Friday, August 25, 2006

Kevin Coyne 1944-2004

A double LP I bought many years ago, probably at Brick Lane, released in 1973 on Virgin. I remember Kevin used to be played by John Peel quite a lot and he even recorded for John's Dandelion label. Here's what it says about him on his homepage-

"Kevin Coyne was born in Derby, January 1944 and was educated at Joseph Wright School of Art (1957-1961) then Derby College of Art (1961-1965) where he studied graphics and painting, obtaining the N.D.D. in 1965. Early musical influences were Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and later (at art school), Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed.

Coyne's first job was a social therapist at Whittingham Hospital, Lancashire (1965-1968). In late 1968 he moved to London, starting work for the Soho project as a counsellor for drug addicts in 1969. This work was a source for many of his early songs and remains a major influence today.

In 1973 a youthful and idealistic Coyne signed as a solo artist for Virgin (after a five album spell with Siren on Dandelion Records) proceeding to make eleven L. P. 's over the next eight years. During this period he recorded with the likes of Andy Summers, Zoot Money, Carla Bley (for her album "Silence") and Dagmar Krause. It was a productive time in his career, with tours of Australia, Europe, Canada, the U.S.A. and work in the theatre (the self-composed musicals "Babble" and "England, England"). Life was hectic. Something had to give.

A complete nervous breakdown came in 1981, the main causes being alcoholism and overwork. Virgin records departed to be replaced by Cherry Red, and succession of dark, brooding albums.

1985 was a big year of change. Coyne left London and resettled in Nuremberg, Germany. The move was a good one, resulting in formation of a German group (The Paradise Band), a fresh recording career and a drastic change in life-style. He quit drinking for good in 1987. Ten albums have been recorded in Germany."

Discover more about Kevin Coyne at his homepage HERE

Kevin Coyne - Lonesome Valley

Kevin Coyne - This Is Spain

Kevin Coyne - The Chairman's Ball

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Jon said...

I bought this album on Cd a year or so ago, mainly because I heard john Lydon really rated it. It took me a while to get into it, but I think it's great. It's the only Coyne I've ever heard!

michael said...

It's good that his work has been re-issued. I had no idea this was still available. I would love to hear the Siren albums on Dandelion but I expect they are collectors items now.

Roger Stevens said...

Way back when - before Kevin was very well known - we used to run a folk club in Stourbridge. I think Kevin was a friend of either Bob or Jim - the other two thirds orf our bizarre folk outfit - Rubber Rhino. Anyway - he used to play there quite often.

Hmmm - now I've written it down it doesn't seem that interesting an anectdote does it?

michael said...

I'm always fascinated by your anecdotes Roger! I never knew you'd run a folk club in Stourbridge? What other acts did you book?