Monday, January 24, 2005

This Is Not A Joke *

I was casually reading the February edition of Word magazine today when I came across the shocking news that Kevin Coyne had died. This shock was compounded a short time ago when a search on the internet resulted in me finding out that he died on December 2nd last year. Fuck knows why I didn't come across this news before now, but there you go. By the sounds of things, he had been suffering from very poor health for some time, even to the extent of needing to have oxygen at his side when on stage over the last year or so. I suppose, as the father of 'er indoors was told by the doctor who is treating his cancer, "we all have to go some time" - heartless wanker!
Coyne, for those who don't know, was a brilliant musician, painter and writer. My interest in him rests with his music, with a quite amazing output of work that he produced since the early '60s. One of my older siblings would play his music while the Reidski was growing up in the late '70s, but, at this time I was a musical snob - listening to punk and only punk. My ears were opened up to a more eclectic taste in music in subsequent years, however, and Kevin Coyne much later.
I suppose my interest in his work was reignited (or should that be simply ignited) by a work colleague, who was not only big fan of Coyne's but, through this, a personal friend also. I decided, therefore, to accompany said colleague to The Borderline for what turned out to be a pretty damn good gig. Being a journalist at the time, I also wrote about it and reviewed his next CD Room Full of Fools.
I then went over to Blackheath Concert Halls the next time he was in town, this time he was accompanied by Brendan Croker and they made a great duo, to once again review for the newspaper I wrote for at the time and enjoyed a lovely meal with him afterwards.
Among the stories told, and I'm sure it has been told on countless other occasions,was the rather hilarious one regarding him being offered the job of fronting The Doors less than 24 hours after Jim Morrison died. "I thought they were fucking crap," he told us in recalling why he turned the offer down. Anyway, for a better obit than I can manage, try this one.

These are strange days for the Reidski. To lose one friend in a month is careless, but to lose two, well...........
Before I go on, the Reidski is well innocent in the latest episode, by the way and 'er indoors and partner of new ex-friend are witnesses to that.
And the subject of this falling out? ART! Yes, art, for fuck sake. The Reidski had the temerity to challenge the opinion that fine art, unlike the other arts, are beyond criticis. And, in particular for this not-to-be-criticised form of art are the Chapman brothers - friends of said now ex-friend. Reidski didn't even criticise them - leaving that to 'er indoors - but merely suggested that no-one's work is beyond either positive or negative comment. Art, according to ex-friend, is for "the self" and has no life outside the gallery and therefore cannot be commented upon outside that gallery. Now what the fuck is that all about, I ask you? The words "pure" and "pish" come to mind.
The Reidski, believe it or not, remained very level headed and restrained throughout, while now ex-friend ranted and raved and ended up telling Reidski - and 'er indoors, not incidentally - to leave his house.
It's a funny old world, innit?

All this on the same weekend that I received an e-mail from Darren over at Inveresk Street (see blogroll on left for more on this geezer) saying that the Gang of Four were playing in one of my locals on Friday night. The Reidski was on child-minding duties so couldn't make it anyway. Pity poor young Darren, however, he made the trek across this dry and barren land only to find that it was a guest list only affair!

And, last but certainly not least, was the real big news of the weekend: the boy's team have reached the semi-finals of the cup following a magnificent 3-1 victory against a team who beat them 8-1 last season. The only drawback? They now face Welling, the side whose parents regularly abuse not only their own kids but also their opponents, their opponents' parents and the referees - remember, this is under-12s footie! Methinks Reidski is putting on the boxing gloves for that one.

*Kevin Coyne and Brendan Coker from the Life is Almost Wonderful album.


Blogger Jim said...

There was almost a full page obituary in the Guardian after he died. Read like he was an interesting character. I vaguely remember hearing a bit of his work and not being tremedously impressed, then again I have no idea what it was and I was probably about fourteen or fifteen at the time. I thought Pink Floyd were good then, so who's to say. I must look out for some and give him a posthumous listen.

6:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And talking of The Guardian, there is an amusing review of a Gang of Four gig in today's issue. The image evoked in the last paragraph reminded me of you ...

11:44 am  

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