Hear Leonard Cohen Sing, Recite Poems & Prose, Talk About His Influences, Feminism, Artists Who Cover His Songs, & More – 1974 Pacifica Interview

Leonard Cohen’s December 4, 1974 WBAI interview with Kathleen Kendel is a delight. Leonard was then touring in support of New Skin for the Old Ceremony.

The Leonard Cohen interview as a whole is amazing because of how early it was in his career and how intelligent and compelling the line of questioning was by Kathleen Kendel, but a few things stand out in this interview.

1. 1974 was basically at ground zero in the middle of the second wave of Feminism, and Kathleen Kendel takes the opportunity to engage Leonard Cohen on the possibility of sexism in his song Joan of Arc. The questions stirs Cohen to a thoughtful response.

2. Lenoard Cohen reads from an unpublished manuscript which I had to research to find out what it was by searching one line of poetry that I like which goes…”I won’t accuse you of ruining your absence.” I discovered that it was a poem called The Unclean Start (an early working version that would be changed before printing) and would be contained in a future book of poetry called Death of a Ladys’ Man… and it was published by a boutique publisher in Canada 1978 and in New York and London on Viking/Penguin in 1979.. That means we have Leonard Cohen reading his own poetry from a not yet published manuscript 4 years before publication (5 years before US publication)…!!!

And finally
3. Interviewer Kathleen Kendel prompts Cohen to read an amazing poem Two Went To Sleep from his FIRST book of poetry…!!! Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956)

From KKFI-iLeonard Cohen 1974

DrHGuy Note: A transcript of this interview is accessible at Leonard Cohen-Kathleen Kendel – Pacifica Radio

Leonard Cohen 1974 Pacifica Interview

 

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post taken at 1974 Leonard Cohen Amsterdam Concert by Pete Purnell

One Reply to “Hear Leonard Cohen Sing, Recite Poems & Prose, Talk About His Influences, Feminism, Artists Who Cover His Songs, & More – 1974 Pacifica Interview”

  1. Bev

    thanks Allan,
    It was good to hear the whole interview – I had only heard parts of it before.