Ian Curtis

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Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was the songwriter, lyricist and singer of the English post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released its critically-acclaimed debut album Unknown Pleasures in 1979, and recorded their follow-up Closer in 1980. Suffering from epilepsy, a failing marriage, and bouts of depression, Curtis committed suicide in May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division's first North American tour.

In 1995, Curtis's widow Deborah published Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division, a biography of the singer. His life and death have been dramatised in the films 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control (2007).

Contents

Life and career

Early life and marriage

Curtis was born at the Memorial Hospital in Stretford in Lancashire (now part of Greater Manchester). He grew up in Hurdsfield, an area of Macclesfield,[1] and from a young age he exhibited talent as a poet. Proof of his ability was his admission at the age of eleven to The King's School, Macclesfield with a scholarship. Despite this, he was not a devout student and did not further his education after receiving his O-levels.[2]

From his high school days, his ambitions and hopes were focused on the pursuit of art, literature, and most importantly, music. Curtis was employed in a variety of jobs, including as a civil servant in Manchester and later in Macclesfield.

He was influenced by the writers William S. Burroughs, J. G. Ballard and Franz Kafka (the song titles "Interzone", "Atrocity Exhibition",[3] and "Colony" coming from the three authors, respectively), and by the musicians David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison.[citation needed]

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