By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
He stayed at [Joy Division's] Bernard [Sumner's] for a week. And then at Rob's, and then he moved to the Wilson cottage in Charlesworth for a week.
All very well of Wilson to invite him in, but he was out every morning to the day job at Granada, and Lindsey, who was already finding the TV-turned-revolutionary-art-entrepreneur a bit much, was doing the baby-sitting. The revenge-fuck carousel was still going round, but with a houseguest efforts were made to keep the marital shit from upsetting Ian, who was also in marital shit.
Wilson's efforts to entertain his guest consisted of putting a dozen bookmarks in a copy of the collected poems of W.B. Yeats and hoping he would find them interesting; the main romantic ones, you know, the ones with historic sweep and also that one about Joseph liking the way his finger smelled. And then into the Peugeot and off to work.
Lindsey and Ian drove each other a little mad that week. And by Saturday, an on-cue marital explosion set Wilson off back down the mountain, Ian sitting quietly beside him in the Peugeot.
"Fucking bitch, I can't even look after my poorly friend."
Except that he'd left her to look after his poorly friend for the entire week, so fuck him.
And Ian was taken to his mum and dad's in north Manchester for the final week before the big trip to America.
And when the end came it was as a result of a kindness. Which was nice.
The band were due to leave for New York on Monday morning. On the Saturday, Rob took Ian out for a haircut. Anticipation. Good vibes.
Now when it came to Ian's Germanness it was more Goethe than Goth; a hankering for the serious-hearted romanticism that gushes like the Rhine. Ian's favorite filmmaker, obsessively so, was Werner Herzog, and on that Saturday night BBC2 were showing Stroszek late. Subtitles are all very well for the young avant-garde, but Ian decided it would be unfair to put his mum and dad through art-house-movie endurance and thought he'd go back to the then-empty terraced house back in Macclesfield.
His wife Debbie turned up, and there was a row.
There was a sadness.
And there was a movie; the last line of Herzog's masterpiece endures in Joy Division's personal mythology: "There's a dead man in the cable car and the chicken's still dancing."
And hadn't Jon Savage's review of Unknown Pleasures in Sounds set the tone with its Tarot reference to the house of the hanged man?
When Ian was discovered on the Sabbath, hanging from a 19th-century device used to dry washing, they say that there was a bottle of whiskey. They say that Iggy Pop's The Idiot was still spinning, aimlessly, pointlessly on the record deck. The stylus arm had fully retracted. Hadn't it just . . .
THE CHAPEL OF REST
"I know this is a bad moment but, you know, life goes on and they're going to need a lead singer. I know all their songs off by heart already."
The real ghoul time. Jury not out on this geezer with a Cure sticky-up haircut who accosted Wilson and Lindsey on the way into the chapel.
"Don't lose any time, do you?"
"It's me singing. I sing all their stuff on there. Just get time to listen to it, Tony, I want to help, you know."
"Yeah, okay I'll listen to it, okay."
The brush-off comes easier with repugnance. Inside the small building, they run into Razzer coming out of the door to the lying-in-state room.
"Yeah, his mum and dad are in. Just got there in time."
"What do you mean?" asked Wilson.
"Well, his mum and dad were outside, and I checked him and he's got this fancy white shirt on but they'd left it down on his neck and you could see these great big bloody rope marks all round it."
"Jesus, what did you do?"
"Just pulled the collar up and covered them over, easy."
Inside was nothing. The bit that's left. But maybe there was a bit of something else because quite openly and loudly, Wilson said, "You stupid bugger." . . .
"IT'S JUST ALL TOO REAL"
Some weeks before Ian's departure, Wilson had to take the early-morning train to London for the day job. He'd had a temporary promotion to Britain's top current-affairs program, World in Action, and had been summoned to a London meeting. Driving to Piccadilly Station for the 7:30 a.m. he came up Ducie Street to get to the station car park when he saw, walking slowly along, the lovers, Ian and Anneek.
They walked like they'd been walking all night.
They walked like they were in hell.
They walked like they were in heaven.
Wilson pulled over. "Hello, you two; what are you doing?"
"Just walking. Anneek's got to get the train back to London."
The answer was delivered slowly, resignedly, emptily. They had been walking the streets all night. Love with no place to go.
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