New Leonard Cohen Videos: Suzanne & I’m Your Man – Vancouver 2010

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vacIf you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you
If you want a partner, take my hand, or
If you want to strike me down in anger
Here I stand
I’m your man

These quality videos were uploaded only yesterday.

Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
Vancouver: December 2, 2010
Video by Marie Noonan

Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
Vancouver: December 2, 2010
Video by Marie Noonan

Photos: A Very Young Leonard Cohen, Sister Esther, & A Monkey (But No Plywood Violin)

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monkeyAnd I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin

First We Take Manhattan
By Leonard Cohen

Thanks to Maarten Massa for access to these images. And no, I don’t know the identity of the dark-haired girl in the shot atop this post. Originally posted Sept 13, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Searching For The Best Online Video Of The Partisan By Leonard Cohen: Brussels 2013

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partcompOh, the wind, the wind is blowing
Through the graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we’ll come from the shadows

In 2009, I posted Best Video Performance Of The Partisan by Leonard Cohen, naming  the recording of that song from the 1988 Reykjavik show as my favorite. That video and, indeed, all the performance and interview videos from that concert have, however, been removed from YouTube (Update: An audio-only recording of the entire Reykjavik is now available on YouTube). Today’s post offers one in a series of candidates for Best Online Video Of The Partisan Performed By Leonard Cohen.

This is a composite video, submitted by it’s author.  This excerpt is from the YouTube blurb: On the 30th of June 2013 Leonard Cohen played ‘The Partisan’ in Vorst Nationaal, Brussels. This moment was caught on camera by four youtubers: Albertnoonan, Wirebirds, MadLennyfan and Gianluca Epirotti. I made a music video using the videos they shot.

Leonard Cohen – The Partisan
Brussels: June 30, 2013
Video composite by A Lazy Bastard In A Suit (ALBIAS)

Leonard Cohen on his “depression so bleak and anguished”

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My depression, so bleak and anguished, was just crucial, and I couldn’t shake it; it wouldn’t go away. I didn’t know what it was. I was ashamed of it, because it would be there even when things were good, and I would be saying to myself, ‘Really, what have you got to complain about?’ But for people who suffer from acute clinical depression, it is quite irrelevant what the circumstances of your life are.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From A Happy Man by Mireille Silcott, Saturday Night, Canada. September 15, 2001

A summary of Leonard Cohen’s depression, its treatment, and its disappearance is available at Leonard Cohen’s Depression, Its (Failed) Medical Treatment, & Its Resolution

All posts dealing with Leonard Cohen’s depression can be accessed at

 

1997 Video Interview: Leonard Cohen On Zen, Depression, Women, Children, Headhunters, Loneliness, & Tennis

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Great Content, Poor Video, & Valerie Pringle

This 1997 CTV interview with Leonard Cohen is much debated among fans, many of whom argue that the interviewer, Valerie Pringle, a well known personalty in Canadian TV broadcasting, is ill informed about Cohen while others describe her as malignantly disrespectful and only secondarily ill informed. A few others feel she is only a reporter doing her job.

From my perspective, she is fairly aggressive but seems less interested in attacking Cohen than in trying hard to find an angle to exploit for her story.

There is also a striking difference in the language she uses when reading from a prepared script (e.g., during the introduction) and that used when she is off-script (e.g., following up on Cohen’s response to a question).

For example, in the lead-in to the questioning, she notes that “[Cohen’s] songs are rich with metaphor and melancholy” and ” … themes of love, death, and salvation have made him an anomaly in the world of light pop music.”  Her questions are more abrupt: “Tell me about women.”

And, she does seem to have slacked off on her homework for the interview, confusing, for example, the Suzanne who is the mother of Cohen’s children (Suzanne Elrod) with the Suzanne who was the inspiration for the song of that name (Suzanne Vaillancourt). While a common and understandable mistake, it seems a significant error for someone with a reputation as a professional interviewer to make in a scheduled program featuring a well known national figure whose biographical material is easily accessible.

And, her attempt to perpetuate the myth that the elimination of an artist’s depression will also eliminate his creativity is just embarrassing.

In any case, Leonard Cohen, as he has done routinely since he was an up and coming young poet, covers the material he wishes, regardless of the questions asked.

He does, however, appear ill at ease on occasion. My reading of that discomfort is that Cohen is less concerned that the interviewer is asking deeply probing, difficult questions than that she is a loose cannon.

Update: Gordana Stupar has located  superior version of this video at CTV News Video Network

Note: Originally posted Sept 5, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen explains how he maintained his purity when other folk singers “went for the money”

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In the late ’60s you were in a community of folk singers who played together, sang each other’s songs – And everybody went for the money. Everybody. The thing died very, very quickly; the merchants took over. Nobody resisted. My purity is based on the fact that nobody offered me much money.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Originally posted August 10, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen’s Lover, Lover, Lover Performed In Hebrew

 

Indie musician Shai Tsabari released a new rendition this week of Leonard Cohen’s 1974 song “Lover, Lover, Lover.” Shlomi Shaban is responsible for the Hebrew version of the song.

In this rendition of the song that Cohen wrote during the Yom Kippur War, the final lines are, literally: “And may the spirit of this song / waft in pure freedom / May it be a shield for you / against the enemy and the cold.” In rock pianist Shlomi Shaban’s translation into Hebrew, the lines rhyme.

From This Version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Lover, Lover, Lover’ Is Not Something You Hear Often (Haaretz: Feb 19, 2017)

Thanks to Batia Gilad, who alerted me to this video and to Jugurtha Harchaoui, who alerted me to the Haaretz article.