I didn’t think that having an MRI would change my life, but it did. I found something inside that tube. Something special.
Going for a scan is a bit like being printed out. Printing is noisy business, and this is no different. It turns out that electric magnets make a lot of noise.
And it sounds like Joy Division.
I’ve never really been a huge fan of Joy Division. I liked them enough, but, like, y’know, whatever, y’know?
I had recently realised that my cassette player works. I spent a great weekend with a migraine listening to The Best of Morrissey, but I needed more. You can always trust the Mancunians to churn out some good misery music – it’s because it rains all the time, you see. Also, when you go to stay in a hotel in Manchester the term “en-suite” means that the toilet is in the room.
So I put on my Joy Division tape. It was kind of great. Not all the way great, but kind of great. I especially enjoyed the earlier singles. Most people don’t know them. Ahem.
It was nice, but it was enough. Then I went into the tube.
The magnets changed me, man.
Now I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night in a suit, drinking mail-order coffee and listening to Closer. It’s just the way I wanted my life to turn out when I was 16.
It’s hard not to hear death in Joy Division. Ian Curtis always sang like he was already dead and by the time Closer came out, he was. It’s easy to think about what could have been, but in some ways this does a disservice to what was. Strip away the strange cloud of mourning that hangs over Joy Division and you’ve got a pretty great band under it all.
What I’m saying is: appreciate the dude and his talent, don’t romanticise his illness.
Oh yes, Closer. What a great record, and proof that even if when you start none of you can play your instruments and you’ve got no money, in four years you might just go on to define your genre. Fuck the Sex Pistols, this is the real punk.