18 May 2005
Love Will Tear Us Apart 
Today is the 25th anniversary of the death of Ian Curtis of Joy Division. Here is how the sad news was reported back in 1980 under the headline "Rock singer dies on eve of tour".

"Ian Curtis, lead singer with the Manchester rock band Joy Division died at his home on the eve of their planned tour of several American cities. Curtis, aged 23, a member of the band since its formation about three tears ago, was found at his home in Barton Street Macclesfield. A police spokesman said: "A rope was round his neck but there are no suspicious circumstances."

An inquest will be held.

Joy Division, without a major record company deal, are widely regarded as one of Manchester's most influential new-wave groups. They are the best known of several groups on the local independent Factory label, one of whose partners is Granada TV personality Tony Wilson. He said today: "Ian found life a bit complicated. It's a tragedy. He was a very talented boy."

And the band's manager, Rob Gretton, said: "We are absolutely stunned."

There were high hopes that the group's first American tour - they were due to cross the Atlantic yesterday - might have been a major step to commercial success."

[Manchester Evening News, 21 May 1980]

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Ian Curtis's death is being commemorated today in a series of events across the country.

BBC 6Music is featuring Joy Division throughout the day including music and interviews.

Manchester City Centre's big screen (Corn Exchange) is screening a number of films, videos and interviews in an event called Transmission from 7pm.

Slightly later in the evening (8pm) Barzooka in Blackburn plays host to 'I Remember Nothing - A Joy Division Video Night' featuring a rare chance to see The Joy Division Film by Malcolm Whitehead (Fac 9) not seen for over 20 years and his new 7 minute short She's Lost Control plus rarely seen Ikon/Factory footage.

Time: 8pm
Email: ikonand @ yahoo.co.uk
Tickets: 5 pounds on door
Reservations on request

Barzooka
70 Victoria Street
Blackburn BB1 6DN
Tel: 01254 55607
Map

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

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