The Day John Lennon Died

On Monday, 8 December 1980, John Lennon was shot by disturbed ‘fan’ Mark Chapman in the archway of the Dakota Building, his residence in New York City. He was pronounced dead soon after his arrival at hospital. The ex-Beatle had just turned 40 and had recently recorded a new album, Double Fantasy, that celebrated his new zest for life – his single Starting Over was still in the charts. Now, on the 37th anniversary of his shocking murder, I’ve decided to share my personal memory of that day…


I woke up, got out of bed and dragged a comb through my tangled mop of red hair. It was still dark outside. My alarm had gone off at the ridiculously early time of 4.45am on the morning of Tuesday 9th December 1980. I was a 19-year-old trainee reporter for a Liverpool news magazine, The Woolton Mercury, and had an appointment at BBC Radio Merseyside studios in central Liverpool to write a piece on the workings of local radio. I was a tall, skinny youth, still living at home, who dressed almost exclusively in black. My musical tastes had moved on from the Beatles and Glam Rock to punk and new wave, reflected in my music column that featured new releases and gig reviews. I was a member of Erics club in Liverpool where I saw punk and new wave bands most weekends including: Joy Division, Magazine, Buzzcocks, OMD, Teardrop Explodes, Stiff Little Fingers, The Stranglers, The Damned (featuring Lemmy!)… you get the picture.

The streetlights were still on and a milk float rumbled into our road as I buttoned my black Crombie overcoat and headed for the bus stop. The bus was warm as I joined a handful of silent shift workers on a speedy forty minute journey to Castle Street. From there a short walk took me through a deserted city centre to Commerce House – a grey 50s concrete building that had housed Radio Merseyside since its start in 1967 [note: this was before their move to their new purpose-built office on Paradise Street].

Roger Phillips BBC Radio Merseyside2
Radio Merseyside Presenter – Roger Phillips

They were expecting me, as arranged, at 6.00am. I was greeted by Studio Manager, Phil Pinnington, a suave, dapper gent, who placed me in the capable hands of Studio Assistant, Janice Long (yes, Keith Chegwin’s sister who went on to be an acclaimed national radio DJ and host of Top of the Pops). I was shown around the newsroom and the newsgathering process was explained to me by Newsreader, Tony Nutter. In the pre-digital age, reel-to-reel tape recorders and spools of tapes were everywhere and two teleprinters spewed out news items on ticker tape from the national BBC newsroom in London. I was shown how soundbites (interview clips) were spliced together for use in news bulletins.

My published article in The Woolton Mercury records that at that time (about 6.30am) there were no major news stories coming through:

“One such news item that came through on the teleprinter concerned a US Army deserter who had been arrested at Risley Remand Centre with two canisters of nerve gas strapped to his legs.” Tony explained that this would be classified as a ‘human interest’ story and held in reserve to be used only if there was a lull in the news. As it turned out, it would not be needed.
popart-rock-n-roll lennonJanice made me a mug of tea and I was ushered into the studio where veteran presenter, Alan Jackson, was cranking-up the breakfast drive-time show. A local lad from Prescott in Merseyside, he was warm, friendly and soon put me at ease. He asked me a few questions about my series on local media, and casually said after the next record he would do a little interview with me.

“Erm, live, on air?” I squeaked.

“You’ll be fine,” he laughed. “Just say what you’ve already told me and speak in your normal voice.”

And so my first radio interview took place, just before 7.00am on Tuesday 9th December 1980. I was scribbling a few notes in my reporter’s notebook when Phil popped his head in the studio door and announced in a hushed but earnest tone: “John Lennon has been shot.”

Alan’s eyes were wide in shock and a quick conversation between the media veterans instantly ensued along the lines of, “Call all our contacts who knew John and the Beatles – let’s start lining up responses as the news story unfolds…” This was personal. John was a much-loved son of the city and the magnitude of the event meant it instantly took center stage.

And so I sat there for the next three hours as the staff of Radio Merseyside pulled together and presented the news of John’s shooting in New York City, playing Imagine (several times) and Give Peace a Chance along with early Beatles classics such as Twist and Shout. To this day, I still get goosebumps and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck whenever I hear John’s raunchy rock vocals on Twist and Shout. For me, it will forever be associated with that day.

“…reports are still coming in that John Lennon has been shot outside his apartment building in New York…”

Alan Jackson vacated his seat for Morning Merseyside presenter, Roger Phillips, who took on the uncomfortable task of building a show devoted to outpourings of concern for John as we waited with trepidation for further news. The confirmation that John was dead came barely an hour later, and a state of shock descended on the city as the news was rolled out.

Shocked interview subjects shared their reminiscences of John over the airwaves as the city awoke to the devastating news on that cold December Tuesday. I left the studio at about 11.00 and made my way home in numb silence. It wasn’t meant to end this way for John, who had seemed to have found happiness in his new life with wife Yoko and son Sean in New York. By lunchtime, it was the headline item on the BBC television news.

Interviewing Bert Kwok at Granada TV0002
That’s me on the left interviewing Pink Panther actor Bert Kwok in 1981 at Liverpool’s Granada TV studio for the second article in my series on Liverpool news media

The following Saturday I joined a crowd estimated at over 30,000 on the plaza outside St George’s Hall for music, readings and prayers as the city grieved over the death of a favourite son. It was the final end to hopes of a Beatles reunion, and consigned John’s body of work to the past tense. The man who asked us to give peace a chance had been the victim of an ugly act of murder by a psychotic ‘fan’ who earlier in the day had waited patiently to get John’s autograph. It was unpredictable, pointless and the cause of such grief and pain for those who loved the man and his work and who had been entertained and inspired by his music, wit and free spirit. It was our JFK moment – we remember what we were doing or where we were when we heard the news. John was dead and we had to accept it; and I know it’s a cliché but I’m going to give it an airing – his memory lives on through his music and his pro-peace sentiments.

As for me, I moved on to reporting and film reviewing for another Liverpool newspaper later that year, and in 1982 won a place to study for a degree course in Communication Studies. I became editor of the student magazine, utilising the experience I had garnered at The Woolton Mercury. After graduating, my path led me to London where I started a career working in the newspaper publishing industry – not as a journalist, but in product development and market research. I re-directed my creative mind to dull but commercially vital report writing and conducting training sessions for sales reps. I had unintentionally joined the group of frustrated creatives who are thwarted from making a living doing what we really want to do. At least John had that.

the-beatles-artThe anniversary of Lennon’s death still prompts outpourings of grief from fans around the World, although this is perhaps something John himself would not have wanted.

In one of his last major print interviews published in Playboy magazine, he said: “I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past. I don’t believe in yesterday. I’m only interested in what I’m doing now.”


As a footnote to my earlier comment that my musical tastes in 1980 had moved on from The Beatles – their music continued to provide an enduring ingredient to the cultural wallpaper of Liverpool, a city that never fell out of love with the Fab Four. Every jukebox in every pub in Liverpool had Beatles singles that were frequently played along with other rock, punk and pop classics. There was no Beatles tourism activity in the 80s – that came later from the 90s onwards when musical nostalgia grew into an industry. We knew where the Beatles lived and the places they performed – Liverpudlians will always be intensely proud of their successful sons and daughters without any shows of fuss or drama.

When writing this piece, I checked what records and gigs I had reviewed in my music column in the weeks before Lennon’s death and found, next to a gig review of The Stranglers, this:-

“This Week’s New Single Releases –

UB40 – The Earth Dies Screaming [reviewed]

John Lennon – (Just Like) Starting Over – And who knows, maybe John is turning over a new leaf. This boppy, jog-a-long song has already been hailed as a ‘shhhh, it’s almost Christmas’ single, and will have the ex-Beatle laughing all the way to the bank. His first UK single release for some time, it’s already looking like a safe bet for Christmas No.1…”

It was actually No.2 in the UK Christmas charts behind, erm, There’s No One Quite Like Grandma by St Winifred’s School Choir. The first chart of 1981 saw re-issues of Imagine at No. 1 and Merry Xmas (War is Over) by John and Yoko at No.2. The worldwide outpouring of grief for the witty Scouser led to a celebration of his life and the birth of his legend.


Live Aid Remembered

Review: The Vinyl Frontier Show; Live Aid Organiser, Pete Smith, interviewed by Jeff Lloyd.

Venue: Nordern Farm Arts Centre, Maidenhead, on Saturday 25th June 2016.


Where were you on 13th July 1985?  Those of us old enough to have witnessed the world’s most incredible concert will never forget the superb, unselfish performances and tear-jerking emotional pleas of Bob Geldof to ‘give us yer f**king money’.  It was a momentous cultural event, a huge technological achievement and the World’s greatest ever charity fundraiser.

Vinyl Frontier Live Aid banner


But who organised it all? Vinyl Frontier’s Jeff Lloyd, had met the man who organised Live Aid, Pete Smith, at BBC Radio Berkshire.  As he lives close by, in Henley, he agreed to come along and be interviewed in front of a small audience, with Jeff playing memorable songs from Live Aid on vinyl records, whilst showing video footage on a screen.  This format worked well, with Pete Smith telling his anecdotes between songs, bringing the whole event to life, and, by the way, plugging his soon-to-be-published book on his memories of organising Live Aid, Just the Ticket.


So who is Pete Smith and why have we never heard of him? It was Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, right?  Well, it all started with Bob and Midge…  The success of the previous Christmas’s Band Aid single, Do They Know it’s Christmas? had led to speculation about a possible live event.  Once Bob had the idea in his head, he sought out the world’s leading music promoter, Harvey Goldsmith, in his office in central London.  Harvey cautiously endorsed the idea, saying he would oversee it but would need to find someone to personally manage an event involving so many acts in a short space of time.


Pete Smith’s name was floated in a brain-storming meeting, as he was a promoter well-known throughout the music industry, someone who would have the stature and authority to call on the world’s leading music acts, and be able to co-ordinate a tight schedule with some of the world’s biggest egos and most difficult managers. Oh, and his wife worked for Goldsmith and floated his name in the meeting!  In the days before mobile phones and computers, and with many acts touring around the world or simply inactive, this was a logistical nightmare.  He was formally employed by the Band Aid Trust, and was the only salaried employee, on a six week deal.


Pete described some of the calls he made to hotels around the world, and the diplomacy needed when negotiating the conditions. He was operating from a desk in Goldsmith’s offices, with a landline telephone, using telex.  He also needed to co-ordinate with USA concert organizer, Bill Graham, which involved a number of cross Atlantic flights, and acting as peace-maker in deadlock between Bill and some artists.  Many refused to perform for various reasons, and some top artists were not invited at all, possibly for reasons of commercial interest.


His task was to persuade acts to perform for free, in a 20 minute slot with up to 4 songs. This was the opening offer, but once interest had been expressed by acts and artists, a judgment call had to be made in meetings on how ‘big’ acts were, with some artists being downgraded to one or two song slots, or encouraged to collaborate with each other to be included.  Pete recounted how he was often compromised by the music promotion and business interests of Goldsmith and some others, who kept meddling in the line-up, one example being Elvis Costello (not in Goldsmith’s promotion stable) having his slot whittled away to just a solo acoustic song between stage sets, whilst Adam Ant was pushed in to plug a new song, despite his career having bombed.  Why were The Style Council in the second slot in the UK, and The Hooters on second in the USA?  Some artists, including David Bowie, had been inactive for some time, and Pete found himself helping to organise musicians to form backing bands and rooms for rehearsal sessions – going on all over Britain and the USA in the weeks before the concerts.


Other controversies included Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, being blocked from performing a new song when they wanted him to play his classic hit, Morning Has Broken.  Pete was left fuming at this stand-off, and other instances of interference when it had previously been agreed that artists could play what they want, although the ‘guidance’ offered was that ‘greatest hits’ should be played.  This was generally the case, as most artists played their best-known hits, with some songs chosen for their peace, love and unity themes.

An additional viewpoint was added to the Wembley story by audience member Paul Maynard, who worked on the day (for free) as a steward, showing some of his ‘unofficial’ photos projected onto the screen, including backstage celebrity pics and an intriguing overhead shot from a gantry showing the rotating three set stage structure.


Jeff played a number of memorable Live Aid classics, starting with the concert opener, Status Quo’s Rocking All Over the World.  Bob Geldof had ruffled some feathers by moving the Boomtown Rats up in the order to number 3, so that he could sit with Prince Charles and Lady Diana in the Royal Box for the first two acts, and then perform in front of them, before they left.  Jeff played I Don’t Like Mondays and Queen’s Radio Ga Ga, Elvis Costello’s moving version of All You Need is Love, David Bowie’s Heroes, Cat Steven’s Morning has Broken, something by Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Beatles’ Let It Be (Paul McCartney agreed to perform at the last minute, on the orders of his children! But George Harrison refused to be part of an attempt to make a surviving Beatles reunion).


All in all, it was a riveting evening, with Pete Smith casually informing a spellbound (and largely over 50s) audience of the politics and pressures behind putting on the Worlds’ Greatest Show. I look forward to reading more details of the back-stage politics of Live Aid and the uncomfortable relationship between charity idealism and commercial interest, when his book, Just the Ticket, comes out.



Live Aid posterLive Aid Stats…

  • Over £40 million was raised for famine relief in Ethiopia
  • 1.5 billion viewers in 110 countries watched the live broadcast, organised by the BBC (UK) and ABC (USA) beamed by 13 satellites around the World
  • Over 170,000 people attended the two live concerts in London and Philadelphia.
  • A dozen other countries staged their own fundraising concerts
  • The British concert ended with Do They Know It’s Christmas? and six hours later, the US concert concluded with We Are the World
  • The 10 hour concert at Wembley Stadium had 22 slots, each of 20 minutes, many shared by artists collaborating
  • The 14 hour Philadelphia concert had 34 x 20 minute slots, again with many artists collaborating
  • Phil Collins performed at both concerts, flying to the USA on Concorde
  • Queen’s performance at Wembley was subsequently hailed as ‘the greatest ever live rock performance’.


Where was I on Live Aid Day? I had finished my final exams for my degree course at the Poly of Wales in Pontypridd, and had returned to my shared house in Treforest for a rest after a muddy Glastonbury festival…my sister and her husband were visiting for the weekend and we had agreed to go out for a meal that evening. Well, once we started watching Live Aid on the telly, with Bob’s heart-rending appeal, we quickly changed our minds, pooling our cash and phoning through a donation.

The issue of starvation in Ethiopia was too big, the message too powerful, too compelling to resist. I think we managed a sombre trip to the pub in the evening, missing some of the USA show…well there was inevitable burn-out after 8 hours….but what a show!

For more details of the event and full line-ups follow this links:

Where Were You in 1983?

The British people had a lot on their minds in 1982, as the country divided on a war overseas and a class war at home.  Britain flexed its imperial muscle and won the Falklands War. Margaret Thatcher won a general election off the back of it; Labour were in turmoil and ditched Michael Foot for another lame duck – Neil Kinnock. Oh, and on a cold January evening in 1983 I went to see New Order in concert at the Students Union Hall in Cardiff.

fac51_new_order_1I was a student at the Poly of Wales, up the Taff Valley in Pontypridd. It was a 30 minute train ride to Cardiff, to see passing bands on UK tours…and always with one eye on the time so as not to miss the last train back. The Miners Strike was in full swing, and I spent some time (when not in lectures) driving minibuses of supplies collected from well-wishers up the valley to the picket lines. It was real in-yer-face full-on social conflict in those places affected, like the Welsh Vallies.

New Order TicketIt must have been a cold evening – Saturday 29th January – wrapped in my Bunnymen crombie coat with scarf, black drainpipes and mop of red bushy hair, I went with my mates to the gig. I had a notebook and pen, as I would report it for the student’s magazine, ‘Leek’.

I was a bit of a pseudy NME reader, hence my flowery language. This is what I wrote back then:

“ ‘The most superior, cleansing, active and informative music recorded recently’. Yes, NME writer Paul Morley does like New Order, but a great many more people have recently been opening their ears to their particular brand of techno-rock music.

New Order83“New Order rose phoenix-like from the ashes of Joy Division, following the suicide of Ian Curtis, and continue their work of re-defining the shape of contemporary rock music…opening with a compelling version of ‘In a Lonely Place’, they then played four new numbers [‘Blue Monday’ was showcased for the first time] before moving to more familiar ground. ‘Everything’s Gone Green’, ‘Dreams Never End’, and ‘Procession’ led up to an agonising climax…will they or won’t they? Yes they did! Returning on stage to the expectant roar of the audience they delivered an inch-perfect version of ‘Temptation’. The progressive population of Cardiff went home happy. A night to remember – a memory to savour.”

A moment in time, all the more memorable for that fact that ‘Blue Monday’ was a relatively unknown new number, and ‘Temptation’ was the big hit of their early set that fans wanted to hear. There’s been a lot written about how crap they were live in those early days, drunk and incompetent, but it sounded alright to me, and there’s still nothing like seeing your heroes on stage belting out the songs you buy and sing along to. Ian Curtis paid homage to with ‘In a Lonely Place’, before moving onto more upbeat newer stuff like ‘Blue Monday’ that was to cement their new image in the minds of their followers, the shift from rock to electro-pop, the affirmation of the New Order.

On John Cooper Clarke and The Fall

Ever been dragged to a gig by a mate and had your eyes opened a new and unexpectedly amazing experience?

JCCAs a young impressionable schoolboy in Liverpool during the punk rock explosion of ’77-’78, I was asked by a classmate, John, if I would go with him to see John Cooper-Clarke, as he also wanted to be a punk poet.  I said, “Who’s he?”  …Come on, cut me some slack here…it was March 1978 and there was no internet, only the music press for info…JCC was just starting out.

And so I went to my first ever night club gig at Eric’s in Liverpool, on Mathew Street, opposite the once famous but derelict Cavern Club (it had been closed for some years, before it was revived as a tourist attraction).  It was 7th April 1978 and was billed as ‘The Fall plus Special Guest’ (see attached flyer with JCC autograph!).  The special guest was a lanky Salford punk poet with dark glasses and a mop of black hair – pretty much identical to how he looked a few months ago in 2015 on TV in ‘Have I got News For You’.  The Salford Bard, now being touted as the next Poet Lauriat and with poems on the school curriculum, was unexpectedly brilliant.  I still remember ‘I Married a Monster from Outer Space’, and ‘Kung Fu International’, apparently recorded ‘live’ at that gig and used as a B side.  He was followed by Mark E. Smith and The Fall, at that time a rough punk-imitator band, as most new bands felt they had to be. ‘Last Orders’ was the stand-out track from this early punk thrash.

Erics_John Cooper ClarkeNow, the reason I’ve put finger to keyboard with this blog post is that it just occurred to me that both these unwell-looking acts ARE STILL GOING! Both are gigging in 2015, John Cooper-Clarke down the road in Guildford this week supporting Squeeze.  I loved the last scene of the last episode of ‘The Sopranos’ played out with JCC’s ‘Evidently Chicken Town’.  Now cropping up in TV commercials, the former coke and brown addict is an inspiration to us all in….well….survival.

The Fall, who released their first album the year after I saw them in 1979, have gone on to be one of the most prolific recording acts in British music history.  With 31 studio albums to date, and many more live albums, Mark has tried his level best to bore us all to death.  Although not such a big fan, I was persuaded to see the Fall in the late 80’s twice, and enjoyed both, very different, performances.

One was in a dingy club in Croydon, where, with Brix on bass, they belted out classic and memorable versions of ‘Eat Yourself Fitter’ and ‘Cruiser’s Creek’.  The other was at Sadler’s Wells Theatre (I kid you not) where sometime in September 1988 I was dragged by mate Jimmy to see ‘I Am Curious Orange’ with The Fall on stage with the Michael Clark contemporary dance group cavorting around them to quite brilliant versions of ‘Curious Orange’ and ‘Big New Prinz’ (scan of programme cover shown – anyone else go to this?).  Inspired and innovative…

Curious Orange_The FallWhat impresses me most about JCC and Mark E. Smith is their unshakable belief in what they’re doing – in their art.  They have spanned the late 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and are still batting on in 2015 and, no doubt, beyond.  They must have met virtually everyone in UK showbiz….a kind of anti-advertisement for Manchester.  Keep Away!  It’s all like Beezley Street!  But bizarrely, Manchester and Salford acts like The Fall, The Smith, JCC, Joy Division/New Order (Happy Mondays, Oasis in the 90s)  have all tickled my imagination, tuning me in to a grim Northern outlook that is remarkably tough, resilient and strangely uplifting.  Hell, they’re even thinking of taking tourists there!

I say, Rock on JCC and Mark E. Smith.  You have inspired a generation and now reach a younger audience who see the Punk Era that spewed you out as a kind of Golden Age.  We grew up then, and understood the value of questioning the Establishment and of rebellion…without questioning, without perspective, the country will end up being run by someone like….errr….David Cameron!


Joy Division

In the late 1970s the two big post-industrial cities in England’s North West corner – Liverpool and Manchester, were manfully struggling to stay alive.  Ignored and despised by central Government, a population proud and defiant dared to shout, “We are still here!”  It was impossible to live there at that time, as I did, and not be affected by the economic collapse that opened the door for the divisive politics of Thatcherism.  A cynical new era characterised by greed and selfishness was being ushered in, and many artists were making their feelings felt through art and music.

I have often asked myself why I was drawn so strongly to the music and imagery of Manchester rock band Joy Division.  On the surface, their music is gloomy and petulant, riding off the back of the punk rock anti-establishment, anti-everything that has made life a struggle in the grim North.  But for me, their music was strangely uplifting – defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, and a determination to have the best life possible in difficult circumstances.  The positive energy that comes through their music inspired a generation of young post-punk rock fans, and still resonates today.

From the lilting love-gone-wrong lyrics of the beautiful ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ to the rolling drums and pulsing beat of ‘Twenty Four Hours’.  Yes, lyrics tinged with regret and hurt, but ultimately smashing through the gloom to a brighter day.  There was hope, and through it all we must keep going.  Sadly, for singer Ian Curtis, the heavy weight of life’s problems proved to be overwhelming.  He couldn’t square the circle; he couldn’t go on any more.  He committed suicide on the eve of their first US Tour, just when they were on the verge of making the Big Time.

OK, the TV documentary points out that he was in the middle of a love triangle, and his suicide by drug overdose followed a showdown with his estranged wife.  He had a complicated love life and was battling medical problems – crushing depression and worsening epilepsy.  The impending tour was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the thing that finally pushed him over the edge.  With hindsight we can say that we should have seen it coming – the lyrics of their final album – Closer – can be interpreted as one long suicide note from Curtis – asking over and over again for help.

We heard him, through his music, and were drawn to his battle – a battle against environment, health and emotions.  Wasn’t it like that for all of us?  Trying to come to terms with an angry and increasingly divided society.  Ian Curtis spoke to me.  That’s why I was so captivated when I first saw Joy Division on stage, supporting the Buzzcocks, at the Mountford Hall in Liverpool in 1979.  He was so absorbed in his own performance, it was mesmeric.  He commanded you to watch him, and everyone in the room did.  Punks stood and watched, not sure how to dance to their distinctive music.  ‘She’s Lost Control’ a powerful memory, with Curtis’s strange, twisting butterfly dance, like a man trying to escape from a straight-jacket.

I bought their records and got into their music, fascinated by Ian Curtis’s lyrics – a man of his time, shouting to be heard.  The band had developed what many others had failed to do – their own distinctive rock music style – brooding, northern and compulsive.  I was a member of Eric’s Club where most of the up and coming punk and post-punk bands played.  I went to see Joy Division there and a repeat of their first album set – Unknown Pleasures.  Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the radio.

In early 1980 the younger brother of one my friends called on me with a strange request – would I accompany him on a coach trip to Manchester to see Joy Division at the Factory?  No one would go with him, and he really wanted to see the band.  He was sixteen or seventeen at the time and I was nineteen.  I agreed, and we bought out coach and gig tickets from Probe Records in town.  Boy, was I glad I went on that trip.  April 1980 at the Russel Club (The Factory) in Manchester.  What an amazing set – all their second album stuff, including brilliant versions of Twenty Four Hours and Atrocity Exhibition.  Add to this, Love Will Tear Us Apart, Transmission, Dead Souls and Shadowplay, and you have the set of a maturing rock band, ready to take on the World.  I bought a cassette of the gig on the way out.  This was real.  This was special.

Barely one month later, Curtis was dead, and the band and fans were left devastated, picking through the ruins of what might have been.  I read Paul Morley’s obituary in the NME with a tear in my eye.  It was a personal loss, a bereavement in my wider cultural family.  The band decided to continue, releasing their next scheduled single, ‘Ceremony’ under a new name: New Order.  The ‘b’ side – ‘In a Lonely Place’ is a wonderfully melancholic farewell to their tragic friend.  With this single there was a belligerent sense that life goes on, and the band must play on.  Ian would have wanted it, and they still had plenty to say.

‘Here are the young men, a weight on their shoulders’, sang Curtis.  Young people making their way through life…the challenge is to keep going – don’t give up.  Continue to develop yourself and look for opportunities.  Work is a means to a better life, but stay true to yourself, your beliefs, ethics and cultural identity.  I wish Ian had found the help he needed to continue the fight.  A casualty in the ongoing battle to survive and make sense of it all.  Thanks, Joy Division.  You helped show me the way through the urban jungle to a brighter day.