The Best of Intentions

First and foremost, I’m a Duran Duran fan. With that illustrious, self-given label, I also mark myself as “fanatic”, “extremist” , “nut” or “freak” to many in the world. Duran fans, or Duranies, can be pretty hard-core. We defend them to a fault, many travel very long distances to go to shows, and I’ve often heard them heralded right along side fans of the Beatles or even Elvis.  No matter the comparisons, there is a lot of judgment thrown in the direction of fans. What we may do out of love, others feel is way over the line, whether we’re talking about going to concerts in a different state, waiting for the band or artist outside of their hotel, or buying a house that a band member lived in.

Wait, what?

That’s right. The former home of Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, was bought for £190,000 by a fan. Earlier this year, there were reports circulating that a group of Joy Division fans had started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to buy the property in hopes of turning it into a museum. They only raised a fraction of the amount needed, and at the time, former members of Joy Division spoke out, expressing their own feelings about the idea. Bernard Sumner was “torn” by the idea of fans buying the property, but just recently Peter Hook gave the plan his blessing. I’d followed the story, wondering if that would be the end of the plan since the funds had not been raised. However, according to NME, another fan by the name of Hadar Goldman has bought the property.

“Although I paid £190,000 – nearly double the asking price – I felt as if I had to get involved, especially after hearing the plight of the fans who had failed to raise the necessary funds to buy the house owned and lived in by one of the musical heroes of my youth,” Goldman said of the purchase. “Joy Division left a musical legacy which has influenced many of today’s bands.” – Hadar Goldman, to NME.

Through a press release, Goldman states “”any venture to preserve the heritage of Joy Division would be sympathetically conceived and developed”.  This would undoubtedly include the museum fans were hoping to build in tribute to Ian Curtis.

While I am all about preserving the history of the band, this IS the house in which Ian Curtis took his own life in the kitchen on May 18, 1980…just over 35 years ago. I just have to wonder how Ian’s family, particularly his daughter Natalie, may feel about having this home turned into a museum. I recognize the well-meaning intentions of the fans, to keep this home preserved to pay tribute to a band that no doubt continues to influence many, many other bands, but the significance of this particular property cannot be lost. There is certainly a part of me that questions whether or not the “creep” factor will not attract a completely different type of crowd than intended. At the time, the fans had intended to keep the kitchen “off-limits” to visitors, but even so, the plans cannot escape the tragedy that occurred.

I think of Duran Duran, and while thankfully we have not lost a band member, I honestly cannot imagine buying the childhood homes of any of them in hopes of turning the property into a museum. I would think we’d much rather see a location in Birmingham be the place to preserve and commemorate the band’s history.

Despite my own reservations about the project itself, I think it will be very interesting to see how the concept of a Joy Division museum in Macclesfield will be received by the public. Will it be embraced for ingenuity and the perseverance of fans, or will it be categorized as yet another example of fanaticism?  Time will tell.

 

Please see the original article at NME. com for more: http://www.nme.com/news/joy-division/85592

-R

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