Tue, 26th Apr 2022 10:00

Music Memorabilia & Vinyl Showcase Auction

 
Lot 253
 

JOY DIVISION - IAN CURTIS - A SIGNED PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPH - THE LAST PHOTO OF IAN.

An original passport photo with image of Ian Curtis, taken just weeks before his untimely death in May 1980. With full signature (with middle initial) in blue ink to the reverse by Ian Curtis. Measures 4 x 5.5cm. Provenance: signed and given by Ian Curtis to then road manager Terry Mason for purposes of providing a copy to US immigration in order to obtain a visa for the planned US tour.

Further information supplied by the vendor:

The last known photo of Ian Curtis

"Taken on the morning of Thursday 15th May 1980, at the Photo Me booth in Woolworths Macclesfield, in preparation for the US Tour. The band, Rob and the crew all needed to provide 2 x passport photos, signed on the reverse complete with any middle initials. I was due to travel to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square the next day and I already had everyone else, Ian’s were the last to be collected. I drove over with Barney and Rob Gretton. Ian was in fine form and overly generous, we really thought that he had got his head around his domestic situation, and was making plans for the future. He gave Barney some albums, his skinny Levis and his winkle picker boots, he gave me his Ideal for Living cover – for some reason I had missed out on a cover, despite having been there folding them, Ian was offering me his #2 Sordide Sentimental, but Rob stopped him. And then the major reason for the journey, Ian handed me the two duly signed passport photos for the US Embassy, and gave me the remaining copy, saying ‘you keep this you never know when you might need it’, with Rob joking, ‘it’s your tip for going to the embassy’.

Three photos, shouldn’t there be a fourth? There was, but obviously it was the first flash that always caught you off guard and Ian didn’t want anyone see that one, and Ian had already binned it, I was given three.

The next day I caught the early train down to London, queued at the Embassy and waited for the passports to be stamped, before the Embassy closed its gates. I collected the passports, rang Rob to tell him we had Visas (around that time there had been a spate of UK bands missing the start of their North American tours due to Visa delays) and then got the train back to Manchester.

Bizarrely just across aisle on the train there was a group of ‘booties’ Royal Marine Commandos with a table full of cans talking about a fellow marine who was being held in Belgium on a charge of murder - Stevie Murphy, the same Stevie Murphy who I had been in Junior school with. Small world!

I didn’t join in with the booties, I just sat back in my seat, I just sat believing there was nothing to go wrong now we had the visas and on Monday morning we were to fly out to America…

In the 41 years since the photo, no one has made any claim to a later photo of Ian and so with a 99.999% probability this is the last photo of Ian."

Sold for £7,500


 

An original passport photo with image of Ian Curtis, taken just weeks before his untimely death in May 1980. With full signature (with middle initial) in blue ink to the reverse by Ian Curtis. Measures 4 x 5.5cm. Provenance: signed and given by Ian Curtis to then road manager Terry Mason for purposes of providing a copy to US immigration in order to obtain a visa for the planned US tour.

Further information supplied by the vendor:

The last known photo of Ian Curtis

"Taken on the morning of Thursday 15th May 1980, at the Photo Me booth in Woolworths Macclesfield, in preparation for the US Tour. The band, Rob and the crew all needed to provide 2 x passport photos, signed on the reverse complete with any middle initials. I was due to travel to the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square the next day and I already had everyone else, Ian’s were the last to be collected. I drove over with Barney and Rob Gretton. Ian was in fine form and overly generous, we really thought that he had got his head around his domestic situation, and was making plans for the future. He gave Barney some albums, his skinny Levis and his winkle picker boots, he gave me his Ideal for Living cover – for some reason I had missed out on a cover, despite having been there folding them, Ian was offering me his #2 Sordide Sentimental, but Rob stopped him. And then the major reason for the journey, Ian handed me the two duly signed passport photos for the US Embassy, and gave me the remaining copy, saying ‘you keep this you never know when you might need it’, with Rob joking, ‘it’s your tip for going to the embassy’.

Three photos, shouldn’t there be a fourth? There was, but obviously it was the first flash that always caught you off guard and Ian didn’t want anyone see that one, and Ian had already binned it, I was given three.

The next day I caught the early train down to London, queued at the Embassy and waited for the passports to be stamped, before the Embassy closed its gates. I collected the passports, rang Rob to tell him we had Visas (around that time there had been a spate of UK bands missing the start of their North American tours due to Visa delays) and then got the train back to Manchester.

Bizarrely just across aisle on the train there was a group of ‘booties’ Royal Marine Commandos with a table full of cans talking about a fellow marine who was being held in Belgium on a charge of murder - Stevie Murphy, the same Stevie Murphy who I had been in Junior school with. Small world!

I didn’t join in with the booties, I just sat back in my seat, I just sat believing there was nothing to go wrong now we had the visas and on Monday morning we were to fly out to America…

In the 41 years since the photo, no one has made any claim to a later photo of Ian and so with a 99.999% probability this is the last photo of Ian."

Auction: Music Memorabilia & Vinyl Showcase Auction, Tue, 26th Apr 2022

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