Friday, December 03, 2004

SINGEROBIT: Kevin Coyne, singer-songwriter, has lost his battle with lung fibrosis. He was 60. A talented painter and writer as well as a musician, Coyne was born at the end of the war in Derby. In 1961, he enrolled at Derby College of Art, after which he spent some time working as a drug counsellor in Soho - something which would provide him with a rich store images and tales for his creative careers. His big musical break came with discovery by John Peel and a spell at the DJ's Dandelion label, befire moving on to Virgin in 1973.

In 1981, Coyne had a nervous breakdown - brought on by too much booze and too much work - and as part of the recuperation process relocated to Germany. The country was to become home for the rest of his life. Although growing in reputation as a writer and painter, Coyne continued to make music - including the special project Burning Head (each of which came with an exclusive artwork) and The Adventures of Crazy Frank.

A hook-up with Brendan Croker in 2002 led to the acclaimed Life Is Almost Wonderful and more recently Coyne had established his own llabel, Turpentine Records. Sadly, he'd only had the chance to release one album, Donut City, before the diagnosis of lung fibrosis caught up with him.

Coyne's place in pub trivia was assured in 1971. The Doors, suddenly discovering their tubby singer Jim Morrison had died, approached him and offered him the front man job. Coyne claimed later his reason for turning them down was a dislike of leather trousers.