Unknown Pleasures For Joy Division Fans

By Mohammed Usman

JOY DIVISION fans can take an in-depth look at the life of Ian Curtis in a new exhibition to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

The exhibition, named after the band’s debut album Unknown Pleasures, will start on July 29 at the Sunday School Heritage Centre in Macclesfield.  

Victoria Meredith, bookings advisor at the Sunday School Heritage Centre, said: “The interest at this event has already been huge.

“The exhibition will be a prelude to a wider investigation in to Joy Division and will also feature the work of artists who have been inspired by Ian Curtis.”

In the first comprehensive look at the life of the vocalist, Unknown Pleasures will showcase notes, memorabilia and letters penned by Curtis.

The legendary front man committed suicide on May 18 1980 aged just 23 by hanging himself at his home in Macclesfield.

Manchester Rock Radio DJ, Mike Sweeney, said: “It may be slightly overdue but it is a fitting tribute for an iconic figure. “

Mr Sweeney’s band, The Salford Jets, toured in the late seventies and he remembers vividly the moment he heard of Curtis’ death.

He said: “It wasn’t instant news. You kind of heard it through the grapevine. I just remember having an immense feeling of shock because he was just a kid.

“He had everything going for him. I just couldn’t understand it. It was an awful year for music because he died in the same year as John Lennon.”

Mr Sweeney is not surprised that the music of Joy Division has stood the test of time and feels the late singer’s impact will last for a long while yet.

“I can tell you for a fact that, at the time, people were thinking what is this music?” said Mr Sweeney. “But I loved it. It was so dark and emotional.

“They were an unconventional rock band with an unconventional singer. It should not have worked but it just did and still does to this day.”

The exhibition will also feature some contributions from the rest of the group and will run until August 7.

To book tickets for the event visit


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