No, I was born 14 Nov, actually. 18 May 1980 is the day Ian Curtis (pictured), lead singer of Joy division, committed suicide by hanging himself at home. Lyrically, he was brilliant, and his words, combined with the music of Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, makes Joy division my favourite band of all time.
I dunno, the pathos is a bit on the melodramatic side of the road in the verse you’ve quoted.
One of the saddest aspects of suicide is how silly the problems of the dead seem to the interested observer. “He died for that?”
Depression is, at its heart, an irrational condition which is more intrinsically tragic than any supposed tragedy the victim actually perceives.
‘Course, I speak out of turn; this fellow might’ve had a real crapfest of a life.
I do like some of Joy Division’s stuff, though. The rest of the band went on to do something else, right?
Educate us, o’ DaveCat.
He did have a crapfest of a life towards the end of it: his marriage wasn’t working, so he ended up getting involved in an affair; he was extraordinarily tense about the fact that Joy division were getting more and more popular and widespread (he commtted suicide on the eve of their first American tour); and on top of that, his epileptic seizures were becoming worse and worse.
People who know nothing of the band pigeonhole them as ‘gloomy’ upon seeing some of their lyrics, but that wasn’t it. When not on stage, the lads spent most of their time laughing, drinking, pulling japes on unsuspecting people (and each other), and otherwise having fun. Ian was simply a person who chose to acknowledge the darker side of life in his lyrics, cos ultimately, it’s something you can’t get away from. The music was a kind of pressure valve for him, but it wasn’t enough.
Early on in their career, the members had agreed that if anyone left, the rest of the lads would continue, but under another name. Six months after Ian’s death, they picked up guitarist Gillian Gilbert and renamed themselves New order. And the rest is history.
I never saw Ian’s lyrics or the songs in general as ‘melodramatic’; I always viewed them as truthful. I guess it depends on who you are, really.