In October 2020, a Vox Phantom guitar, previously owned by Joy Division singer Ian Curtis was auctioned and won by us, long term fans of the band.​ We hope to be good custodians of something that represents a tangible connection to a band that means so much to many of us.
  Our aim is to ensure the guitar is preserved and made accessible to all fans, present and future. ​ We created this small site to enable museums, galleries, exhibitions and anyone else to contact us to organise short or long term loans for public display. 

Ian Curtis is considered by many as a British cultural icon who had a once-in-a-generation talent. His musical legacy, even 40 years on, is as strong as ever. Despite a short career, Ian Curtis' enigmatic presence as the lead singer of Joy Division was instrumental in the band becoming pioneers of the post-punk movement, with their debut album Unknown Pleasures, released by Factory Records in 1979. Now regarded as one of the best albums of all time, Unknown Pleasures defined not only the city of Manchester, but a moment of social change. Through his complex and melancholic song-writing, distinct vocals, and commanding stage presence, Ian Curtis left a lasting influence on musicians and the British cultural landscape as a whole.
Used by Ian on stage during the band's 1980 European tour, as well as on the recording of their track 'Heart and Soul', the Vox Phantom features in some of the most distinctive and recognisable images of the band taken by the photographer Anton Corbijn.
In the Autumn edition of Bonhams Magazine, Jon Savage writes: "The Phantom was intricately involved with Joy Division's best-known song from the very beginning. In the early footage of Ian Curtis with the white instrument, he holds it like an unwanted encumbrance: the heavy guitar restricting his body movement, preventing him from letting go."
Three weeks after the shoot for 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', Ian Curtis sadly committed suicide at his home in Macclesfield, on the eve of the band setting off on their first American tour. He was just 23 years old. Following Ian's untimely death, the band released the music video, shortly followed by their second album Closer – making this year the 40th anniversary of not only the band's last album, but also of Ian's passing.
The guitar passed to Bernard Sumner, who used it in the early years of New Order – as well as with the group Electronic, which he formed in 1988 with Johnny Marr of The Smiths. The guitar was left in the possession of Marr, who after nearly 15 years, returned it to Sumner. Sumner then gave the Phantom to Ian Curtis' daughter, Natalie. It has remained in her possession ever since.
'The guitar came to me at a time in my life when I was keen to learn more about my late father. I'm not at all musical, yet it is fascinating to see my father's guitar, I mean, it's such a personal thing. Since I'm a visual person, the Phantom is especially interesting to me, as the design is rather unusual. I grew up around and have worked with musicians, and although I've seen a lot of guitars, I've never seen anything like this. From everything I've been told about my father, he was very obsessed with how things looked, and so to me the Phantom makes sense as it very much feels like Ian Curtis's guitar. It's obviously super cool, regardless of its previous owner, and it sounds great, and even though I wouldn't know what the hell to do with them, the geek in me loves all the built-in effects. If I had any kind of aptitude, it's the sort of guitar I'd want for myself! As I didn't know my father, it's quite special to gain this further insight and to discover that our tastes align.'  Natalie Curtis, 2020.
Text credit: bonhams
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