Where Does The Name “Joy Division” Come From? Was It Chosen By The Band Because Of Nazi Sympathies?

Some People Think That The Names “Joy Division” And “New Order” Were Picked Because The Band Had Some Kind Of Nazi Sympathies. That Is A Misconception.

During the Second World War, Nazi officers stationed at concentration camps used the expression “Joy Division” in reference to the younger women imprisoned there – women that they frequently raped.

Ian Curtis, Stephen Morris, Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner settled for that name because all their fathers had fought in World War II. They just wanted a name that had some kind of connection to that armed conflict, as a way of referencing its true weight and how it had touched the lives of their parents.

The fact that the band rechristened itself “New Order” after Curtis died sometimes makes people think that the band had some kind of Nazi affinity – the concept of “New Order” was actively featured in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. But that is a mistake. There were no Nazy sympathies of any kind at play. As a matter of fact, the band didn’t even pick the name “New Order” themselves. It was chosen by Rob Gretton, the band’s manager at the time after reading an article on a newspaper about Kampuchea and “the new order” of people living there.

Joy Division – General Introduction

Joy Division

There is something about Joy Division that is impossible to apprehend or even hope to comprehend. Is that because they beget a caterwaul of emotions when you listen to them, and these emotions turn to be the ones we want to keep our distance from yet at the same time the ones we want to have as a permanent fixture within our lives?

The band formed in Manchester in the year 1977. Its members were singer and occasional guitar player Ian Curtis, drummer Steven Morris, guitarist Bernard Albrecht and bass player Peter Hook. They were going to release one EP and two full albums, as their career was to be truncated by Curtis’ suicide in late 1979. He suffered from epileptic seizures, but his lyrics made it clear there was so much more going on, that his frail health was the tip a devastating inner conflict. And the real tragedy is that maybe what happened could have been avoided – the band members readily admitted they never paid his lyrics any heed, and after that fateful day whenever they listened to the old songs something always clicked. Continue reading