Joy Division Museum

Are you a fan of Joy Division?  Do you think there should be a Joy Division museum?  This past week, an article in NME talked about just that.  Apparently, Ian Curtis’ former house is for sale in Macclesfield.  A group of fans is concerned that his house would be grabbed up by developers.  This is the same house that was used during the filming of the movie, Control, about Ian’s life.  It is also the same house in which he took his own life in 1980.  The idea beyond the museum is that it would be a place for fans of the late singer to visit, to learn about the man and the band and to pay their respects.

I have to admit that I’m not sure what I think about this idea.  I am a fan of Joy Division and definitely appreciate their place in musical history.  What do other fans think?  There wasn’t much of a response on Twitter.  In general, the fans there seemed to support the idea.  Facebook responses were a little more mixed.  The issue that many seemed to focus on is that this is the place where he committed suicide.  While many appreciated the idea of a museum, many felt the location was in bad taste.  I have to admit that it made me pause, too.  Would having a museum or a memorial at that very spot be the right message for museum guests and fans?  While I understand the desire to honor someone you looked up to or are a fan of, would you be celebrating his music or his emotional pain?

At the same token, many fans seemed excited that fans would own the house and that the house would be owned by “everyone” rather than an individual.  I assume that the hope here is that because the fans would own it and I assume run the museum that the proper respect would be given.  Many fans were, at least in the comments I saw, excited by the idea of going to visit.  Would I want to see a museum for the bands that I’m a fan of?  Sure.  I liked visiting the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the British Music Experience in London.  I would probably go to Graceland if I am ever in that part of the country and I’m not even a fan of Elvis.  I would definitely do the Beatles tour if I ever get to Liverpool.  Goodness knows I think there needs to be something in Birmingham, England, for Duran Duran.  In fact, I tried to create my own tour to fill the void when I went to visit there.  So, the question becomes.  Would I go to this?

Again, I like the idea of a Joy Division museum.  Frankly, there could be a museum for all of the bands to come out of that part of England in the late 70s/early 80s.  There would be plenty to include.  Yet, the part that gives me pause is the fact that it would be at Ian Curtis’ former house.  I don’t know that I would want a museum for John Taylor, for example, at his childhood home and I’m a pretty huge John Taylor (see our sister blog:  Daily Duranie!).  It just feels like crossing a line to me.  Then, add on the fact that this house was also the scene of his death and I’m really uncertain of it.  I have to wonder what his family thinks of the idea.  Clearly, his former wife no longer lives there.  What does she think?  What does she want?

So, what do the rest of you think?  Is this a good idea?  Would you go visit it?



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