home to his parents and we were in the car, laughing
away: Yessss! We’re going to America on Monday!
Screaming with excitement, so happy. I think he was
mood – swinging because of the drugs. When he got of
the car and I went home, I could barely contain myself.
I was so excited”.
“The Friday night we went out with this lad I used to
work with called Paul Dawson", Says Bernard Sumner.
“He called himself The Amazing Noswad. he was a psy-
cho: we took him out to observe him. I know it sounds hor-
rible, but we were fascinated by this lad. I was supposed to
see Ian the next night, but he rang up and told me he was
going to see Debbie. He said he’d meet me the next day,
as we were going over to Blackpool to water–ski. But he
never turned up”.
On the Saturday, Ian Curtis returned to the Barton
Street house he shared with his wife. When Deborah
returned from work late in the evening, they had a discus-
sion about the divorce. Deborah returned to her parents:
Ian insisted she should. “I’d had enough”, she says know;
“I was working so hard and my mum was looking after
Natalie. I could have stayed with him that night, but he
made it clear he didn’t want me there. I was dead on my
feet. I could have woken up the next morning and he’d
have done it while I was asleep. I think he’d decided, and
was just trying to pick his moment’.
Ian had been watching Werner Herzog’s Stroscek, the
plot of which concerns a German musician who travels to
America, is swamped by the alien culture, and commits
suicide. After Deborah left, it was the early morning of
the Sunday the eighteenth. Curtis played Iggy Pop’s The
idiot incessantly. After writing a note to Deborah, he went
into the kitchen, put the rope from an overhead clothes
rack round his neck, and jumped. Deborah found him the
next midday, by which time any attempt at resuscitation
was too late.
"I was the first of the group to be told", says Peter Hook.
“I was just about to sit down and have my dinner and the
phone rang: I’m Sgt. so and so, and I’m sorry to inform you
that Ian Curtis committed suicide last night. I went back
in, sat down and had my dinner. I didn’t say anything for
about an hour. Shock. It was such a huge thing to cope
with: I don’t think you ever really come to terms with it”,
"I went water-skiing anyway”, says Bernard Sumner".
I came back to friend’s house and the phone rang. It was
Rob. He said I’ve got a bit of bad news for you. Ian’s com-
mitted suicide. You mean he’s tried to kill himself? No,
he’s done it. And it was like the cymbals at the Hope and
Anchor: the whole room just turned upside down. I put the
phone down, went and washed my face with cold water.
Then I got back on the phone and took it like a man.
“It was the breakdown of his relationship, accentuated
by the amount of barbiturates he was taking to subdue his
epilepsy. Barbiturates makes you so you’re laughing one
minute, crying the next. He’d had a physical breakdown, a
which caused an emotional break-
down. I came to terms with it straight away, because I
could put my reason on why I thought he’d done it. Now
I accept these things: if it’s going to happen, it’s going
to happen. Also I don’t really believe it ends there”.
“I went to great lengths to push everything to the back
of my mind at first”, says Deborah Curtis. "I threw things
away, momentoes I wish I’d kept now. I thought it would
help. How can you be angry with someone who’s dead?
They aren't there, you can’t shake them. You’re totally
impotent: it's horrible. I felt angry with him because he had
the last word. Seeing articles that dismissed his death as,
‘oh, he had marital problems’ really annoyed me. He didn’t
commit suicide because he had marital problems. He had
marital problems because he wanted to commit suicide.
"I think Ian invented scenarios that would come true.
Annick could have been anybody: he needed to find justifi-
cation for doing what he was doing. It was something he
talked about from when we met, but as we got older, and
it got nearer the time, the more I had the feeling that he
hadn’t forgotten about it. But he wouldn’t talk about it:
when I tried to once, he actually walked out of the house.
I think he enjoyed being unhappy, that he wallowed in it.
When we were kids, lots of people were miserable. they
grew out of it: I thought Ian would”.
"We all knew quite early that we wanted to carry on”,
says Peter Hook. “The first meeting we all had, which
was the Sunday night, we agreed that. We didn't sit there