The following is an excerpt from an interview with Kevon Coyne:
I've seen it reported that you were considered as a replacement for Jim Morrison in the Doors, right after he died.
The fact of the matter is, it's true really, in the sense that I was...the day after Jim Morrison was dead, I got a call from the manager of Elektra in Europe, at the time a guy called Clive Selwood. [He] asked me, would I come around to the office in London, which was not so far because I was living in London anyway, and talk about this...it was an idea. I have to say I didn't show too much enthusiasm, and nothing more was heard about it. Maybe I should have shown more enthusiasm, maybe I would have got the job, I don't know. But certainly the fact that the early Siren things came out on Elektra [the Doors' label] was a connection. All I know is that nothing more was heard of it after not showing a great deal of interest. Probably [they] thought I was an ungrateful swine or something. But I really didn't fancy it anyway.
So Morrison wasn't even buried yet, and the label was thinking of a possible replacement already?
Such are the machinations of the record industry. Not much sentiment around. What I found astonishing now is this awful band from England called Bush, who are basically a copy of Nirvana to the last degree. Enormously popular in the States, and not only that, the lead singer is going out with, or I suppose is having some sort of relationship with Kurt Cobain's ex-wife. I find it astonishing. No sentiment or taste anywhere, and I think this story I've just related about the Doors is somewhat similar. There wasn't any question of, you know, poor old Jim, let's give him a bit of a rest now. It was like, got to keep the money wheels turning, keep the cash registers going. It was certainly, almost the next day, I would say. It was certainly within a few days. But anyway, as I say, such is the music business.www.richieunterberger.com/coyne.html
Coyne of the Realm
By Brian Baker
City Beat - volume 7, issue 39; Aug. 16-Aug. 22, 2001
In 1971, Coyne was the lead singer for an English blues/folk outfit
called Siren. The band had released a couple of marginally well-
received albums on DJ John Peel's Dandelion Records and had been
picked up for distribution in the US by Elektra Records.
On July 3, 1971, singer/poet/ shaman Jim Morrison, the incendiary
frontman for The Doors, died in a Paris bathtub, his legendary
excesses leading to a fatal heart attack at the Rock & Roll age of
27. Within days of Morrison's death, the surviving Doors made
inquiries as to the possibility of replacing Morrison. It had only
been three months since the release of L.A. Woman, and its enormous
success almost demanded a tour to support it.
Only three singers were considered as possible replacements for
Morrison: None were ever installed, and The Doors made two passable
albums as a trio before finally parting company in 1973. The first
and most probable name of all was The Stooges' Iggy Pop, a known
Rock commodity and an outrageous frontman in his own right. The
second was Howard Werth, who bore a physical resemblance to Morrison
and was fronting a band called Audience at the time. And the third,
and perhaps unlikeliest of all, was Kevin Coyne. If the three shared
any characteristic at all, it was Jac Holtzman, president of Elektra
Records. Both the Stooges and Audience were under contract to
Elektra, and Coyne's Siren was licensed through the label, so the
band may have had a limited pool to draw from. Whatever the
circumstances, Coyne was resolutely against the idea of joining the
Doors in any capacity.
"My manager in London was head of the European Elektra operations,
and he put my name forward," says Coyne from the West Virginia stop
on his current limited U.S. tour. "With the result that one morning
I was asked to come into the office and talk about this idea. I
didn't show any enthusiasm, so it was forgotten. I didn't like The
Doors to be honest. I like them today, but at that particular time I
wasn't impressed. The thought of those leather trousers put me off
as much as anything."
By the time of The Doors offer, Coyne had already lived an
incredibly varied life. Born to a generationally gifted musical
family, Coyne attended art school in the early '60s, which led him
oddly enough to a career in social therapy at a mental hospital. In
1968, he joined Siren and began to pursue his musical career more
seriously, having sporadically moonlighted as a singer/songwriter
throughout the '50s and '60s in local bands. The year after The
Doors opportunity, Coyne split from Siren and left the mental health
profession for a solo music career. His first album, Case History,
featured songs whose inspirations had been grounded in Coyne's
experiences with the mentally ill.