Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Country Music & “Bearded Gentlemen” In His Family “Rolling Their R’s”

lc-1988Leonard Cohen talks to Ken Stewart about his roots in this 8 April 1985 RTÉ Radio interview, which was posted online as part of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 80th birthday celebration.  Happily, it remains available (as of time of posting). RTE describes the interview:

He recalls the bearded gentlemen of his family and his early love of country music. He was always writing songs, poetry and novels, but says he didn’t think of recording until his early 30s and is drawn to economical expression.

Access this recording at RTE Archives

Note: Originally posted September 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Listen To Leonard Cohen Recite His Poetry, Sing His Songs, Give Interviews On CBC’s Various Positions

a170176-v8Various Positions: Leonard Cohen in his own words is a two-part documentary composed of CBC appearances and broadcast on CBC in Jan 2013. The CBC introduction follows:

Like any great artist Leonard Cohen took the tools he had and created something new- a unique form of popular song, with all the aspiration of poetry, expressing the deepest yearnings of the human heart. For his entire career, over fifty years, Leonard Cohen has been on Canada’s radar- which is to say, he’s been a star since the very beginning. He was discovered early on by the CBC. Over all those years, across half a century, Leonard Cohen has been on countless CBC programs, on both radio and television, and always talking in full sentences. He’s recited his poetry and performed his songs for the CBC microphones; interviewers have asked him every conceivable question. It’s fair to say that on the CBC Leonard Cohen has produced a kind of running commentary on his own life and work while all this is still in progress. Deep in the CBC vaults are the many recordings of Leonard Cohen performances and conversations- a treasure-trove, a family album of snapshots that create a unique portrait, in real time, of the evolution of a major artist- in his own words. And it’s these archival recordings that go to make up these two programs.

Part 1: Magic is Alive

Description from the CBC site:

The first of two programs produced and presented by Philip Coulter that chart the life and career of one of Canada’s most enduring singer/songwriters, Leonard Cohen. Part one, Magic is Alive, takes us from Cohen’s first appearance on the Montreal scene in the 50’s up to the release of the first albums – Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs from a Room in the late 60’s. It explores how his early poetry writing lead almost inevitably to the songs. Listen for Leonard the stand-up comic, and Leonard the hipster, reciting poetry over cool jazz in a 1950’s Montreal club!


Part 2: Waiting for the Miracle

Description from CBC site

Part two is called: “Waiting for the Miracle,” and takes us close to the present, exploring how Leonard Cohen’s songs evolve into ever-deeper spiritual explorations. Wait for his story of the perils of working with legendary producer Phil Spector (“He put his arm around my shoulder and shoved the nozzle of the .45 into my neck, cocked it and said ‘I love you Leonard.'”) Yikes Phil. Did I tell you how much I like “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling?”


Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174

Note: Originally posted Mar 14, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Centrality Of “The Idea Of Relationship” To His Work

The idea of relationship has been central to my work. Those are my politics in a way: what happens with somebody across the table, what is appropriate behavior with a lover or a friend. The abrasive quality of daily life is such that without someone to love, the whole situation is untenable.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

pittpaperThis quotation comes from Cohen Lightens Up by Jeff Bradley (AP story, printed in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Sep 9, 1988), a thoughtful appraisal of the I’m Your Man album along with a Leonard Cohen interview. View a scan of the complete article at Cohen Lightens Up By Jeff Bradley

Update:  I belatedly discovered that this excerpt was edited out in this version of Bradley’s article.  The quote is found in Folk-Rock’s Poet Laureate Returns by Jeff Bradley (Times Daily: Sept 3, 1988), which appears to be the same story edited differently. My apologies for the error.

This article is part of the Leonard Cohen Press Archive

Note: Originally posted Dec 7, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Songwriting & More – 2006 CBC Interview


From On this day in 2006: Leonard Cohen on songwriting and love by Alanna Stuart (CBC: Feb 7, 2016):

On the eve of entering the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2006, Canadian icon Leonard Cohen shared the real life struggles he overcame on his way to greatness. As he reflected on his decades-long career, he revealed that writing lyrics has never been easy.

“It takes me a long time to bring these songs to completion. I sweat over every word,” he said. And nevermind love, “I was never good with it. Let’s face it.” As it turns out, Leonard Cohen is, in fact, human.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Rama

Triumvirate – 3 DVD Leonard Cohen Documentary: The Complete Review + The Mind Of A Poet

91+CFr+QpzL._SL1500_When Dominique BOILE first alerted us to this 3 DVD Leonard Cohen documentary, little was known beyond the Amazon sales blurb:

This 3 X DVD Documentary Boxed Set explores and the life and career of Leonard Cohen with the help of plentiful interviews with the man himself and those close to him, and via rare archive performance footage and news reports. Looking at Cohen’s entire working life from his early poetry roots in 1950s Quebec, right through to his recent sell out concert tours and top ten albums – and at all points in-between – this triple disc pack is the finest documentary work yet to focus on this modern day musical hero and the extraordinary life he had led.

Dominique now forwards images from the set, which comprises the previously published Leonard Cohen – The Complete Review (Two Disc Set) and a previously unreleased title: Leonard Cohen – The Mind Of A Poet.

Note: This DVD set is not authorized by Leonard Cohen or his representatives

The Mind Of A Poet

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