Ian Curtis Memorial Stone Stolen

There has recently been a resurrection of interest in the short-lived, post-punk act Joy Division almost 30 years after the suicide of its lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980. Over the past two years a self-titled documentary of the band was released, along with a biopic of Curtis titled Control. However, it seems that the Joy Division jubilee got out of hand Wednesday when the deceased lead singer’s memorial stone was discovered stolen from its Cheshire County cemetery in England.

There has recently been a resurrection of interest in the short-lived, post-punk act Joy Division almost 30 years after the suicide of its lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980. Over the past two years a self-titled documentary of the band was released, along with a biopic of Curtis titled Control. However, it seems that the Joy Division jubilee got out of hand Wednesday when the deceased lead singer’s memorial stone was discovered stolen from its Cheshire County cemetery in England.

Joy Division was a post-punk pre-cursor to the more commercially successful (though less influential) new wave group New Order which was formed by surviving members. Before the frontman’s death the band had only been playing together for four years, releasing an EP (An Ideal For Living) and one LP (Unknown Pleasures). By 1980, the band had just finished recording what would be their most critically acclaimed album Closer, which featured the Manchester punk scene anthem “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” The song began to gain momentum and the band was preparing to tour the United States when Curtis, who had recently been diagnosed with epilepsy, took his own life. As the song was written about a rocky patch in their marriage, Curtis’s widow Deborah chose to engrave her late husband’s memorial stone with the epitaph “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”

According to Cheshire police, the memorial stone, located in a cemetery in Curtis’ hometown of Macclesfield, must have been removed from the its proper location between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. The BBC News reported that the misplacement doesn’t have the Macclesfield bobbies particularly worried. “This is a very unusual theft,” one officer stated, “and I am confident that someone locally will have knowledge about who is responsible or where the memorial stone is at present.” Hopefully, the stone will be returned promptly so fans can pay homage to their rock and roll idol the old fashioned way: flowers and graffiti.

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