In the three decades since he committed suicide, singer Ian Curtis has become both a symbol and a caricature. Curtis’ seemingly tortured life as a member of the English post-punk band Joy Division and early death in 1980 have been transformed into myth and Curtis into a modern-day Thomas Chatterton or Sylvia Plath. His life offers a perfect narrative for disaffected, sun-averse souls the world over: a young genius too pure to live. As described in former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook’s honest, punchy and rough-hewn document of that period, “Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division,” Curtis was as tragic and magnetic a figure as the legend suggests, though at the time Hook saw him mostly as a beer-drinking, prank-playing pal.
more from Randall Roberts at the LA Times here.