Video: Watch Leonard Cohen Read Poems, Talk About Writing On 1980 CBC Authors With Patrick Watson

authorsOn February 1 and 8, 1980, Leonard Cohen was interviewed on CBC’s Authors With Patrick Watson. Both episodes are presented here. Leonard is a tad more stilted than usual, but, as I’ve noted before, “Leonard Cohen gives good interview,” and this is no exception. And his adept management of his cigarette holder is spellbinding.

Topics include the effect of drugs on the creative process, the significance of marriage and children, saintliness, Bob Dylan, the notion that Cohen grapples “with depressing aspects of the world,” the characterization of his work as “more eccentric” rather than “dominating a field,” sending a song out into the world, and the utility of a song.

Leonard Cohen reads This Marriage and Slowly I Married Her from Death Of A Lady’s Man and The Rest Is Dross from Flowers For Hitler.

Leonard Cohen Interview
CBC Authors with Patrick Watson: February 1 and 8, 1980

Video uploaded by A Lazy Bastard In A Suit (ALBIAS)

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Jo Meul, who alerted me to to this video.

Video: 1976 Leonard Cohen Performance Of Singer Must Die + Interview

sadlcLeonard Cohen sings “A Singer Must Die” in an interview shared by Jay Tuck.

From the YouTube Description:

It was a windy day in May in 1976. I never thought it would really happen, an interview with Canadian poet Leonard Cohen. But there was his voice, unmistakable, on the phone. Not his agent nor the record company. “Hi, this is Leonard Cohen”. A few hours later we met in the lobby of the Hamburg Hotel Europäischer Hof. Management wanted us to film the interview in one of their suites. That wasn’t right, not for Leonard Cohen. So we found an empty room in the hotel cellar, the dining hall for staff. While the crew lit the surroundings appropriately, I asked Leonard where his guitar was. He didn’t know he would be needing it, he said. But he walked back to his room to fetch it. And we recorded a very magical, unimaginable personal interview that day. And aware our 16mm camera cassette only held 10 minutes of film, I waited six minutes and asked, “Why don’t you sing us a song, Leonard?” And he did. This is the result of that magical day. Unfortunately, some one at the TV station edited out some of the music. And inserted a ridiculous video wipe in the post. And discarded some beautiful music. But the result is still a historical record I wanted to share with you.

Jay Tuck

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Linda Sturgess, who was the first of several folks to alert me to this video

1988 Video: Leonard Cohen Talks About Lorca, His Favorite Color, Robertson Davies, I’m Your Man Cover Art, Poetry, Favourite Game … & Teaches Thumb Wrestling

19888

This is a wonderful video that offers trivia, insights, entertainment (including a host flummoxed by Leonard Cohen’s unanticipated answers to her queries), and even a bit or two of wisdom. Specific items discussed include the following:

  • The origins and significance of the I’m Your Man album cover art
  • The meaning of “They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within” in First We Take Manhattan
  • Leonard’s favorite color: Yellow
  • Leonard’s favorite writer: Robertson Davies1
  • The impact of Federico García Lorca on Leonard Cohen
  • Leonard’s favorite game: Thumb-wrestling (also see “Thumb Wrestling” section of The Favourite Games Of Leonard Cohen – Part 2)
  • The feelings embedded in The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen
  • Leonard’s notion of the title “poet”
  • Leonard’s assertion that wisdom comes with laughter or a sense of entertainment (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount had to be expressed with drama)

Viewing The Video

The video cannot be embedded and, indeed, is difficult to locate. To find it, go to  VIDEO Leonard Cohen ”tommel-bryder” DR-vært under 1988-interview, a screenshot of which is shown below. The large video at the top comprises only the thumb-wrestling portion of the interview. To see the full interview, scroll down the page to the video marked by the red circle in the screenshot.

kulturemrk

____________________________

  1. A personal favorite of DrHGuy; see Elegant Eulogies: Robertson Davies On “The Great Theatre of Life” []

Video: Leonard Cohen, Poet-Singer-Songwriter-Mixologist, Recreates His Red Needle Drink On TV

Leonard Cohen Creates The Red Needle

This is the end of my life in art. I am drinking a Red Needle, a drink I invented in Needles, California, tequila and cranberry, lemon and ice. The full measure. I have not been denied the full measure. It happened as I approached my forty-first birthday…. This is drunken talk. This is Red Needles talking. It is too smooth. I am frightened. I don’t know why. Yesterday I was so frightened that I could hardly hand a Red Needle to a monk on Mt Baldy….1

I prepared a lot of Red Needles. That’s a cocktail I invented in Needles, California, in 1976. It consists of tequila and cranberry juice and Sprite and fresh cut fruit. I prepared pitchers of this cocktail for the musicians and we couldn’t stop playing; most of the takes are twenty-five minutes long, and we kept this one because it’s eight minutes long. I did fall down in it, that’s where the guitar solo occurs. It was a very exuberant, passionate evening, and several musicians told me it was the happiest time they ever spent in a recording studio.2

Continue Reading →

  1. From Leonard Cohen, ‘My Life in Art,’ from Death of a Lady’s Man []
  2. From Barbara Gowdy Interview With Leonard Cohen A transcript of the full interview was published in 1994 in the book “One on One: The Imprint Interviews” edited by Leanna Crouch and published by Somerville House Publishing []