A trio of post punk pearls are turning 40 this year, and each is connected in unexpected ways.
Joy Division's Closer was recorded between 18 – 30 March 1980. Was it 'closer' to something, or was it a closer ? Hooky on the recording process: “It was a good laugh most of the time.. the only sad thing about it was Ian's illness – but he hid that so well.” Their story's conclusion is well known, and Howard Devoto makes reference to Ian Curtis, as well as Kurt Cobain and Elvis Presley in the song, Hello Mr. Curtis (with apologies) from Magazine's 2011 album No Thyself. In a moment of disarming honesty to AU magazine in 2011 he states:
“The idea of suicide has always been important to me. I once had an unfortunate love affair which went wrong and I was in a bad way. I had a moment of revelation where I realised 'Hey ! I could top myself' and then I felt better. But, ever since then, suicide has always been an important idea for me.' I've only ever once in my life made plans and steps to bring about that end. I never got as far as swallowing anything or bringing a blade close to myself but I was starting to make plans in a very serious way. I even owned a gun at one point. And the main reason I had a gun is I might need it for myself at some unspecified point in the future”
The closing track on Talking Heads' Remain In Light, The Overload was their attempt to emulate the sound of Joy Division. The song was made despite no band member having heard the music of Joy Division; rather, it was based on an idea of what that band might sound like based on descriptions in the music press.
Grumman Avengers, used by the US Navy, in which Tina Weymouth's father had served, inspired the initial cover art for Talking Heads' 1980 LP 'Remain In Light' (working title 'Melody Attack'), later used on the back of the LP sleeve after the album name change.
The Appiani family tomb, as seen in the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, Italy. Sculpted by Demetrio Paernio in 1910. photo: Bernard Pierre Wolff.