“We’re in the middle of the Flood” Leonard Cohen On Why He Hasn’t Read Lorca’s Or His Own Biography (1992)

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People have time to sit around reading biographies? Haven’t they heard the bad news? We’re in the middle of the Flood. Well, maybe that’s the appropriate behavior in a flood: Get yourself a corner, slippers, tweed jacket with leather elbows; light the old pipe, and break open the bio and spend a pleasant evening.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

For context, the paragraph preceding this quotation follows:

Lorca’s vision was of “a universe I understood thoroughly,” Cohen says, “and I began to pursue it, to follow it, and to live in it.” But he would not read the poet’s hefty biography published last year. He won’t even read his own, the recently published and scholarly “Prophet of the Heart,” written by Loranne S. Dorman and Clive L. Rawlins.

From Leonard Cohen, Pain Free by Sheldon Teitelbaum. Los Angeles Times: April 05, 1992. Originally posted June 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Here is Leonard Cohen! He is super old. I love him. He was so incredible.” The Kids, Cohen, & Coachella 2009

“We’d played festivals in the past, and I’m not crazy about the setup.”

Leonard Cohen in anticipation of Coachella

In Leonard Cohen’s February 20, 2009 interview with the LA Times, he voiced concern about his April 17, 2009 show at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival:

“We’d played festivals in the past, and I’m not crazy about the setup. You’re on a roster with a whole lot of other people. You don’t have the evening. I like to be in a room with people for three hours, have a beginning, middle and an end. We can’t do our whole set, it’s not our rhythm. But we have heard it’s a special hospitality there. We’ll play our best and look forward to it.”

In addition to the environment and the staging logistics listed by Cohen other potential hazards also loomed ominously.

Cohen would be trapped, for example, between the personification of pop music nostalgia, Paul McCartney, the headliner of the first night who would would be playing the evening’s grand finale, and the multitude of hip and trendy bands who were invited precisely because they were currently surfing on the waves of popularity. And, as can ascertained by the 2009 Coachella poster below, Leonard did not receive top billing.

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Hear Complete Apr 17, 2009 Leonard Cohen Coachella Show

The Apr 17, 2009 Leonard Cohen Coachella Show was special for many reasons. Read about it at “Here is Leonard Cohen! He is super old. I love him. He was so incredible.” The Kids, Cohen, & Coachella 2009.

Other Coachella Posts:

 

Setlist

01 Dance Me To The End Of Love
02 The Future
03 Ain’t No Cure For love
04 Bird On The Wire
05 Everybody Knows
06 Who by Fire
07 First We Take Manhattan
08 Hallelujah
09 I’m your Man
10 Democracy

“What I was after was a significant high, so during the ’50’s and ’60s I tried everything I could get my hands on. But in time I found that this high became more available through other forms of activity…” Leonard Cohen

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What I was after was a significant high, so during the ’50’s and ’60’s I tried everything I could get my hands on. But in time I found that this high became more available through other forms of activity. And the mind that is produced by certain kinds of study, certain kinds of discipline, is so much more finely-attuned to those areas you want to get the news from that, in the end, even using hashish is like treating a pocket watch with a sledgehammer. I wouldn’t go near drugs nowadays. Cigarettes are the only drugs I’m combating now.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“I’ve found there’s a certain emptiness to my songs that allows for a lot of interpretations.” Leonard Cohen On Singing His Songs In Different Ways

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When you’re on the road for a long period of time, you tend to sing songs in different ways. You can bring a certain kind of nobility to a depressed lyric, or you can deliver a very affirmative statement like a lamentation. I’ve found there’s a certain emptiness to my songs that allows for a lot of interpretations.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Conversations from a Room by Tom Chaffin. Canadian Forum: August/September 1983. Photo by Armando Fusco. Originally posted July 28, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric