effort and frenzy, all the lust and collapse. All the fucking
fantasy. True, tried outsiders – pretenders and contenders
– can find a place to live, and die, inside rock and roll. At
the extremes of desire, death proves rock and roll, certifies
its acts of rebellion. And death proved Joy Division; it set
them up. Death rams home into amplified eternity the
essential black glamour rock and roll aspires to, instantly,
brutally creates the kind of immortality that all entertainers
- even the frail, unformed and boyishly, conscientiously
alienated Ian Curtis – desperately crave.
And so Ian Curtis, dead name, dead stop, dead mysteri-
ous, dead success, dead all the same, dead at the
ment, a close relation of the unknown, as withdrawn as
gets. And so how romantic can you get And so how
accidental is life and death. And so, fatalism. And so Joy
vision, dead cool, as made up as history;.as mad as. rock
and roll history, had seriousness thrust upon them
overnight – that’s overnight; that's serious, that's boys
becoming men, that's their music coming true, the fictions
becoming facts, overnight, seriously, And so Joy Division,
who'd perhaps played at being out of this world, were
hurled out of this world. And so overnight And so they
played at taking themselves seriously. And then, in the
middle of one martyring night it worked for them.
Seriousness. Who could deny it? This was some meaning.
And so Joy Division, as lovely as a dream in stone; just as
their record sleeves always cried and whispered, had it all
going for them as rock and roll myths. A great short fast
fractured life rendered psychedelic by a messy midnight
death. And so their seriousness was left hanging in space.
And so that is something. Else.
And so what might have been was viciously disturbed.
And so all along they were glorying in their fate.
Oh, and so, the death of producer Martin Hannett –
more mischievous myth, more (disjointed) history, more
incidental insubordination, more violence, more degenerate
heroism and indecipherable cowardice, all in all adding to
the serious components of Joy Division as big deal rock
and roll illusion inside their very own infinitely variable end-
lessly interpreted mystery melodrama They were bigger
than they seemed, bigger than they seem, on the quiet as
big as they come. Their myth is noisy and quiet, dazzling
and hidden, static and dynamic ... and so is their music.
And so, seriously, Joy Division, after their overnight stop,
neither exist or do not exist.
And so, as specimens, as living things, as boys, as inno-
vators, as brats, as fuckers, as thinkers, as feelers, as
dreamers, as ghosts, as petuIant bleeders, as occultists,
as neurotics, as heroes, as narcissists, as dead things,
as commodity, as history, as future, as ageless punks,
as sceptics, as forever young, as practical jokers, as
auto – didactics, as deceivers, as a touch inflated, as
vapours, as liars, as chaos, as pleasure, as strangers,
as egos, as northerners, as EngIanders, as Europeans,
as futurists, as the inspired, as the inspirers, as metaphysi-
cians, as sentimentalists, as next door neighbours, as sell
outs, as swines, as artists, as borrowers, as lenders, as
drinkers, as addicts, as cults, as confessors, as back cata-
logue, as weirdos, as adulterers, as fathers, as sons, as
images, as details, as nutters, as musicians, as Joy
Division, as survivors, as far as it goes we can say that
they’re like group zero. Out of the group, all that they are
and sound like and did and had done to them, you could
find traces of ail the great ‘non/not belonging' rock music
that there has been and will be. Their myth is the myth of
rock, they're a compression of all the obscure and com-
mercial, wild and inexplicable dynamics that makes –
made – rock such a force in our face and in our lives.
They are the end, the beginning and the middle all at
once. And so they never belonged. They never got bogged
down. They never repeated themselves. They were always
in the process of discovering themselves, in the process of
thinking, in the process of. processing their influences.
They had it easy in the sense that for them it was all over
after three years – and the rest was history – and they
never reached the point where they might get assimilated
or jaded, but then again (and again) they had it hard in the
other sense that there was something about them that
knew they had an awful lot to do in such a short time. You
can hear in their music that they knew some kind of crash
was coming: the end of the century or just the end of their
And so that was an order.
And so far so good.