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‘Ian Curtis wanted to make extreme music, no half measures’

Bernard Sumner (Joy Division): I felt that even though we were expecting this music to come out of thin air, we never, any of us, were interested in the money it might make us. We just wanted to make something that was beautiful to listen to and stirred our emotions. We weren’t interested in a career or any of that. We never planned one single day.

Peter Hook (Joy Division): Ian was the instigator. We used to call him the Spotter.

Ian would be sat there and he’d say: “That sounds good, let’s get some guitar to go with that.” You couldn’t tell what sounded good, but he could, because he was just listening. That made it much quicker, writing songs. Someone was always listening. I can’t explain it, it was pure luck. There’s no rhyme or reason for it. We never honestly considered it, it just came out.

Stephen Morris (Joy Division): Ian was pretty private about what he wrote. I think he talked to Bernard a bit about some of the songs. He was totally different to how he appeared on stage. He was timid, until he’d had two or three Breakers, malt liquor. He’d liven up a bit. The first time I saw Ian being Ian on stage, I couldn’t believe it. The transformation to this frantic windmill.

Deborah Curtis (wife of Ian Curtis): He was so ambitious. He wanted to write a novel, he wanted to write songs. It all seemed to come very easily to him.

With Joy Division it all just came together

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