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. []

Video: Leonard Cohen Asked & Answers “Why Was The King Baffled?” – Brooklyn 2012

Somehow it seems fitting that the question “Why was the king baffled?” from the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

was asked of and answered by the song’s composer in Brooklyn as he was leaving the theater Dec 20, 2012, having completed the final concert of the 2012 Tour.

Leonard Cohen Question
Video: Tony Azios

Note: Originally posted Dec 22, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Touring, The Future, Country Music … 1993

David Dye writes about his 1993 interview with Leonard Cohen in World Cafe: Backstage With Leonard Cohen In 1993:

I went alone with a tape recorder. When Cohen arrived, he walked off the bus wearing a band jacket whose lapel had been embroidered with “Field Commander Cohen.” Commander Cohen was gracious as we settled into the reverberant dressing room. (Believe it or not, he thanked me for having the interest to interview him.) I can’t believe I had the chutzpah to call him the “Barry White of folk music.” What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking “deep voice, affinity for string arrangements” — and maybe that people listened while loving. Afterward, it was soundcheck time and I settled in to listen — until Cohen came over and ever-so-kindly explained that sound check was a ritual, a sacred moment for the band. And, uh, I wasn’t in the band. I did not stay for the show that night. But years later, in 2009, I witnessed one of the most moving shows ever at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia — and I feel myself blessed.

Topics covered include

  • The Future album
  • Democracy – Its writing and its scope
  • Closing Time – “Things as we know it are coming to an end”
  • County music – Leonard notes that growing up in Montreal he heard “French versions of country western standards” and that tour buses frequently traveled from Montreal to Nashville
  • Leonard holds that “renewal mechanisms” exist “from the Catholic church to AA”
  • His influence on young musicians
  • Pump Up The Volume
  • Stranger Music anthology

Clips are played from

  • “Democracy” (from The Future)
  • “Closing Time” (from The Future)
  • “The Future” (from The Future)
  • “Everybody Knows” (from I’m Your Man)

Video – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Life On Hydra: Why He Came, How He Met Marianne, Writing Books & Songs There …

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I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.
Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.
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Leonard Cohen

“This was the laboratory of my youth”

In this video, excerpted from the 1988 film Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen, accompanied by his backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, revisits the home in Hydra that he shared with Marianne of So Long Marianne  In addition to a discussion of his life on Hydra, this clip includes performances  of Who By Fire, Bird On The Wire, So Long Marianne, Partisan, and Famous Blue Raincoat.

Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Law – Radio Télévision Suisse 1985

The good news is that this is a video of a rare live performance of The Law by Leonard Cohen. The bad news is that the performance is interrupted by interview segments, either spoken or overdubbed in French. Why did anyone ever think that breaking up a song for a Q&A was a good idea?  (Note; I’ve been informed by Francis Mus, a French-speaking Leonard Cohen authority, that the interview portions offer little new to viewers.)

From the YouTube introduction [via Google Translate]:

Invited to the Midi Public stage in 1985, Leonard Cohen sings “The Law” and talks about his music. The Canadian singer is on a European tour for the release of his latest album “Various Positions”.