Watch Leonard Cohen’s 1993 MTV Interview On Democracy, Society, Songwriting, Poetry, & Miami Vice

mtvvidLennard Torbijn calls our attention to this June 14, 1993 MTV interview with Leonard Cohen that is new to me. The 28 minute video includes the following index:

0:07 Reaction to Leonard Cohen’s fan record
1:22 Do you think the music industry really underestimates the intelligence of your audience
2:40 Do you think there is any kind of change happening in the music industry
3:12 Leonard gives his thoughts on changes during the 70s and 80s
4:07 Do people like to think they are being experimental or revolutionary from time to time
4:45 what seems experimental in the 60s may be the norm in the 80s
5:08 what were your musical aspirations when you left Greece and came back here and move to Nashville
5:55 what that your reason for switching gears to a non-musical poet novelist?
6:34 what was your reason for going to Greece?
7:30 Leonard talks about his album, ‘The Future’ – is it about Nostradamus
9:00 Leonard explains how music makes his lyrics less dismal
9:55 Spirituality and Male/Female Relationships in Leonard Cohen’s songs
11:03 How do you relationships now affect your album ‘The Future’
11:44 Leonard explains ‘Closing Time’
12:30 Leonard Cohen hopes for his songs to live for a long time
13:30 Leonard gives his insights to his lyrics
14:15 Do you worry giving your meaning of a song possibly take away the meaning of the song to someone else?
15:15 Leonard goes deeper in to the meaning behind the lyrics for ‘Closing Time’
18:55 Everyone has to pitch in to make changes in the world and help each other out
19:54 Leonard provides a lot of input to his music videos
20:33 Do you always have some kind of concept that you want to do for the video?
20:53 Leonard talks his acting career
22:33 Leonard talks about his song ‘Democracy’
24:24 Do you think people love it and treasure it? [in regards to Leonard’s song ‘Democracy’]
25:58 Leonard talks about how he started as a guitar player but utilized keyboard mostly on his latest album
27:46 Leonard talks about his tour

In this full interview, Leonard Cohen discusses his theories on life, acting, democracy in the United States and the future.


Credit Due Department: Thanks to Erik van Bemmelen, who alerted Lennard Torbijn to this video.

Sublime Submissions: The Webb Sisters Answer For Themselves


Webb Sisters (Charlie on left; Hattie on right) at Royal Albert Hall

The Webb Sisters Have A History Here

The Webb Sisters made their first ( was the predecessor of Cohencentric) appearance at the closing of the Pre-Sublime Era in 2008 in Changes In Leonard Cohen Tour Backup Musicians Create Problem, earning the following comment:

It has been said, perhaps apocryphally, that Leonard Cohen vowed not to use young, good-looking backups on this tour because it would make him appear the old letch.

Well, if the idea was to avoid hiring good-looking backups, it looks to me as though, to revert to business jargon, someone has screwed up big time.

Since that auspicious debut, Charley and Hattie Webb have shown up in Heck Of A Guy posts for a variety of reasons:


Leonard Cohen & Webb Sisters – If It Be Your Will
Hamilton: May 19, 2009

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Hear 1985 Interview: Leonard Cohen Gives Occupation As “Sinner,”Talks About Songwriting, Cantor’s Singing, Aging, Wine … Performs Night Comes On & In The Eyes Of Men


Leonard Cohen Interview: April 28, 1985
Mixed Bag with Pete Fornatale (WNEW-FM, NYC)

Part 1 – Selected Contents

  • Leonard Cohen’s persona as a stranger.
  • Leonard Cohen on Songwriting: “I never operated from a very deluxe position. I never thought of myself standing in front of a buffet table, choosing between the caviar or the herring. I feel more like a rat in the bottom of the barrel, trying to sink his teeth into something, and whatever yields, that I follow.”
  • The early influence of a Cantor in synagogue listing ways to sin and die
  • Leonard Cohen on wine: “The red wine has been good to us”
  • Asked to name his occupation, Leonard Cohen replies “sinner”

Part 2

  • In-studio acoustic performance of Night Comes On by Leonard Cohen and “three-fifths” of his band

Part 3 – Selected Contents

  • Discussion of Cohen’s “Marita Please find me I am almost 30″ and the graffiti he found in the CBC men’s room: “Marita Please find me I am almost 50″
  • Irving Layton’s take on aging: “The inescapable lousiness of growing old”
  • Book of Mercy written with author’s “back against the wall”
  • Leonard Cohen on artistic skills: “If the gift is there, it reveals itself very early”
  • Recitation: In The Eyes Of Men

In the eyes of men he falls, and in his own eyes too. He falls
from his high place, he trips on his achievement. He falls to you,
he falls to know you. It is sad, they say. See his disgrace, say the
ones at his heel. But he falls radiantly toward the light to which he
falls. They cannot see who lifts him as he falls, or how his falling
changes, and he himself bewildered till his heart cries out to bless
the one who holds him in his falling. And in his fall he hears his
heart cry out, his heart explains why he is falling, why he had to
fall, and he gives over to the fall. Blessed are you, clasp of the
falling. He falls into the sky, he falls into the light, none can hurt
him as he falls. Blessed are you, shield of the falling. Wrapped in
his fall, concealed within his fall, he finds the place, he is gathered
in. While his hair streams back and his clothes tear in the wind,
He is held up, comforted, he enters into the place of his fall.
Blessed are you, embrace of the falling, foundation of the light,
master of the human accident.