The Vox Phantom VI Special guitar that Ian Curtis played in the video to “Love Will Tear Us Apart” is up for auction at Bonhams, where it is expected to fetch £60-80,000.
Curtis also played the guitar on “Heart And Soul” and on Joy Division’s 1980 European Tour. After Curtis’s death, it was used by Bernard Sumner (on New Order’s “Everything’s Gone Green”) and by Johnny Marr in Electronic, before being passed back to Curtis’s daughter Natalie in 2002.
In an interview for Pat Graham’s book Instrument, Sumner says, “Ian really liked this guitar. The Phantom had tons of effects built into it, as an added bonus… The guitar has a battery in it, and if you press the buttons in the wrong combination it will go into self-oscillate mode and start to make this strange twittering sound that Ian liked very much. It is a pretty wacky guitar. It sounded like some of the thinner guitars on Velvet Underground tracks, clean and jangly.”
Read more about the guitar – and bid! – here.