Leonard Cohen Unfolds, Sings "My Gypsy Wife"

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Leonard Cohen On The Heart Of “The Gypsy’s Wife”

This excerpt from the Harry Rasky documentary, The Song of Leonard Cohen,1 contains an especially explicit discussion by Cohen of the portion of his life that is captured in the song.

Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Elrod

In 1969, Cohen and Suzanne Elrod, a photographer and artist, began a relationship that resulted in the birth of two children, Adam in 1972 and Lorca in 1974, both of whom are pictured in the video clip and in the screenshot below.

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The relationship between Cohen and Elrod ended by 1979, when the documentary was filmed. That final disruption is the focus of “The Gypsy’s Wife.”

The Video Of Leonard Cohen’s “The Gypsy’s Wife”

In addition to the explication and a solid performance of the song, Cohen also reads his poem, “Slowly I Married Her.”

Leonard Cohen – The Gypsy’s Wife

Note: Originally posted Mar 19, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. For those interested in learning more about The Song of Leonard Cohen, I recommend the concise, well written Review by Dick Straub. []

Video: Leonard Cohen On Hot Properties Talk Show With Richard Belzer 1985

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Topics include the publication of Book Of Longing, a discussion of Columbia Record’s decision not to release the Various Positions album, the music to which Leonard listens (e.g., You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath1), his musical perspective, the significance of Suzanne’s refrain, his literary influences, and more.

Note: Because the first five minutes of the video is taken up with the official video for Dance Me To The End Of Love, the embedded video below is set to begin with the Leonard Cohen interview (5:15).

Leonard Cohen Guest Appearance
Hot Properties Talk Show With Richard Belzer: May 1, 1985
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Note: Originally posted Jan 6, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. For more about Foetus On Your Breath, see Winner Of “Last Song I Would Have Guessed Would Be On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox” – “Gums Bleed” By You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath []

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Q&A At The London Popular Problems Preview – Naked

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Note: Originally posted Oct 6, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

On Sept 16, 2014, Leonard Cohen met with the press at the Canadian High Commission in London to preview his new album, Popular Problems, and answer questions. While this Q&A was broadcast at a later date, it was only 16 minutes of a one hour program that also included fragments of songs from the album, cover versions, commentary, and chatter.

Thanks to audio editing by AlanM5049, that filler has been stripped, producing a naked version of the session.

I’ve added visual elements, including photos, graphics, lyrics, and such, but – and this is key – none of these are essential to the overall experience. Some viewers may enjoy the view; others may find it distracting.  In any case, feel free to turn the video on, lean back, close your eyes, and just listen to 16 minutes of Leonard Cohen talking about songwriting, collaborating with Patrick Leonard, smoking, his Jewish background, …

Leonard Cohen Q&A At London Popular Problems Preview – Naked
Sept 16, 2014
Video by Allan Showalter

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post shared by High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom Facebook page

Video: 1985 Leonard Cohen Rehearsals, Backstage Badinage, & Interviews

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Leonard Cohen, Anjani, & Band In 1985 Halleluja in Moll Videos

Ruth Stimson, operating under her YouTube alias, has posted “Halleluja In Moll,” a German documentary produced after the 1985 Leonard Cohen Tour, that is both entertaining and enlightening.

Anjani on keyboard & vocals

Anjani on keyboard & vocals

Featured are portions of several songs, including “If It Be Your Will,” an impromptu version of “Goodnight, Irene,”  Anjani’s bluesy rendition of “I Tried To Leave You,” “Suzanne,” “Dance Me To The End Of Love,” and, of course, “Hallelujah.”

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It’s Not Just Any Hallelujah

No, indeed. This video presents the Making Of The Hallelujah That Ranked #2 In The 5 Funniest Leonard Cohen Music Videos “Hallelujah.”

See fake pigeons positioned, …

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leaves artistically strewn, …

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and, well, whatever is going on here.

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Talk – Talk

There is a clinker, at least for those who do not speak German – the spoken German translation sometimes obscures the words spoken (in English) by Cohen and others. Nonetheless, the interviews are worth the attention required to distinguish Cohen’s responses.

 

Even those queries proving that asking inane questions of public figures transcends borders (e.g., “Are you a friend of yourself?”) spark witty rejoinders (“From time to time, we’re on speaking  terms”). Cohen also speaks to his ambivalence about performing, his relationship with God, his reputation as a “great lover,” and, as fans have come to expect, much more.

Tourism

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Tourist locations, including an appropriately somber viewing of the Berlin Wall, are visited.

Banter and Backstage Antics

Dominique Issermann adjusts Anjani's profile for cinematographer Leonard Cohen

Dominique Issermann adjusts Anjani’s profile for cinematographer Leonard Cohen

Band members tease and crack wise, songs are sung, tomfoolery is carried out, toasts are toasted, and a good time is had by all.

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The Halleluja in Moll Videos

Leonard Cohen – Halleluja in Moll (1985) Part 1

Leonard Cohen – Halleluja in Moll (1985) Part 1

Caveat: These videos contain enough fun to wear a guy out.

yawn2Note: Originally posted Oct 9, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Recommended Reading: “Leonard Cohen – Out Of The Monastery And Back On The Road” & Sharon Robinson’s “My life with Leonard”

indepLeonard Cohen: Out of the monastery and back on the road by Simon Worrall, published in the 15 June 2008 Independent, is one of the most engaging concise biographical (up to 2008, of course) sketches of Leonard Cohen I’ve seen.  And, as if that weren’t enough, “My life with Leonard” by Sharon Robinson is added as a bonus. The following excerpt is part of Sharon’s description of collaborating with Leonard:

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Leonard is well versed in many kinds of music. He listens to the music people give him, music recorded by friends and associates. He listens to Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, blues and R&B, Otis Redding. I see myself as part of his palette, to be a sounding board and to execute whatever we decided would work. It’s intimidating working with him if you think about it. So I try not to think about it.quotedown2

Sharon Robinson

 

Note: Originally posted January 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Spice-Box of Earth, A Kite Is A Victim, & The Title Poet – 1961

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Back Cover – The Spice-Box of Earth

The June 16, 1961 CBC Leonard Cohen in Greece interview with Jed Adam (audio only: six minutes) focuses on his then just-published volume of poetry, The Spice-Box of Earth. (Note: Oddly, given it’s CBC title, Cohen doesn’t mention Greece in this recording)  If the embedded player below does not function in your browser, the recording is also available on the CBC site.