Who would’ve guessed that eBay could cause so much strife among musicians? First it was Kevin Fennell’s drum kit’s unsuccessful auction that prompted Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard to fire his longtime drummer a day after Fennell had supposedly quit. And now original Joy Division members Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris have reached out to NME to call the attempted sale and subsequent media chatter over Ian Curtis’ kitchen table “distasteful and upsetting.”
“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,” a statement read.
“Deborah and Natalie would like to point out that the sale of this table has nothing whatsoever to do with them,” the statement continued. “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.”
Tel Harrop, a self-proclaimed fan of Joy Division, insists that he has put the table up for auction with the best intentions and has been careful throughout the process not to harp on the fact that the table was set in the room in which Curtis took his life in 1980.
“When I put the listing on I could have said a lot of things but I didn’t want to,” Harrop notes. “I would have bought the table if it had been his lounge table – I just bought it because it was an unusual item.” He added that was was “really unhappy” about the Curtis family’s disapproval.
Harrop will continue to sell the table, along with other pieces of his Joy Division memorabilia collection, in order to raise money for his own musical ambitions. He recently sold actor Sam Riley’s copy of the script for Control, the 2007 Ian Curtis biopic, for £500. The bidding for Curtis’s kitchen table ends today; the highest bid currently stands at £8,100 following 62 bids.