Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Book Of Mercy, Poetry, Prayer, The Soul In June 1984 Interview

From YouTube Description:

In June 1984 I sat with Leonard Cohen in his room at the top of Toronto’s Sutton Place Hotel where we talked about his newest collection Book of Mercy. I confessed an uneasiness about love poems because of how often other kinds of love beyond the romantic are overlooked or are treated in a puerile fashion. Not so one poem coming three months after my son’s birth…

Listen To Leonard Cohen Talk About Phases Of His Career, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Humor, Women, Greece, Sports … 1988

619px-Leonard_Cohen17bTopics include Leonard Cohen on

  • Touring
  • His love of Ray Charles’ music (“the best there is”)
  • His fascination with country music (and his part in the Buckskin Boys), flamenco guitar, cantorial music in synagogues, and Arabic music
  • His life in Greece
  • His “notable disasters in journalism,” including his interview with Glenn Gould
  • His attempted role as TV host based on his reputation as a “witty young poet.” (He was “wiped out” by guests who he saw as brighter and quicker, especially his first guest, a Borscht Belt comedian who wouldn’t let Leonard “get a word in edgewise.”)
  • Book of Mercy being written “when [his] back was against the wall]
  • His relationship with Roshi: “Cohen, I’ve known you 18 years. I never tried to give you my religion – just pour you saki”
  • Elvis Presley, who was “next to Ray Charles’ in the group of “impeccable America singers” (Leonard also notes that Presley’s movies were his personal “Seven stations of the cross”)
  • The public’s preference for an artist’s older material
  • Setting First We Take Manhattan “to a kind of Sergio Leone Clint Eastwood soundtrack”
  • Ain’t No Cure for Love as an especially poignant song
  • “I don’t know any men who aren’t interested in women.”
  • His family’s preference hat he go into law or the family business ad his leaving law school because of his “burning desire to be a writer.”
  • Montreal School Of Poetry
  • His contention that the “real energy today” is in sports, not music
  • His admiration of “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo and “Je ne regrette rien” By Edith Piaf
  • His self-characterization as “not good father but a loving father”
  • His homes in Greece, Montreal, and Las Angeles and his preference for residences in the “less prosperous parts of town” with white rooms and little on the walls.
  • Growing old

From YouTube Description:

Gill Pyrah talks on The Night is Young to Leonard Cohen, in London as part of his European tour. On his background in Canada and early careers in poetry, writing, journalism and TV interviewing and years spent in Greece; touring and his concert in London; views of him and his music; whether he is a ladies’ man; his children; his painting. His musical choices are edited out. This is pretty rare so be sure to snatch/keep and disseminate since you wont find it anywhere else. The 1988 Leonard Cohen talks about women drugs, women again, booze and music and poetry.


Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Roland Godefroy – Own work, CC BY 3.0, via Wikipedia

Hear Previously Unreleased Leonard Cohen Interview – Israel 1972


Leonard Cohen -1972

This GLZ radio recording appears to be from April 1972 when Leonard Cohenwas touring in Israel. Unfortunately, the questions from the interview no longer exist, but Avi Elkoni has edited together Leonard’s answers, which were originally interspersed around album tracks. Even without the questions it is an interesting, good quality interview, covering his student days, Montreal, Greece, poetry and touring

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Avi Elkoni, who edited the interview, & Ruth Pietroni, who uploaded it to YouTube.

Part 1

Part 2

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.