Ode To Ian: Lamenting The Death of Joy Division & Its Lead Vocalist

It was the night before what was to be Joy Division’s first tour in the United States. Ian Curtis, feeling the mounting and ceaseless pressure of his impending success, decided to nip things in the bud by hanging himself. That was thirty-five years ago today. To further disquiet his mind, he was in love with two women, Deborah Woodruff, his wife, and Annik Honoré, a music journalist.

Curtis, a tortured soul
Curtis, a tortured soul
Although Honoré claimed until the end that her relationship with Curtis was platonic, Deborah was inconsolable over their closeness, refusing to reconcile with Curtis after discovering his feelings toward Honoré. She wrote about it in her memoir, Touching From A Distance, which was later stylized once again in the 2007 biopic, Control. Between his love and professional woes, Curtis was also grappling with his increasing bouts of epileptic seizures.
Ian and Annik's film alter egos
Ian and Annik’s film alter egos
Wanting to put a stop to the physical and emotional pain, Curtis decided to end it–but not before watching the appropriately intense, yet comical Werner Herzog movie, Stroszek, and listening to Iggy Pop’s debut album, The Idiot. This pop culture pairing seems almost deliberate in nature, with Curtis perhaps wanting to enjoy his most beloved influences before leaving them behind (David Bowie, too, was part of The Idiot). He then hung himself in his childhood home using a clothing line to do so, fulfilling his long-stated wish to Deborah not to live past his twenties.