Ian Curtis of Joy Division’s grave has been vandalised

It's not the first time the site has been spoiled

The grave of Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, has been vandalised.

According to photos taken by Ian Seivwright, and posted on the ‘Joy Division Central’ Twitter account, one of the stones has been removed from the grave in Macclesfield Cemetery.


Curtis died in 1980 at the age of 23, having battled epilepsy and depression in his final years.

The post says that the top of the memorial stone has been removed, and that attempts were made to remove the inscription itself, which features one of Curtis’ most enduring lyrics, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

As the Twitter post notes, the inscribed stone is a replacement that was cemented in place after a similar act of vandalism took place in 2008.

Recently, the 40th anniversary of Curtis’ masterpiece ‘Unknown Pleasures’ was celebrated by music lovers across the world, as well as with a bumper reissue.

Its iconic artwork was projected across Manchester on landmark buildings such as Manchester Town Hall in St Peters Square and  Deansgate Square’s West Tower.

Ian Curtis’ original inscription in Macclesfield Cemetery


In addition to the projections, free ‘Unknown Pleasures’ t-shirts were handed out in the city to mark the album’s birthday, as well as raise money for mental health charities chosen by Curtis’ family.

In a recent interview with NME, Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris discussed Curtis’ legacy, and how attitudes have changed towards mental health.

“At that time people didn’t understand epilepsy, they thought it was something you could catch and there was a bit of stigma about it so you didn’t really know what to do,” he said.

“Ian would get depressed and you’d be like, ‘Pull yourself together, you’ll be alright’, and you just didn’t want to admit that there was possibly something wrong.”