Joy Division Singer Ian Curtis' Iconic Vox Phantom Guitar Fetches $276,480 at Auction
The late frontman famously played the instrument in the band's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" video
Published Oct 13, 2020Ian Curtis' iconic Joy Division guitar from "Love Will Tear Us Apart" has been sold for an impressively pretty penny. The Vox Phantom guitar has just fetched £162,562 — about $276,480 CAD — at auction today.
The guitar was auctioned off in the Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Sale, and it was initially expected to sell for between $144,500 and $184,000.
In addition to Curtis playing the instrument in the band's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" music video, he brought it on Joy Division's 1980 European tour, as well as used it for the recording of the band's Closer song "Heart and Soul."
Following Curtis' death in 1980, the guitar was passed on to Joy Division bandmate Bernard Sumner, who eventually gave the Vox Phantom to Johnny Marr after the pair formed their Electronic project.
Eventually, though, the guitar made its way to Ian Curtis' daughter, Natalie. Alongside the sale, she wrote the following:
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.
You can learn much more about the instrument at the auction listing here.