchy.
Then love
Love will tear us apart again
Love will tear us apart again
Why is the bedroom so cold
Turned away on your side?
Is my timing that flawed
Our respect run so dry?
Possibly one of the greatest songs
written in the 20... 20th Century by anybody,
because the way it kind of,
in a Shakespearean sense.
Take a Calexico, or, you know, a Susanna,
or a fucking Paul Young,
or, you know, it can take
into multiple interpretations
and constantly, constantly releases meaning.
It was an extraordinary piece of writing,
just the words, let alone that somehow,
these young northerners managed to find a way
to sonically piece together
music that matched the quality of the words.
None of them realize how strong and powerful
the music was.
You know, it's just like a love story.
Each individual is nothing on their own,
and when they click together,
when they are together, it's enormous.
And that was Joy Division.
They just had the light, the spirit.
When Ian says that he had spirit,
that's exactly it.
You know, he was something...
some light burning inside him.
He was gifted in a way that he would know
that this wasn't going to last forever.
He rang up once, and said,
"Yeah, I want to leave the band.
I'm going to move to Holland
and open a book shop."
Then the next minute, he was like,
"Oh, we're playing the Buffet on Saturday."
"I thought Ian was..."
"No, no, no, he's changed his mind."
"Oh, right, okay."
We would talk about ideas and writers and...
but most of all, he talked about his emotions,
and about himself and how he was feeling.
How every week he was becoming more and more...
shut off from what people perceived him to be.
That there were these two people
that were Ian Curtis,
the one that was the media figure
and the singer in the band,
and the actual Ian Curtis
who was hurt, angry, lost...
very lonely,
and didn't feel that people
would treat him with respect
if he explained who he really was.
There's no doubt that there is something
of the end point in Closer.
Unknown Pleasures is the...
"Isn't it...
wouldn't it be great to be an artist?
Wouldn't it be great to be like Burroughs
and Bowie and Ballard and Iggy and Luke...
Wouldn't it be great to be like that?
I might have a chance to be like...
Oh, my God, you know."
And then Closer was the artist.
That was where he joined those ranks,
and therefore pulled Unknown Pleasures with him,
because that was the first step
towards becoming that kind of artist.
This is the way, step inside
If you were, at this time,
of an inquisitive nature,
Joy Division is like an Advent calendar:
You'd open up a window,
and you'd see a gateway to another place.
There'd be all of these roots out of the world
into other worlds, paranormal worlds.
An obvious example is Atrocity Exhibition.
I mean, you want to know,
"What Atrocity Exhibition?"
And then you find out,
"Oh, it's a book by J.G. Ballard."
And it opens up a whole other universe.
You take some of the references...
for example, Colony,
which is Franz Kafka.
And you take tracks like The Kill,
and see that the reference
is to Dostoyevsky or something.
It was like an education in itself.
This is the way, step inside
This is the way, step inside
This is the way, step inside
This is the way, step inside
I thought Closer got closer to the sound
that I particularly wanted.
And I also enjoyed the experience
because we were away in London.
We were living in two flats.
Ian again was this kind of hoi polloi...
sort of the party flat at one end,
and the intellectual flat on the other end.
I was staying with them in that apartment, I remember.
And, um, I think I was the only girl around.
She was just sort of sophistication
to someone from Macclesfield...
you know, someone who used to ride pigs
for entertainment to be confronted with...
someone who works in an embassy.
We're just taking the piss
out of them all the time,
putting cornflakes in their bed and...
just japes, daft, stupid things.
Yeah, but she used to get so wound up, you know.
There was one night, I remember,
they had a glass pane in the door.
And we'd been taking the piss out of them,
throwing beer at them
while they were in bed or something,
you know, something daft.
Annik come fucking chased us out,
and we ran in our flat, hold the door shut,
and she was fucking kicking the door with her...
with her dressing gown on.
Yeah, like a fucking bloke would do, you know.
It was horrible.
I thought that was a horrible time.
Ian had Debbie on his case because...
and Hook had Iris on his case
because Ian had Annik there,
and Iris thought that was all wrong.
We got treated well at the studio.
Britannia Row, I remember them
bringing sandwiches in and tea and stuff.
We're like,
"Way posh", you know.
We used to drive Martin mad,
Bernard and I.
Bernard in one corner, me on the other.
"Hey, Martin.",
and he'd go,
"Your go."
I go,
"Your go. I asked about the..."
He'd go,
"What are you fucking whispering about?"
"Nothing, Martin, nothing."
Whilst they were there at Britannia Row,
Rob had the foresight to think,
"Well, we'd better go
and see Peter about a cover.
Who knows? It could take him weeks.
It could take him months.
So let's go and get him on that now."
I was very nervous.
I didn't want to sort of take something from a book
or the shelf and say "I like this."
and them kind of look at me and think,
"Well, you're just hopeless."
And there was something.
There was something I was very excited about.
There was a body of photographs
by a man called Bernard Pierre Wolff.
And I opened the magazine and put it on
the drawing board and stepped away.
And I think they just pointed at one
and said,
"We want this.
We want this for the cover."
It came to pass that it was
going to be called Closer.
And it was interesting:
Closer, Closer.
I had no idea that it was going to be
the last thing that he did.
It's better than Unknown Pleasures,
songs are better, everything...
you know...
He was a good laugh most of the time.
The only thing that sort of was sad about it
was Ian's illness,
but he hid that so well most of the time.
I remember talking to him one night.
Ian was saying to me that, um...
doing this album felt very strange
because he felt that all his words
were writing themselves.
And that he'd always in the past struggled
to complete a song, like, he'd have to start.
We'd all struggle to complete it.
But he just thought the whole song straight off.
But he said, at the same time,
he had this terrible claustrophobic feeling
that he was in a whirlpool of being drowning,
and he was being pulled down in this whirlpool.
He was always recording on his own, you know.
The group would be recording the music
at a different time.
The image I would have in mind
was Ian was very tired and very, very quiet.
And every time he would sing,
he would turn his back
and put his hand on his head
or on his eyes.
And he was turned around from the others,
just to be in himself.
All the lyrics on the CD
are really depressing and sad.
And it's surprising nobody would pay attention.
We never really talked about his lyrics.
But we never really listened
to his lyrics that much.
It's only years on,
when you see them wrote down
when Debbie published them.
I thought,
"Oh, my God. Is that what you were singing?"
Maybe for the others, it was more like literature.
You know, Annik expressed how worried she was,
how fearful she was.
And I'm all kind of,
"No, no, no, it's just art.
It's just an album, for God's sake.
It's wonderful, I know,
but it's nothing to be frightened of."
And she said,
"Don't you understand, Tony? He...
When he says 'I take the blame',
he means it."
And I went,
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
It's just... it's just art."
How fucking stupid can you get?
When he cut himself up with a kitchen knife,
and, you know, he said he was pissed.
And when he took his first overdose,
you think you'd have stopped and sorted it out.
It seems, you know, a complete...
unbelievable to me that we didn't stop
and sort him out.
I think he was actually in a hospital...
and booked.
We'd already had a gig booked.
And I know that if we booked a gig,
it never got cancelled.
So Tony actually brought Ian down to the gig,
and he was in no fit state to play.
I got a phone call, and it was Bernard.
And he just said,
"Oh, um, Ian's ill, and we've got a gig tonight.
We were wondering if you'd like
to stand in for him."
Alan can go on, sing a couple,
and Ian can come and sing a couple,
but it didn't go down too well with the audience.
There was a big Victorian glass chandelier
suspended above the stage.
And somebody threw a bottle or a glass,
and it hit the chandelier square-on.
Bottles started flying,
and equipment got trashed.
Hook, he fancied a bit of a fight,
I think, at that point.
Twinny just kept cackling,
"Right, come on! Sack and assault."
And they'd all go out
and try to fight the audience.
But it turned into a, you know,
a complete fiasco.
It was horrible, and, of course,
it wasn't great for Ian,
'cause he immediately thought,
"Oh, right, all this is my fault."
He just burst out in tears.
He just thought, you know...
took the blame himself, you know.
He said that he was standing
in the wings at the stage,
watching the band play without him,
and he just had this feeling
that he was looking down
and they were carrying on without him,
and that they were gonna carry on without him,
which is kind of eerie.
The Bury gig was on a Tuesday,
and I said to Tony,
"Maybe you should suggest
that he come stay at our house."
'Cause we lived in the country.
And Ian drove back with us that night
after the gig.
We just sat in the lounge,
smoking and listening to music.
That was all we did.
He stayed at my house for a week.
I think Ian fell out with Debbie,
or he had fallen out with Debbie,
and just needed somewhere to stay,
so he stayed with me for a week,
which wasn't great for him,
because I was still in insomnia.
I was staying up till 5 in the morning,
but I remember coming back
from rehearsals one day,
and we took a shortcut through a graveyard,
and I said to him,
"You're lucky."
I said,
"Your name could be on one of those stones
if you had succeeded the other week."
And he was, like,
"Yeah, right. Yeah."
You know.
No sort of connection in the response.
he had made his mind up, I think.
I read a book on hypnotic regression,
if sometimes you've got problems in the present,
the regression could unlock, um,
problems that had occurred
either in your childhood
or in, if you believed in it, previous lives.
And Ian was like, "Oh, that sounds interesting.
I'd really like to try that."
So I said why don't we try it now
and record it on a cassette?
It's not difficult to realize that, you know,
he was, you know, seriously destabilized
by the whole matrix of things
that was going on at that time.
But he was also on the cusp
of exactly what he wanted,
which was to get out of Manchester,
to travel and see the world,
to go to America,
the land of some of his heroes.
Why would he want to do himself in
the night before that?
You know, it's 24 hours from Tulsa,
isn't it?
24 hours from the plane to America.
Going to America that Monday,
Ian had gone back to live with his mum and dad.
I called him Thursday or something,
and he just phoned me on the Saturday
or the Friday night, one of them.
He said,
"I can't go out tomorrow.
I'm gonna go and see Debbie
before we go away."
I did kind of think "Uh-oh" a little bit,
you know.
It's gonna end in tears, at least,
or they're gonna have an argument.
So, I said,
"Are you sure?
Why don't you just come out and have a drink,
we'll have a laugh, you know?"
He was, like,
"No, I've got to see her."
I was probably in Belgium for about five days
before I was due to return to go back to England.
The last time we spoke together
was on the Saturday night.
It was very short,
and I couldn't hear him very well.
I was in the backstage
with lots of people around,
and he said that it's imperative that we have to meet
before they go to America.
Because why, it would be like seven or eight weeks
without seeing each other.
And basically, we just agreed
that he should call me at home the following day,
and he told me he was listening to a record,
and he was going to watch a film,
and he was alone.
I was the first one to be told,
and it was really weird
because I was sitting down,
just about to have me Sunday lunch,
me and Iris, and the phone rang.
Literally like that.
I went on the phone, and they said,
"Oh, this is Police so-and-so.
We're trying to get in touch with Rob Gretton."
And I said,
"Oh, he should be at home."
He said, "Oh, we phoned him at home.
He's not there."
I said,
"Why, what's the problem?"
And he went,
"Oh, well, we've got a...
You know, sorry to tell you this,
but Ian Curtis has committed suicide."
And I went,
"Oh, right. Okay."
And he went, "Right, well, if you speak to Mr. Gretton,
could you get him to call us?" you know.
And I went,
"Yeah, right. Okay."
And put the phone down and went...
sat back, and had me dinner.
And then Iris said to me,
"Oh, who was on the phone, by the way?"
And I went,
"Oh, it's Ian. He's killed himself."
And that was it, then. That was...
you know, the shock of it.
It was really weird. Horrible.
When he first tried to commit suicide,
when he took the overdose,
it was a complete surprise.
In fact, when he actually did commit suicide,
and Rob told me,
I said,
"What, he's tried it again?
You know, I can't believe it.
He's tried it again."
And he said,
"No, he has. He's dead."
I was, like,
"What, he's tried it..."
He said,
"No, he's dead. He's done it."
Everything there seems a blur after that,
really, you know.
Just spent most of the time in the pub,
spent most of the time together, all of us.
Me, Twinny, Terry, Barney,
we'd all go and sit together.
Just sit in the pub together.
We just couldn't take it in, really.
It's hard to say.
Sort of 50% sad and 50% angry...
Angry at him.
Really, for being stupid and doing that,
and angry at myself for not doing something.
I arrived in London.
Ian never rang,
so I thought maybe there's a problem.
I should call his parents, at his parents,
because that's where he was staying...
where he was supposed to stay,
and, uh, when I called,
his father just said, "Ian is dead."
And he put the phone down,
and that was it.
I came home from work,
and there's this piece of paper.
I looked at it, and it says
"Singer kills himself on eve of tour."
You think,
"This isn't true.",
and then you get a feeling of anger where you say,
"You twat. Why have you done that?"
"You bastard," you know,
"you should've stuck it out with the rest of us."
We didn't go to the wake.
I don't think we were welcome, really, somehow.
I mean, one of my greatest regrets in life is
I didn't go and see him, you know, after he was dead.
I really, really do regret that.
But I think we were so young,
we didn't know what the bloody hell...
Nobody offered it, you know.
I think if somebody said,
"Oh, you wanna go see him?"
We'd go, "Fuck you, mate.
Do I wanna go and see a dead body?
Do I fuck. You know, I'm 22.
I'm gonna go to the pub for a while."
But, you know, I really do regret not seeing him
and saying good-bye now. I really do.
It was only Bernard and I that didn't go.
Everybody else went, you know.
So then it was my job to look after Annik.
So I didn't go to the funeral
because it was my job
to make sure Annik got
on the plane back to Brussels,
and there was no scene at the funeral.
And sent me looking after Annik
for five or six days.
I'm sure Annik probably doesn't remember this,
but, uh, she was playing both albums
back to back, non-stop, 24 hours a day,
for about the entire time
she stayed in the cottage.
There ya go.
I didn't go to the funeral, but I went around
to Factory Records after the funeral,
and they played
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle.
I always remember that,
and I just remember being frozen throughout it,
and I think we all were in the room.
Um, frozen at the...
at the aptness and the absolute ridiculous stupidity
that we should be doing this,
so it was the classic
putting on a brave face, I guess.
And doing it in a showy way.
And not really dealing with the emotion.
It was almost like we were just
too damned self-conscious
about maintaining
a ridiculous kind of degraded cool,
a kind of cool that in a way,
a lot of that thing at that time was meant to destroy,
but we still, you know,
didn't really talk to each other.
The day Tony found me to tell me
that Ian had died,
it was during that conversation
that I suddenly thought of the cover we had.
And I felt it necessary to point it out.
And Tony was very concerned.
The... The notions of sensationalism
or exploitation were lying there,
and I said, "Tony, we've got a tomb
on the cover of the album."
And he was like,
"Oh, fuck."
'Cause Joy Division ends,
'cause it all ends with a jolt,
the jolt of a rope,
there's a tendency to end the story there.
I think the important thing
is not to end the story there.
Why did we decide to carry on?
We just carried on.
We never even thought, "Should we?
Should we carry on or not carry on?"
We went to the funeral,
went to the wake at Palatyne Road,
and then it was so...
All right, see you on Monday, then."
That was...
That was it.
I did everything
Everything that I wanted to
I let them use you
For their own ends
To the center of the city in the night
Looking for you
To the center of the city in the night
Waiting for you
The beauty of Joy Division
is that we did it, four of us.
Didn't know what we were doing,
didn't know why we were doing it.
The chemistry was unbelievable.
Talk to one of us, we didn't know.
Maybe Ian might have known.
I suppose that's something
we'll never find out.
But, you know,
it was just pure chemistry, four people.
And it was easy.
It was easy, writing those songs,
playing that well.
It was easy.
It only got difficult when he died.
The revolution that Joy Division created
and were at the heart of
and inspired many other people to take part in,
of not differentiating between dance and rock,
has resulted in this modern city,
and what was the original modern city becoming,
again, a modern city.
The vibrancy of the city,
the expectations of the city,
all those things are the legacy of Joy Division.
I think what they managed to do
had a kind of truth to it,
that has sustained
through the fluctuations of fashion.
And integrity,
something you can believe in,
something that didn't seem to be just for the money,
for the career, it was anti-industry,
all the things that ultimately seemed important
to the maintenance of popular culture.
The reinvention of what cool is.
Those that exploit, you know,
can make good use of something like Joy Division
because it explains some of the rules
of what it is to be cool.
The two works are
Unknown Pleasures and Closer,
and that's it.
Everything else is merchandising.
Merchandising of memory.
We're living in a time
where brands are everything.
But Joy Division went beyond all that
because you could simply trust
what they were doing.
Joy Division in particular,
Factory in general, Ian's story,
is one of the last true stories in pop.
There are very few true stories
in a business-dominated pop culture.
Yes, it's a fabulous story,
the story of the rebuilding of a city
that begins with them,
the story of a tragic suicide,
a moral story,
and a cultural, academic, intellectual,
aesthetic story.
The heart of it is only here
'cause they wrote great songs,
and great songs never die.
Walk in silence
Don't walk away in silence
See the danger
Always danger
Endless talking
Life rebuilding
Don't walk away
Walk in silence
Don't turn away in silence
Your confusion
My illusion
Worn like a mask of self-hate
Confronts and then dies
Don't walk away
People like you find it easy
Naked to see
Walking on air
Hunting by the rivers
Through the streets
Every corner
Abandoned too soon
Set down with due care
Don't walk away in silence
Don't walk away