Notifications
Clear all

Ian Curtis, Joy Division, Aleister Crowley and the Occult


Falcon
(@falcon)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 395
Topic starter  

Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division and recorded two albums with the group: Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980). Curtis was known for his bass-baritone voice, dance style and songwriting typically filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness, and alienation.

Curtis suffered from epilepsy and depression and took his own life on the eve of Joy Division's first North American tour and shortly before the release of Closer. Shortly after his death, the three surviving members of the band reconstituted themselves as New Order.

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

image

 

JOY DIVISION CENTRAL

Donavan1

"So I've heard vague statements about Ian Curtis being interested in the occult and on some reading lists of his that I have seen Aleister Crowley pops up. I know for certain that Ian was friends with Genesis P Orridge and an avid fan of Throbbing Gristle, which magick and the Occult seem to be a major, if not the major factor of Genesis P and TG's work.
My questions are, does anyone know to what extent Ian was involved with the occult if at all , at what stage he became interested , and what practices interested him? Thanks!"

Read the interesting discussion here:

http://lwtua.websitetoolbox.com/post/ian-curtis-and-the-occult-6982181

https://www.facebook.com/JoyDivisionOfficial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avIX-96l5Wc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGiYMkq7QIc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1b_Jqldm33A

 


Quote
gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 573
 

The only thing I remember about Joy Division (apart from the music, which was and still is glorious) was that Ian Curtis killed himself after watching Zabriskie Point, a film with music by Pink Floyd.  That would probably drive anyone to suicide (j/k 🙂 )

I should think most bright people and creatives have probably looked into AC at one time or another in their lives.  Going down odd byways is always attractive for roving intellects.  Bowie certainly did, and quite a few other music folks.  But there's a big difference between just looking into it, reading a few things by him, maybe even liking some things he wrote, and actually trying on "Crowley's uniform of imagery."

Fun bragging rights side-thing: the band I was in during the 80s, our first recording was done in Manchester with Martin Hannett, who had produced Joy Division and given them that bleak, disjointed sound.  It's actually partly the result of a trick he did with recording drums - he would get the drummer to do each drum separately (to most drummers' great annoyance).  It gave him the acoustic isolation he wanted, which enabled him to treat each drum in an extreme way with eq, compression (especially compressed reverb/delay), etc., but it also gave the rhythm an odd, jerky feel (because the drummer was no longer playing the kit as a unified thing, so his timing in one pass on the snare drum would be subtly different from his timing in another pass on the kick drum, for example). 

He was also very much into the new electronic stuff that was starting to come out then, like drum machines, etc.  He had a little notebook in which he used to write particular settings on his AMS digital delay (a new thing at the time), settings he'd discovered that gave senses of different "rooms."  He was also legendary for occasionally lying under the mixing desk to listen to the music from an odd acoustic angle, and falling asleep (he actually did that in our session once 🙂 ). 

Hannett really was a certifiable genius as a producer, and we were so excited to be working with the producer who'd made the Spiral Scratch EP (the first thing the Buzzcocks ever did) and had produced Joy Division.

Sadly he was also a junkie, and died from it eventually.


ReplyQuote
Shiva
(@shiva)
Not a Rajah
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 6990
 
Posted by: @gurugeorge

Zabriskie Point, a film with music by Pink Floyd.

I don't remember the music, but I remember watching it being filmed in, and across the highway, from the Solar Lodge Cafe. That was early '69.

image

Later in '69, Dr Bernie had just arrived form (you know) Zabriskie Point. He and I sat at the bar, watching the astronauts on their way to the moon. Everything was going just fine ... but I had this pre-mo-nition (a "before Mohammed Comes" sense of darkness. I kept telling him (over and over) ...

We gotta get outa this place -
if it's the last thing we ever do!

Zabriskie ends in a fireball, wherein the heroine performs ShivaRanchoDestructo on a desert complex. Shucks, the same thing happened to Solar ranch that same year.

The ranch blew up, the cafe has been torn down. I got outa that place, and it wasn't the last thing I ever doed. As far as I know, Dr Bernie went on to a successful medical career ... I would think that, by now, he is happily retired.

Zabriskie Point, eh? Yeah, if he watched that flick in a depressed mood, it might push anybody over the edge. I added Zabriskie to The Student Viewing List a few decades ago - along with Billy Jack. In this case, the student is looking for things not to do that are common to all recommended vidoes.


ReplyQuote
gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 573
 

@shiva 

The Floyd's music for the movie is some of the best they've ever done actually.  There's a long piece that's like Interstellar Overdrive on steroids. 


ReplyQuote
David Dom Lemieux
(@david-dom-lemieux)
Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3593
 
Posted by: @gurugeorge

 

Fun bragging rights side-thing: the band I was in during the 80s, our first recording was done in Manchester with Martin Hannett, who had produced Joy Division and given them that bleak, disjointed sound. 

You were in Jilted John?  Yes!!  Lol.

 

Posted by: @falcon

 

Donavan1

"So I've heard vague statements about Ian Curtis being interested in the occult and on some reading lists of his that I have seen Aleister Crowley pops up. I know for certain that Ian was friends with Genesis P Orridge and an avid fan of Throbbing Gristle, which magick and the Occult seem to be a major, if not the major factor of Genesis P and TG's work.
My questions are, does anyone know to what extent Ian was involved with the occult if at all , at what stage he became interested , and what practices interested him? Thanks!"

 These sort of questions crop up now and again where an edge-lord's past output is reviewed and a Crowley fan tries to shove a triangle into a round hole to find a direct link.  It's like this, any intense piece of, art (?) in the modern era will be Horusian with all that that entails.  Curtis wanted to be Bowie and Jim Morrison, the latter who studied  (briefly?) the Goetia and did lots of 'strange drugs' and the former who literally namechecked Crowley in a song and whose Ziggy live performance of the intro to 'All the young dudes' appears to be describing ceremonial magick...Station to Station appears to be about Rising on the Plane, well, to some anyway ...... for some reason this last paragraph wants to be emboldened, sorry.      

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


ReplyQuote
fraterihsan
(@fraterihsan)
Magus
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 96
 
Posted by: @gurugeorge

The only thing I remember about Joy Division (apart from the music, which was and still is glorious) was that Ian Curtis killed himself after watching Zabriskie Point, a film with music by Pink Floyd.  That would probably drive anyone to suicide (j/k 🙂 )

Really? I thought he listened to "The Idiot" by Iggy Pop before he committed suicide.

"There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." - Liber Legis 2:58
"To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss." - Liber Legis 3:62


ReplyQuote
kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2176
 

It's sad and unfortunate that he took his life. His suicide has been romanticized by some but it wasn't romantic. Curtis was a passionate poet and Unknown Pleasures was a masterpiece.

 

I'm not sure if Interzone was in reference to WB (who DID reference AC, the Golden Dawn and The Necronomicon in his works).

 

The early New Order was certainly different from Joy Division but quite good and influential. Eventually, they became vapid and pop. Peter Hook would collab with Jaz C of Killing Joke as K (division) 93. Much more a tribute to AC and the early days of Curtis' bleak poetry than Sumner and Marr's unmemorable “Electronic.”

 

One has to wonder what AC would have thought of all this Rock and Roll. I think it would have been too coarse and vulgar for his tastes. But then AC said very little about music during his career. Kenneth Grant (who regarded Basie and Jazz as being of Voodoo/Magical import) regarded “Rock” with little love.

 

Despite his forward vision as the “Prophet,” I don't think Crowley could have anticipated Captain Beefheart. Or Mudvayne.

 

In fact, a modern day Crowley would be swept off to sea in the Logarithms of Facebook and Twitter.


ReplyQuote
gurugeorge
(@gurugeorge)
Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 573
 
Posted by: @kidneyhawk

One has to wonder what AC would have thought of all this Rock and Roll. I think it would have been too coarse and vulgar for his tastes.

*koff koff* The Ragged Ragtime Girls 


ReplyQuote
David Dom Lemieux
(@david-dom-lemieux)
Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3593
 
Posted by: @shiva
Posted by: @gurugeorge

Zabriskie Point, a film with music by Pink Floyd.

I don't remember the music, but I remember watching it being filmed in, and across the highway, from the Solar Lodge Cafe. That was early '69.

 

The movie starts out promising what with the student demo meeting but it slowly dwindles.  Give me Barbarella over this or even The Monkees'  surreal movie Head, now that's saying something.

https://www.lashtal.com/wiki/Aleister_Crowley_Timeline


katrice liked
ReplyQuote
Share: