Sonidos del cementerio: Ian Curtis y Joy Division

Ian Curtis y Joy Division, por Alejandro Romero

Ahorcado por amor al arte, dicen. ¿Hacen falta más motivos? Veamos: una conciencia atormentada. La amenaza de una condición clínica, su epilepsia, que iba de mal en peor. Incluso, aventuran algunos, el miedo a volar: en cuestión de días comenzaba la gira americana de Joy Division y a Ian Curtis, frontman e ideólogo del grupo, le daban pavor los aviones.

Se colgó en la cocina de su casa, usando la cuerda del tendedero de ropa. O habría que decir, tal vez, en la cocina de la casa de su ex-mujer, Deborah Curtis, porque Ian llevaba bastante tiempo dando tumbos de aquí a allá, alojándose en casas de amigos y colaboradores, mientras mantenía una relación turbulenta con Annik Honoré, diplomática belga y consorte oficial del cantante a efectos prácticos.

Todavía hoy siguen apareciendo nuevas grabaciones, pedacitos borrosos y a menudo toscos de la obra de Ian Curtis. ¿Acaso dejó dicha, en algún verso improvisado de un oscuro concierto, la clave de su sufrimiento? De los dos únicos LPs que grabó con Joy Division, sólo vio publicado el primero, “Unknown Pleasures” (mayo de 1979). En julio de 1980, cuando se lanzó “Closer”, Ian Curtis era ya cadáver antiguo. Con todo, se preocupó de dejar lista su obra póstuma hasta el último detalle, empezando por la portada adecuadamente fúnebre. Una pieza maestra, el disco favorito, y no es broma, de George Michael. El suicido era la guinda del pastel.

Su viuda tardó quince años en dar su versión de los hechos. En 1995 salió a la calle la biografía “Touching from a distance”. Cuando era más mito que nunca, con un cómic de culto, “El Cuervo”, dedicado a su memoria cual mártir de una lucha inarticulada contra la injusticia existencial, descubrimos a un Ian Curtis más torturador que torturado. Celoso patológico y, por supuesto, infiel. Despectivo con su esposa, servil con su amante. Embustero nato, capaz de vivir realidades paralelas y de transitar entre ellas con engañosa desenvoltura.

A este hombre le dedicó James O’Barr “El Cuervo”, la historia de un vengador de ultratumba que regresa de entre los muertos para vengar el asesinato de su amada. Otro clásico del romanticismo desquiciado, Jacques Brel, escribió un “Ne me quitte pas” que era ruego febril a una desdeñosa amante parisina. Entre tanto, su mujer y sus hijos vivían en Bélgica y eran obsequiados con muy esporádicas visitas del enamorado ardoroso, que aprovechaba para dar rienda suelta a su vena tiránica.

Ah, el amor.

Ian Curtis, el hombre que escribió canciones sobre niños con síndrome de Down y epilépticas. El autor de “Love will tear us apart” y “Heart and soul”. El cantante que bautizó a su grupo, Joy Division, con el nombre que daban en los campos de concentración nazis a los barracones de mujeres forzadas a prostituirse. Abandonó a su esposa con una niña recién nacida cuando la música empezaba a darle fama y dinero. Pero antes del salto definitivo, la noche del sábado 17 de mayo de 1980, volvió a casa y se ahorcó en la solitaria madrugada.

Si acaso encontró la paz, no ha quedado constancia de ello.

(Pulsa en las imágenes para ampliarlas)

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