Leonard Cohen On The Forbidding Future, His Lack Of Nostalgia, & Advice To Concertgoers – 1993 TV Interview

This interview took place in Barcelona before the May 15, 1993 Leonard Cohen concert at the Palau d’Esports.

Note: The comment about the future being claws with the nail polish flaking off originated with Leonard Cohen’s friend, Irving Layton. See Leonard Cohen on Irving Layton’s notion that culture is “just nail polish on the claws”

Video Interview: Leonard Cohen On Edith Piaf, Dominique Issermann, Israel, Terrorism, Monastery Life, Songwriting … (1988)

Leonard Cohen The Incorrigible Poet

This gem of an interview first appeared online in 2009 but has never received the attention it deserves. The video was translated and uploaded by Thelma Thelma Blitz.  The original description (from YouTube) follows:

1988 interview on French TV with journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, popular newscaster known for his appreciation of literature. Cohen is just on the verge of present “First We Take Manhattan” through a video clip by Dominique Issermann. The interview shift from fantasy terrorists to politics in the Middle East where Leonard tells the TV audience that’s what goes on there is everyone’s problem, not just the Israeli’s or the Jews’ problem. Thanks to Margaret of the Leonard Cohen files for sending me this interview ( maybe she hoped I’d translate and share it) and to Jarkko Arjatsalo , webmaster of the Leonard Cohen files for sending it to her. Also, the philipchek of YouTube and Paris for checking my transcript, adding words I missed , and insuring the accuracy of my translation.

Leonard Cohen The Incorrigible Poet, Part 1

 

Leonard Cohen The Incorrigible Poet, Part 2

Note: Originally posted Aug 21, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Gives Good Interview – The Book: Review Of Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen + Q&A With Editor Jeff Burger

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Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters (Musicians in Their Own Words)

The Basic Points

1. This is a collection of 50+ Leonard Cohen interviews, the earliest of which is a transcript of the 1966 Take 30 CBC TV session with Adrienne Clarkson and the most recent a 2012 piece by Dorian Lynskey for the Guardian (London). Fans are likely to be familiar with many of these but a number were previously unavailable (see Q&A  Question #3 below). The interviews are supplemented with a foreword by Suzanne Vega, a preface, including a brief biography of Cohen, by the editor, Jeff Burger, and introductions to each of the interviews, many of which include comments from the interviewers.  The book also contains eight pages of photos (not included in the galley proof used for this review).

2. As noted repeatedly in posts on this site, Leonard Cohen gives good interview – sometimes in spite of egregiously narcissistic, overtly antagonistic, or embarrassingly incompetent interviewers. He is articulate, gracious, clever, and revealing.

3. If you have any interest in Leonard Cohen, this volume offers not only insights into the Canadian singer-songwriter and his work but also a delightfully entertaining read.

Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen Now Available

Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen has an official release date of April 1, 2014, but on checking this morning I discover that date is apparently an April Fools joke since Amazon lists the book as being in stock, at least in hardcover.

 Jeff Burger

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Note: The following biographic material and the above photo are from byjeffburger.com, a site which also provides more information about Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen and Burger’s other works.

Burger has been a writer and editor for more than four decades and has covered popular music throughout his journalism career. His reviews, essays and reportage on that and many other subjects have appeared in more than 75 magazines, newspapers and books, including Barron’s, The Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, Melody Maker, High Fidelity, Creem, Circus, Reader’s Digest, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, All Music Guide, the Berkeley Barb, The Morton Report and No Depression. He has published interviews with many leading figures from the music world, including Bruce Springsteen, Roger McGuinn, Wolfman Jack, Tom Waits, Foreigner’s Mick Jones, Billy Joel, Tommy James, the Righteous Brothers, Deep Purple’s Tommy Bolin, and members of Steely Dan and the Marshall Tucker Band. He has also interviewed many other public figures, such as Suze Orman, Daymond John, James Carville, Donald Trump, Sir Richard Branson, F. Lee Bailey, Sydney Pollack and Cliff Robertson.

Burger has been editor of several periodicals, including Phoenix magazine in Arizona, and he spent 14 years in senior positions at Medical Economics magazine, the country’s largest business magazine for doctors. A former consulting editor at Time Inc., he currently serves as editor of Business Jet Traveler.

Q&A: Jeff Burger

 1. You are the editor of a collection of interviews with Leonard Cohen. Who are the readers you had in mind when you put together Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen?

Serious fans who want to know more about the man behind the music will likely constitute the primary audience for Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen; I don’t expect that someone with just a passing interest will be likely to spend 600+ pages with his thoughts. But more people are becoming devoted fans every day and for them, this chronologically arranged collection should offer lots of insights and surprises and a chance to examine Cohen’s entire adult life as it unfolds through his own words.

2. How did you choose the specific interviews that comprise the book? Did you have any formal criteria? Do the articles that ended up in the book have any common characteristics?

While I had no formal criteria, I did make an effort to include material from as many years as possible. I also looked for interviews that shed new light; some repetition was inevitable—people tend to repeat stories, jokes and observations—but I tried to include conversations that showed some aspect of Cohen you couldn’t quite find elsewhere. I should add that I had no shortage of material to choose from. I passed on using dozens of Q&As and I was being approached about including interviews even after I’d finished the book.

3. The description of the book on your web site has it that “Approximately 25 percent of the material has not previously been printed anywhere. A few of the print pieces have not previously been published in English and some of the material has not previously been available in any format, including the many reflections and reminiscences that contributors supplied specifically for this project.” I know that previously unavailable content will be of special interest to fans who may have already read many interviews with and articles about Cohen. Can you tell us about this material that is available for the first time in English and, especially, the material that is available for the first time in any format in Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen? Continue Reading →

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Terrorism, Kerouac, Songwriting, Zen, Dylan, Joan Baez, Chelsea Hotel #1 and #2, Jennifer Warnes, & Irving Layton (1993)

Plus Paris Models Recitation, Using Computers To Write & Draw, Origins Of “Way Down Deep” and “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum” In Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen interviewed about The Future
Vin Scelsa’s Idiot’s Delight – June 13, 1993

From the Soundcloud description:

This originally aired live on the Sunday night sojourn of Idiot’s Delight on WXRK (92.3 KROCK) in New York. The first attack on the World Trade Center in late February 1993 was still on everyone’s mind; thoughts and questions about the nature of “the terrorist mentality” were very much in the air. Leonard’s latest album was “The Future.” He was in New York for a concert. His thoughts on the subject were vivid and have proved chillingly prescient over the years. Note : The music played that night has been truncated for this Podcast; same with the commercial breaks. Otherwise this is how it went down. Leonard Cohen was unique … it was a great privilege to spend this time with him.

Notes:

A transcript of this interview is included in Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen, Editor Jeff Burger

Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day: Dance Me To The End Of Love + Interview – Australian TV 1985

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Leonard Cohen Sings, Explains Origins Of Dance Me To The End Of Love

This video offers not only an outstanding performance of Dance Me To The End Of Love but also a six minute interview, which, thanks to the host’s miscues, offers key explanations of the origins of  Dance Me To The End Of Love and the distinction between Suzanne who  feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China and Suzanne who is the mother of Leonard Cohen’s children.

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Cohen1 sets off laughter as he deadpans his way through corrections.

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In response to the host observing that the film clip (from Dominique Issermann’s Dance Me To The End Of Love video) was shot in a “mental hospital,” Cohen points out

No, it was just an ordinary hospital where people get sick and die

And when Mr Walsh notes that Cohen “attracts” emotions like moroseness and sadness, the Canadian singer-songwriter opines

That’s what they say … My friends think I’m a barrel of laughs.

fullbandThe screenshots, including views of Mitch Watkins, who also played in the 2012 Tour, and Anjani Thomas, are a  wonderful bonus.

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Leonard Cohen –  Dance Me To The End Of Love
Mike Walsh Show – Australian TV: 20 May 1985
Video uploaded by a1000kissesdeep

Note: Originally posted Feb 22, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. Note that Mr Cohen sports slicked back hair, a dark suit, plaid shirt, and cowboy boots.  Do not try this at home unless you, like Leonard Cohen, are a professional dapper dresser. []