There was always tension in this group of self-declared Punks and Post-Punks hanging around behind school, in the corridor between the main building and some temporary classrooms. These kids, his mates, playing cool, exchanging the latest in music and fashion, smoking first cigarettes, getting ripped off in the pursuit of weed and, above all, circling around the opposite sex in the hope of getting extracurricular action. All posers, he concluded, posers and wannabees. No one was into Joy Division like him. Joy Division and The Clash. All other bands were like his mates; second rate and boringly transparent in their true intentions.
Joy Division was the real deal. Still, Ian Curtis was not his hero. The whole idea of suicide was too upsetting, it wasn’t remotely appealing, not even in the true spirit of 19th century Romanticism. The fucker should have decided otherwise, and make more great music. Now there was New order. He liked them too, but apart from the first album and some early singles they just didn’t connect on the same personal, almost intimate level. Only in Joy Division he could lose himself completely, their songs seemed to be created for him, with exactly his thoughts and feelings in mind.
His so-called mates never really understood. Not beyond rather obvious songs like ‘Love will tear us apart’. What the fuck! How much love did they experience so far to take that song so seriously? Like The Cure’s ‘A Forest’ it provided an easy and rather poppy entry point, but never got even close to the endless despair and isolation of songs like ‘I remember nothing’ or ‘Atmosphere’. A mild and rather fashionable melancholy was all they had, even the guy who burned himself with cigarettes. Pathetic. Harmless.
In the mist of these solitary ruminations she suddenly appeared, the classmate so far ignored, too posh to be alternative, too neatly dressed to fit in. A misfit in her own right; doubled a class, implicitly rejecting all plans carefully laid out for her. She appeared, aimed straight at him and started talking about Killing Joke, more in particular the similarities between Killing Joke and Joy Division. Obviously he disagreed, Joy Division were the real deal, Killing Joke were more of a…joke (many years later he would say exactly the same about the difference between Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein).
It was the only thing they talked about. She kept coming back, day after day, to inhale more depressed observations and more of that stubborn single-mindedness only boys possess. He liked her company, but in a strange inversion of reality she seemed to be more into him than the other way around. He loved to watch her smoke, lighting up Dunhill cigarettes as greedily as she was explaining her latest observation in the universe of depressing music. He never figured if she was really into Killing Joke or only used it as a pretense to talk to him. He never figured if she was really into him. Never got the chance. Long before he found the courage, she was already gone, taken to another school by her parents, leaving an inexplicable void.Tweet