Video Clip: Rufus Wainwright Singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah At Montréal – Aug 19, 2017


Also see Video: You Want It Darker Featuring Gideon Zelermyer & Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir – Montréal Symphonique Aug 19, 2017

Leonard Cohen Quotes Dylan: “As Dylan says in one of his songs, ‘I know my song well before I start singing’ That’s usually the case because it takes so long to really know it.”

From Lenny Plays It Cool by Bud Scoppa (Music Connection, April 6-19, 1987)

Note: The Dylan song from which Mr Cohen quotes is, of course, “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Note: Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I could never locate that appetite for posterity within myself” Leonard Cohen

A poet, one of my closest friends, Irving Layton, probably the best Canadian poet and one of our best North American poets, he was very concerned with his legacy. He was very concerned with his immortality and what would become of his work. I loved the man, so I listened attentively and also with a sense of curiosity. I could never locate that appetite for posterity within myself or think what it means anyhow.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen reborn in the U.S.A. by Geoff Boucher at Pop & Hiss, the L.A. Times music blog: February 27, 2009. Photo taken at the July 31, 2009 Leonard Cohen concert in León by Indiana Caba. Originally posted November 11, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen and Ralph Gibson At Galerie Agathe Gaillard, Paris

Who Is Ralph Gibson?

Before answering my own suspiciously convenient rhetorical question, I should explain how this query arose: I saw the above photo posted, among other shots of Leonard Cohen, somewhere online without any identification of the subjects, the photographer, the location, the date, the occasion, … Now, Leonard Cohen is photographed with lots of folks in whom the typical viewer would have little interest (e.g., fans, restaurant staff, minor politicians, and the occasional blogger). This photo, however, seemed to carry more significance than would a casual snapshot of one more anonymous well-wisher or someone hoping to snag an autograph to sell on eBay.

After searching, I identified the figure on the right as Ralph Gibson, the photographer as Yvette Troispoux, and the event as an opening of Ralph Gibson ‘s work at the Galerie Agathe Gaillard  (no date). Of course, as a card-carrying Philistine, I still had no idea who Ralph Gibson was or why Leonard Cohen was pictured with him

Ralph Gibson is …

best known, in the words of Wikipedia, as “an American art photographer.” From my reading, he, in fact, appears to fall into the category of well-known and much respected by his peers but misses the cut for the photographer-rock star classification (aka photographers recognized by the general public). A generous sampling of his work can be found at his web site.

Leonard Cohen – Ralph Gibson Connections

The earliest connection between Ralph Gibson and Leonard Cohen began in the late 1960s when both artists were residents of the Chelsea Hotel and where Gibson printed “his photographs for The Somnambulist, his first Lustrum photography book in his tiny kitchenette.”1

Leonard Cohen and Ralph Gibson, along with John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, and others also provided financial and editorial support for a “critically-acclaimed literary journal, Zero.”2

Finally, it turns out that Ralph Gibson worked on a project for Leonard Cohen. Specifically, Ralph Gibson played guitar on Leonard Cohen’s New Skin For The Old Ceremony album and is correspondingly credited for his efforts.

One source3 indicates Gibson also toured with Cohen, but I can’t find independent confirmation of that.

One might presume that a big time photographer who knew and performed with Leonard Cohen would have taken batches of photos of the Canadian singer-songwriter. At time of posting, however, I found only one such shot, “Leonard Cohen, Montreal, 1973 [on bed with guitar]” listed in a catalog of Gibson’s work. The photo is displayed on several web sites, including fleurmach.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Yvette Troispoux. The art from New Skin For The Old Ceremony album showing the credits was contributed by Dominique BOILE.

  1. Source: Chelsea Hotel Through the Eyes of Photographers Exhibit by Wendy R. Williams, posted at New York Cool. []
  2. Source: Bill Womack bio at Helios web site. []
  3. When Time Stands Still by Leif Wigh. Posted at Moderna Museet: 2009 []

Nancy Priddy: Backing Vocalist On Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Nancy Priddy – Singer, Actress, Mother, & Leonard Cohen Backing Vocalist

Nancy Priddy is now probably better known as Nancy Applegate aka mother of actress Christina Applegate. She was also an actress herself, appearing on several television series, including Bewitched, The Waltons, and Matlock.  She was a member of The Bitter End Singers in 1964, a short lived folksinging group along with Lefty Baker, Tina Bohlmann, Bob Hider, Norris O’Neill, and Vilma Vaccaro. In 1968, she released the album You’ve Come This Way Before, now regarded as a classic of psychedelic folk. Leonard Cohen fans, however, are likely to be most interested in her role as a vocalist on Leonard Cohen’s first album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen.

Nancy Priddy explains how she came to be recruited to perform on that album in her response to an inquiry about the female backing singers on Cohen’s first three albums sent to MOJO’s “Ask Fred” column. Jim Williams, who wrote the inquiry to MOJO, provides the text of Priddy’s reply, which was published in the November 2005 issue of MOJO, in a LeonardCohenForum post:

A friend of mine saw an Ask Fred question concerning the voices behind Leonard Cohen on his first three albums. Well I don’t know about the second or third but I certainly do about the first, which contained Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, Suzanne and So Long, Marianne.

At that time I was writing with John Simon, the album’s producer, who was a very good friend. When Columbia informed him that they would put no further money into the project, John told me we’d have to finish the album together. I was delighted to do that – so I provided the female voice on the record. I believe John song with me on So Long, Marianne, but I certainly did Suzanne and Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.

John and I loved Leonard’s songs, and when we played our additional vocals to him he seemed to love our work in return. I often think about the first time John played Leonard’s work for me in that darkish studio, late night in New York. Little did any of us know what would happen with those songs – especially the record label!

Video: Nancy Priddy – You’ve Come This Way Before 

Note: Originally posted Mar 9, 2012 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Tell Me Everything Features Leonard Cohen On Jew’s Harp & Anjani Thomas On Vocals


From The Vimeo Description:

‘Tell Me Everything’ is a 7-min. short produced, directed and edited by Brian D. Johnson in 2006, and funded by Bravo!FACT. In this version, John Gzowski’s score was mixed by Ed Saunders, Leonard Cohen’s engineer, and it foregrounds Leonard on jaw harp and Anjani Thomas on vocals. Andrea Nann performed and choreographed the dance sequences.

Thanks to Alex Bee, who alerted me to this video, which was originally posted May 6, 2010 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric