Joy Division cancelled US / Canada tour 1980
Little is known about the venues that Joy Division intended to play on their US tour and the following list is subject to ongoing speculation and amendments. We do now have information from Rob Gretton's notebooks as some pages have been published on the MDMA web site, but we have to bear in mind these may not have been his final notes, and may have reflected ideas and aspirations rather than concrete arrangements.
In addition, we know that Hurrah's and Tuts were planned, and we know that New Order played at some of the same venues when they got out to the States in September.
Nick Blakey has compiled the following itinerary by drawing together all this information and talking to people who were involved in the US gig circuit back in the day,
If you have any further information please email Nick
19th May 1980 Joy Division arrive in the US
Source: Rob Gretton's notebooks
Source: Rob Gretton's notebooks. We believe this was to be officially the first venue on the tour.
Wed 21 The Mutants
Support act info from the "Goings On About Town" section of the New Yorker dated 26 May 1980
On one of these nights the dB's filled in for Joy Division - as this extract from their web site shows:
Merrill Aldighieri tells us her film
"LOVE AMONG THE MUTANTS" was intended to be the "opening act"
for Joy Division on one of the nights:.
24th May 1980 Joy Division travel to Toronto
According to Rob Gretton's notebooks Joy Division were due to travel on this day. However these notes may not have represented the final plan.
The Edge nightclub, at the corner of Church & Gerrard in Toronto was run by the two Garys: who brought Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads, New Order, The Police, The Smiths, and most of the cutting edge acts from 1977 thru the 1980's. Tickets were on sale at the time, Ian died one week to the day before he would play here.
Here's what Gary Topp (one of the two Garys) told our invetigator Paul Boyd: "I can't tell you the exact date.... but they were scheduled to play on a Sunday nite, tix were on sale. they cancelled their tour due to his death a week prior".
This puts the date firmly at 25th May, which is confirmed by the ticket and the advert in the Toronto Star Saturday May 18th 1980, see right..
"The tiny ad in the Toronto Star of
Saturday, May 17, 1980 promoted the first local appearance
the following weekend of a band "from England": Joy
Accrding to Rob Gretton's notes at the time there was a possibility this gig would be cancelled - in which case Joy Division would play Madison on the 28th May.
The promoter, or rather one of the co-promotors, Wax Trax, was a Chicago record shop that specialised in Factory records imports. They even had a specially made Joy Division neon sign behind the counter. They had tickets printed in a variety of colours.
Thanks to Steve for the green ticket scans
At one stage this date was a contingency if Detroit (26th May) was cancelled. However one Merlyn's regular remembers the gig being cancelled on this forum. Merlyn's was the pre-eminent punk club of the time and was made up to look like a cave with brown stucco, stalactites hanging from the ceiling.
With Husker Du and Fine Art - according to Rob Gretton's
notes and the venue's flyer respectively
Tabletop schedule tent card courtesy Daniel Grobani and reproduced here with permission
While the flyer notes Fine Art as the opener, Kim Moline an employee of Duffy's at the time, says that Husker Du were also scheduled to play:
"They were suppose to
play at Duffy's 29 May, 1980 with Husker Du ...
tour dates were cancelled due to Ian Curtis's
suicide on the 18th of May. Curtis, suffered from
epilepsy and depression, committed suicide on the
eve of Joy Division's first North American tour,
resulting in the band's dissolution and the
subsequent formation of New Order. Duffy's was
suppose to be the 8th date on the tour."
30th - 31st May 1980 Joy Division travel to New York
According to Rob Gretton's notebooks Joy Division were due to travel on these days.
According to 'Dance Of Days: Two decades of Punk in the
Nation's Capital' by Mark Andersen & Mark Jenkins (pages
59/60) Joy Division were supposed to inaugurate the 9:30 club
which had previously been known as "The Atlantis"
This date has been confirmed by Hilary Jaeger who booked the club (which was sometimes called TR3)
New Order finally played here 27th September 1980 with A Certain Ratio.
Peter Hook's "Unknown Pleasures ..." book page 275 features a photo of a schedule (but unlikely to be the final version) showing Pop Front, New York. Pop Front was the name of the festival / event to be held at Tier 3
According to contemporary music papers
a Joy Division gig slated for the Machinist's Hall,
Manhatten, NYC on this date was cancelled. It appears that
2nd June 1980 Joy Division travel to San Francisco
According to Rob Gretton's notes
Rob Gretton's notes refer to a possible gig in San Francisco on one of these days.
Jim Manniello in SF stated he clearly remembers the gig was to have been at the American Indian Center, although he was unclear on the date.
Jello Biafra states this was to be two dates - (most likely 3rd and 4th June) with Dead Kennedys opening one show and The Mutants opening the other.
Peter Hook's "Unknown Pleasures ..." book page 275 features a photo of a schedule (but unlikely to be the final version) showing the dates as 6th and 7th June
5th June 1980 Joy Division travel to LA
According to Rob Gretton's notes they were either to travel to LA - or play Madame Wong's on this date. As Madame Wong's is planned for the 7th June we assume this was to be a travel day.
Rob Gretton's notebooks list this as a veue
Or could have been a day off if they had played Madame Wong's on 5th June
copyright Theresa K / Punk truns30.com
Peter Hook's "Unknown Pleasures ..." book page 275 features a photo of a schedule (but unlikely to be the final version) showing this unlikely venue
9th June 1980 The Starwood, Northwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Crescent Heights Ave - Los Angeles
Image thanks to Steve Eastwood
No tickets exist as people had to return them to get refunds
The Starwood closed in 1982 see Starwood for details
10th June 1980 Return to the UK
According to Rob Gretton's notes
The following gigs seem to have been planned but do not appear in Rob Gretton's notes ...
New Order finally played here 20th September 1980
Bogart's has a capacity of 1200, making it a much larger venue than any of the others planned for this tour
With Mission Of Burma
Rob Gretton's notes indicate the possibility of a Joy Division gig in Boston on May 30-31, 1980 and local memories suggest that it was to be The Underground with Mission of Burma supporting, but listings taken from local paper The Boston Phoenix and no further mention in Rob's notes show that the gig was never finalised.
Incidentally: Joy Division's tour mates OMD played The Underground on June 1st 1980
Thanks to Mike Miliard of The Boston Phoenix newspaper for supplying us with information about Underground gigs at that time
Joy Division was booked to play in San Diego by Renee Edgington of Shark Productions, probably at the North Park Lions Club Hall. In the movie, Control, you can see San Diego in the itinerary. Would have had to have been at the time of the LA gigs.