Leonard Cohen To Amsterdam Audience At End Of 2013 European Tour – August 22, 2012. Photo by Peter Torbijn of The Netherlands. More information about and photos of this episode can be found at Leonard Cohen & Friends Stay Out Past Curfew In Euphoric Act Of Memento Mori, Originally posted September 21, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.
As I said, ‘I have seen the future baby, it is murder.’ I would say one of the consequences is going to be tremendous disorder and the reanimation of the blood-lust which human beings seem to fall back on whenever they get mildly bewildered about their predicament. When the Berlin Wall came down, I wrote, ‘Give me back the Berlin Wall, give me Stalin and Saint Paul’ — there weren’t many people saying that at the time.
The clear sense that you know you’re in the homeward stretch is a very compelling component in writing. A lot of other things fall away that you hope would satisfy you like human life, and your work becomes a kind of haven, and you want to go there, and you’re grateful when the time opens in such a way that you can actually sit down and work at your own work, because everything else somehow has failed. I’m speaking not just for myself. Somehow, just in the nature of things, you know, the disappointments accumulate, and the obstacles multiply and you sense the destruction of your body, and your mind, and you feel here is the last arena, ‘arena’ is too big, the last boxing ring, or the last Ouija board, where you can examine some of the ideas that have intrigued you. That have seized you, really.
Coffee and candour with Cohen by Simon Houpt (Globe & Mail: Feb. 27, 2009). Originally posted July 25, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
They didn’t realise that I wasn’t turning people on to sex but putting it down
From Leonard Cohen by Ray Connolly. Evening Standard, July 1968
A good friend of mine actually said if Leonard Cohen started out today, he would be rapping.
I can’t understand half the songs in the centre which is supposed to be the pop world. Either they’ve moved into a new stage of cryptology that I’ve been unable to follow and penetrate or it’s just lazy or it’s gotten slack or people just aren’t workin’ hard enough on the craft. I don’t understand what they’re saying most of the time. A lot of the stuff is, I think, just… lazy; but, because of the social urgencies that produce rap — and because of the demands of rhyme and rhythm — you get coherent statements and you get the impression of a mind, of a mind that has formed and gathered around a topic and is ready to manifest it. Another thing is that we’ve had twenty years or so of dance music which I think we deserved because the self-indulgences of the sixties got pretty intense. I mean, there were few geniuses like Dylan or Phil Ochs who are writing great complex songs with lots of words in them. But, lots of people scrambled and scratched up the bandwagon and, you know, we got a kind of language in our popular music that was intolerable after a while. You really couldn’t figure out what they were saying. The stuff was so mystical, so obtuse, so arcane, so self-indulgent. People just got weary of listening and I think they wanted to start dancing. Well, we’ve been dancing for twenty years and I think everybody’s tired and they want to sit down again and I think that’s the way the pendulum swings. And we really want to figure out, now, what people are thinking about the way things are going.
From Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. The transcript was prepared by Judith Fitzgerald. Originally posted Jun 27, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
I’ve tried to create songs, now, that are appropriate to the gravity of the situation… where there’s no public utterance without the understanding that it looks like freedom but it feels like death and it’s closing time. Something’s gone down. You ignore it at the peril of your self-respect or of your possible rescue.
Leonard Cohen’s The Future Interview by Bob Mackowitz. Transcript from a radio special produced by Interviews Unlimited for Sony Music, 1992. The transcript was prepared by Judith Fitzgerald. Originally posted June 22, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric