Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, died by his own hand some 33 years and 3 days ago. The recording above (from 18th December 1979: Les Bains Douches, Paris), which I’d never encountered before this evening, sounds – to my audio engineer and former DJ ears – to be pitched a bit forward from it’s original recording speed. So somehow that all makes it seem appropriate to post this gem here on May 21. Give us something to think about other than Sonny Terry and the dancing chicken in Strozek, as Ian contemplated his final moments.

Soul Brother Nate Powell posted the following to facebook yesterday and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it:

“In 2005, this book helped me start digging out of the hole I’d found myself in for 3 years, and helped change the direction of my life. The perspective I absorbed from Deborah: contrary to the notion that Ian Curtis’ disorders, wrecked family life, infidelities, and inability to handle success led to his death, she conveys that he fulfilled his own fatalistic narrative by choosing to give in to those factors, time and time again, needing their jurisdiction over his life.

“We all have control over our choices, and sovereignty over our sense of self. Sometimes we fight to keep other people from unfairly (re)defining us, but what can be more difficult is awareness of if/when we’ve redefined ourselves as hopeless/ monsters/ losers.

“RIP Ian Curtis, and love and respect to all those who struggle.”