May 18, 1980

On this day in 1980, Ian Kevin Curtis, singer for Joy Division, committed suicide.

Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his parents’ home in Macclesfield. He watched the film Stroszek and was listening to Iggy Pop’s record, The Idiot prior to his irreversible decision.

Curtis had been battling epilepsy and his health was declining. That, and he was trying to balance his depression, musical career, marriage, an infant daughter and ongoing affair with a journalist.

Curtis had called his wife on the eve of the 17th, wanting her to join him at his parents’ home, but she declined. The next morning she would find his body; he had gone through some odd lengths and used the kitchen’s washing line to hang himself.

Curtis was cremated and his ashes were buried. His tombstone, inscribed with the words “Love Will Tear Us Apart” was stolen in 2008 from Macclesfield Cemetery.

The missing stone was later replaced with a new one.

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