Hadar Goldman decided to get involved after Joy Division fans failed to raise enough money to buy the building. The entrepreneur and musician ended up paying £75,000 compensation to a previous buyer, on top of the £125,000 asking price, in order to secure the house.
“But it was not only to help,” Goldman told the Guardian. “It was also, I imagine, for my personal ego. Some people would pay for a Rembrandt painting; for me, Joy Division is the modern Rembrandt.”
The house has a “raw energy” that Goldman says he wants to harness with the opening of a museum and “digital hub” to support musicians and other artists. Former Joy Division member Peter Hook supports the idea, but bandmate Bernard Sumner has expressed concern that the house, where Curtis killed himself in 1980, could become a “monument to suicide”.
Goldman disagrees: “Years pass. We are left with great art, great music. And super-positive energy. There is nothing spooky about it. I would like to take it to a place where it is like a little sun [for] energy projection.”
To that end, he also plans to open the kitchen where Curtis hanged himself to the public. “Of course! You create demand by forbidding stuff,” he says, adding that he has visited the house and “what happened there in the kitchen… it’s not there, you could not have felt it.”
Goldman also plans to invite young architects from the University of Manchester to take over the house’s design work, reflecting Joy Division’s forward-thinking insticts. “Today we call it ‘to think outside of the box’,” says Goldman. “I think Ian Curtis was everything but the box! I don’t think that he had ever met or seen the box!”
Earlier this year, Joy Division’s entire catalogue was reissued on vinyl to mark the 35th anniversary of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.