Last week we reported that a kitchen table once belong to Joy Division singer Ian Curtis (seen above as portrayed by Sam Riley) was up for auction on eBay, which is more than a little creepy considering the selling point is that Curtis hung himself in that very kitchen. Well, the table sold for £8,400, or $13,475.28, and Curtis’ family and former bandmates aren’t too happy about it. Collectively, they issued the following statement to NME as the auction neared its end:
Joy Division original members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris would like to lend their voice of support to Deborah and Natalie Curtis, who have been caused great distress over media reporting of the sale of the table originally owned by the family, and currently being auctioned on eBay. Deborah and Natalie would like to point out that the sale of this table has nothing whatsoever to do with them. The table was sold along with the house in 1980 and Natalie has never signed any authentication document. Furthermore, they consider the sale of a personal family item, and the subsequent media reporting, to be distasteful and upsetting.
NME also printed some responses from Tel Harrop, the guy who sold the table, also from just before the end of the auction:
When I put the listing on I could have said a lot of things but I didn’t want to, you know. I would have bought the table if it had been his lounge table – I just bought it because it was an unusual item. Everyone’s got the records – I‘ve got the table. This band has been my life for years… I went and saw the film and I saw the table was in the kitchen and how close it was to the clothes horse [pulley] above it. I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I felt a bit weird about it. People started reporting that he used it in his suicide, which I believe is not true, and I started thinking, ‘Where is this coming from?’ You realise why a lot of people don’t trust the press… I don’t know what to say,” he says. “I can’t un-exist the table. Reading the headlines that have gone around the world, I’m really unhappy with that, and it’s caused me distress because of the things that have been put out. My picture is on the listing and people have been saying, ‘If I see that guy…’ you know… I can’t turn the table on the table story. I’m upset the way its gone but I didn’t put it on for the money, I just did it for good intentions. I want the sale to end now because it’s all got out of hand. At the end of this it might not even sell – with 10 minutes to go there might be a bunch of retracted bids and I may end up with it.
Tarrop also weirdly blamed his paraphernalia-purchasing obsession with Joy Division for impeding his own music career. There’s more in the NME report.
One thing we can take away from all this is that if love doesn’t tear us apart, kitchen tables will.