Leonard Cohen Describes His Culinary & Musical Tastes


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I can only make simple dishes. I have two grown children and they had to get something to eat, so I learned to cook. But I don’t really care for it, in contrast to Anjani, who has a well-trained palate. Also, musically, I have a very, very simple taste.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo Photoshopped by me to illustrate What Leonard Cohen Taught Chef Nancy Hinton About Food. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Was Leonard Cohen Right? “My songs usually last about as long as a Volvo — about 30 years”

Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency: The Case Of Suzanne Vs Volvo

The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency offers rectification of inaccuracies promulgated by Leonard Cohen (see full explanation at the end of this post). Today’s focus is on the recalculation of a rule of thumb formulated by Leonard Cohen to take into account the impact certain facts, revealed by the passage of time, have had on his assessment of the longevity of his songs.

Mr. Cohen has repeated his testimony about the endurance of his songs on several occasions. This example is documented in Cohen Grows Into The Future Gracefully, And With A Grin by Peter Howell:1

My songs usually last about as long as a Volvo — about 30 years

That equation sounds valid and has, until now, never been challenged, but, as New York Governor Alfred E. Smith famously declared in his 1928 presidential campaign, “Let’s look at the record.”2

Volvo Lifespan

In 2009, the average life of a Volvo was calculated at 19.7 years, second only to Mercedes.3

Cohen Song Lifespan

Songs, such as Suzanne from his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, released in 1967, continue to be popular and to sell now, 44 years later [at time of original posting: Feb 8, 2012].

Update: Sales of Suzanne
From Wikipedia –  Suzanne

The Verdict – Leonard Cohen Songs Outlast Volvo Cars

 

Update: The Appeal

See Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency: Suzanne Vs Volvo – The Appeal

The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency


The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency is a privately-funded organization dedicated to the rectification of inaccuracies promulgated by Leonard Cohen, no small task given the Canadian singer-songwriter’s admission that “I don’t want to let the facts get in the way of the truth.”

Cases already completed have ranged from cleaning up simple verbal typos such as Cohen’s misidentification of the decade in which he met the young Spaniard who taught him guitar lessons (it was the 50s, not the 60s)4 to setting right mistaken references such as the name of the fast food chain that ran the 1984 “Where’s The Beef?” advertising campaign (it was a promotion for Wendy’s not Burger King or McDonald’s as Mr. Cohen stated)5 to spotlighting inconsistencies such as Mr. Cohen taking both sides in a debate about the relationship of his songs and his poems:

… I regard everything I write as being set to music, almost as if I hear a giant guitar accompanying me!6

I never did set poetry to music. … I got stuck with that. It was a bum rap. I never set a poem to music. I’m not that hopeless. I know the difference between a poem and a song!7

Credit Due Department: Volvo photo by AlfvanBeem – Own work, CC0, via Wikipedia Commons. Originally posted Feb 8, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Cohen Grows Into The Future Gracefully, And With A Grin by Peter Howell. Toronto Star, November 19, 1992. []
  2. Mr. Smith’s slogan was one of the few survivors of that unsuccessful campaign. []
  3. Wikipedia, eHow, DesktopCar, and several other sites []
  4. Leonard Cohen: The Prince Of Asturias Awards Speech With Annotations & Commentary []
  5. Rarely Viewed Video – Leonard Cohen On His Atrocious Voice, Dylan, Lead Belly, Ice-T, Songwriting, Love, & Where’s The Beef []
  6. Leonard Cohen Seventeen. March 1968 []
  7. “Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe?” by Adrian Deevoy, Q Magazine, 1991 []

Exhibition Of Claude Gassian’s Photos Of Leonard Cohen – Paris, May 3-20, 2017

Dominique BOILE alerts us that, in celebration of the release of the French version of Tony Palmer’s Bird On A Wire DVD on May 2, 2017, Galerie A in Paris is organizing an exhibition of Claude Gassian’s photos of Leonard Cohen. A loose translation1 of the information on the posters follows:

On the occasion of the release of the DVD, Leonard Cohen – Bird on a Wire by Tony Palmer, A.Galerie and the editor Blaq Out present a retrospective of the meetings of the photographer Claude Gassian with the Canadien Errant: a selection of portraits showing the flow of time on the face of a folk singer become crooner while remaining a poet.

Preview: Thursday May 4, 2017 at 7 pm
-Free entry-

Exhibition: May 3 – 20 2017
A.Galerie – 4 rue Léonce Reynaud – 75116 Paris France

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  1. Dominique’s English translation of the original French edited by me into colloquial English []

Leonard Cohen Connects Religion & Human Perplexities

crose

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This connection—the unavoidable presence of the Other—has driven us to religion. The great religion is the great work of art. We form ourselves around these problems. These problems exist prior to us, and we gather ourselves, almost molecularly, around these perplexities. That’s what a human is: a gathering around a perplexity.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen quoted in Leonard Cohen: Several Lifetimes Already by Pico Iyer (Shambhala Sun, September, 1998). Originally posted November 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Anjani On Leonard Cohen’s Lyrics: “Leonard is an extraordinary songwriter because he is first of all a poet”

Q: What do you like about Leonard Cohen’s lyrics?

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They are wonderful to sing. Leonard is an extraordinary songwriter because he is first of all a poet. His lyrics read like poems. He has the wonderful gift of juxtaposing images that would normally never be brought together. This results in sharp, impressive, almost magical word pairings. For example, Blue Alert starts with the lines: ‘There’s perfume burning in the air.’ In the song, words like ‘perfume’ and ‘beauty’ become ‘shrapnel’ and ‘dirt.’ For me this is the description of a very original, essential feeling state.quotedown2

Anjani Thomas

 

From Mit Gedächtnisschwund kommt man schon sehr weit by Von Johannes Wächter. Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin: Issue 17: 2007, an interview with Leonard Cohen & Anjani Thomas about their connection. Quote via Google Translate. Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted April 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric