Where Are They Now? No 87 : The Lotus Eaters
Peter Coyle and Jeremy Kelly formed The Lotus Eaters in 1982. As part of the explosion of young, fey Liverpool pop bands sporting ludicrous swedes in the early 80s, they achieved huge success with their first hit single ‘The First Picture Of You.’ The song was based on an early photo of Coyle dressed as a red indian taken at Butlins in Pwllheli when he was three years old.
Coyle had found the photo hidden in his nan’s tights drawer and this alerted him to the fact that he was born half Cherokee. On further investigation Peter discovered he had been adopted by his parents after a trip to Montana in the early 60s. In fact his birth certificate names him as Little River Twat and it was only once he moved to the tough Liverpool area of Kirkby in 1973 that Coyle stopped wearing his native American costumes to school.
Jeremy Kelly was the 4th son of a notorious family of reptile dealers who specialised in importing turtles, tortoises and terrapins from Indonesia and selling them to perverts across the Kirkby and Fazakerley area. They met at an illegal boxing bout behind Netherton KwikSave in 1981 and decided to try their hand at the effeminate scouse pop graft popular with many unemployed young Liverpudlians at the time.
Yet a life of crime and daring do was never far behind and after the success of their pop career faded, the lads moved back into their natural habitat; loan sharking and protection rackets. By the late 80s Coyle had moved into the clubbing business and used his reputation as a skilled scalper to make The Lotus Eaters Debt Recovery & Loan Management Agency the most feared operator in Merseyside.
Local drug lords and feared criminals alike were terrified of Coyley and Kelly. One told Swine ‘one time we were sitting on this shipment of beak in a pizza factory in Huyton for one of the biggest dealers in Liverpool.We were armed with Uzis and AK47s and grenades, the lot but someone, I think it was Dave Balfe from Teardrop, tipped us off that The Lotus Eaters were on their way round to tax the gear and we all just ran for our lives lad. Swear down kidda, even Mad Franny O’Machete gave it toes and left the gear for Pete and Jem. That’s how much they were feared.”
Such incidents cemented their rep during the 90s to such a degree that Serbian war lord, Arkan even asked The Lotus Boys to protect a huge arms deal he had set up with the Russian mafia, the Camorra and Davey Liver cabs. Yet even Arkan, fearing for his life, broke down in front of Coyley and wept like a baby according to leading Serbian gangsters present at the ‘meet.’
A source told Swine “One look at Coyley’s death like stare from beneath his girly fringe and Arkan just handed him $4 million and left the scene in a bomb proof helicopter, not even staying to pick up the guns. It was the easiest dough the Lotus Eaters ever made.”
However, their reign of terror couldn’t continue for ever and in 2004, a special unit of the Met with help from Mi5 and the CIA known as ‘Lotus Unit XXX Top Secret’ were determined to bring Peter and Jem to book. One police insider admitted even hardened undercover agents were petrified of being discovered and tortured with red hot rodents for days on end which was always Peter’s favourite method of extracting information with suspected informers.
“I’ve seen secret footage of the lads in action, they go to town on this Turkish heroin dealer and his gang for hours with a shoe box filled with jerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs, it’s appalling, truly horiffic what they put those boys through. I mean no-one likes smack dealers but nobody deserves to be put through what The Lotus Eaters subjected those poor bastards to. I had to leave the force after that, I had a breakdown and still receive counselling. It’s Ok for The Lotus Eaters, they can go back to wittering wimpy ballads for sentimental baldies from Bootle when they get out but I’ve seen the oher side of em. The real nasty, brutal side of these two boys who look like butter wouldn’t melt.”
Coyle and Kelly were eventually tracked down to a bedsit in Norris Green where The Matrix, SWAT and SAS units surrounded the building. After a long seige and delicate negotiations by Ban Ki Moon and Stan Boardman, the lads gave themselves up and surrendered their huge arms stash, said to be only second to the IRA’s in terms of fire power.
Currently Coyle is on hunger strike at HMP Armley after leading a five day riot over lumpy mash servings. Known on the wings as Mad Pete, Coyle has killed three prisoners whilst serving a 22 year sentence and is thought to be planning the biggest break out in prison hhistory with Taliban militants with whom he forged a lasting friendship during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan.
Jeremy Kelly meanwhile turned super grass and after serving only six months of a life sentence lived under an assumed name somewhere in Prescot but couldn’t resist whistling ‘The First Picture of You’ at bus stops and in local quid shops alerting some locals to his true identity. Police placed him in protective custody after a hit squad was formed from various members of The Wild Swans and The Yachts who harboured long held grudges againt both Kelly and Coyle. Apparantly distraught by his solitary confinement Kelly now believes himself to be ‘the drummer out of The Pale Fountains’ and denies ever knowing Peter Coyle or Arkan although he is said to recognise his dear old mum when she visits him every Good Friday after mass. His mum died in 1987.