Ian Curtis’ Widow Upset About Joy Division Song


Deborah Curtis, widow of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, confesses she felt “humiliated” that the song ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ was written about her.

‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ was written by Curtis in August 1979. It details the couples marriage problems, as well as giving an insight into his frame of mind leading up to his suicide in May 1980.

Ian Curtis’ Widow reveals her thoughts in the introduction to new book ‘So This Is Permanence: Ian Curtis, Joy Division Lyrics and Notebooks.’ The Author Jon Savage details the band’s beginnings, rise to fame, Ian Curtis’ battles with epilepsy, depression and his eventual suicide. The book also includes previously unpublished lyrics from Ian’s notebooks.

Deborah said, “How did I feel when Rob Gretton told me ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ was about me? Angry, humiliated. I scoured his manuscripts looking for evidence that it wasn’t so. The burden of finding a way to displace what was happening in his life must have twisted him to the core.”

Speaking about his epilepsy, “he became resentful at home as if broaching the subject of his illness aloud made it more real.”

While Joy Division were recording ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, U2 were in the studio to talk to Joy Division’s producer Martin Hannett, about producing their first album Boy.

Bono said, “Talking to Ian Curtis is… or was a strange experience because he’s very warm… he talked, there were like two people inside of him. He talked very light, and he talked very well mannered, and very polite, but when he got behind the microphone he really surged forth, there was another energy, it seemed like he was just two people and you know, Love Will tear Us Apart, it was like [when] that record was released… it was like as if there were the personalities separate, there they were, torn apart.”

‘So This Is Permanence: Ian Curtis, Joy Division Lyrics and Notebooks’, which has also been co-edited by Deborah Curtis, will be released on October 10th.

Watch the official ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ video below.