1980 – Ian Curtis commits suicide

Ian Curtis was only 23 years old when he killed himself on the eve of his band Joy Division’s first American tour. Curtis had suffered from intermittent depression for years prior to this, but his death came as a surprise to most of his closest associates, coming as it did at a time when his prospects seemed to be looking up.

The lead singer and primary lyricist of Joy Division, Curtis had a devoted, cult-like following at the time of his death, and would become one of the early icons of the nascent goth scene. His writings would receive greater critical respect in the years after his death – and his bandmates would continue to play, and reach greater financial success, under the name New Order.

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Ian Curtis — Thursday