Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Terrorism, Kerouac, Songwriting, Zen, Dylan, Joan Baez, Chelsea Hotel #1 and #2, Jennifer Warnes, & Irving Layton (1993)

Plus Paris Models Recitation, Using Computers To Write & Draw, Origins Of “Way Down Deep” and “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum” In Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen interviewed about The Future
Vin Scelsa’s Idiot’s Delight – June 13, 1993

From the Soundcloud description:

This originally aired live on the Sunday night sojourn of Idiot’s Delight on WXRK (92.3 KROCK) in New York. The first attack on the World Trade Center in late February 1993 was still on everyone’s mind; thoughts and questions about the nature of “the terrorist mentality” were very much in the air. Leonard’s latest album was “The Future.” He was in New York for a concert. His thoughts on the subject were vivid and have proved chillingly prescient over the years. Note : The music played that night has been truncated for this Podcast; same with the commercial breaks. Otherwise this is how it went down. Leonard Cohen was unique … it was a great privilege to spend this time with him.

Notes:

A transcript of this interview is included in Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen, Editor Jeff Burger

Video: Anjani Thomas Sings 2 Songs With Lyrics By Leonard Cohen – St. John’s 2013

anjani-stj

Song To Make Me Still & Standing On The Stairs

spiceboxSong To Make Me Still is a poem from Spice Box of Earth, a volume of Leonard Cohen’s poetry published in 1961 when Cohen was 27 years old.

Lower your eyelids
over the water
Join the night
like the trees
you lie under

How many crickets
How many waves
easy after easy
on the one way shore

There are stars
from another view
and a moon
to draw the seaweed through

No one calls the crickets vain
in their time
in their time
No one will call you idle
for dying with the sun

Standing On The Stairs

parasites1Standing On The Stairs is a Leonard Cohen poem published in Parasites Of Heaven (1966). Anjani, in an interview in Jan 2013,1 had this to say about Standing On The Stairs:2

Leonard wrote the lyrics of that album [Blue Alert] and I wrote the music. It was a very collaborative album because he had a clear idea of what led me to make that record. That’s why he caught some songs right away, although others took many takes to do them well. When it was perfect we both felt in our bones. One of the songs that didn’t go on that record will be on the new one. It is entitled ‘Standing on the stairs’ and it is a song that has traveled extensively. Born as a country-inspired song, it took on a tinge of folk and eventually I discarded it altogether. Two years later I met Jerry Marotta, the producer of this album, and it was one of the first songs we recorded. During the time I was recording, Leonard was on the road and I had to navigate alone. I would send him ideas and he would send clues back to me. He was as involved as he could be

Anjani Thomas – Song To Make Me Still & Standing On The Stairs
Feast Of Cohen, St. John’s, Newfoundland: Dec 29, 2013
Video by AnjaniMusic

Note: Originally posted Feb 4, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Anjani Thomas, la cantante que conquistó a Leonard Cohen by Alfonso Cardinal, Efe Eme: Jan 28, 2013 []
  2. English translation by Helen Ketcham []

Video: Leonard Cohen Cuteness Claim Contested

Leonard Cohen’s Stages Of Man’s Allure To Women

While audiences have enthusiastically applauded Leonard Cohen’s latest addition to his “Tower Of Song” introduction, Six Stages Of Man’s Allure To Women, his fans, especially his female admirers, have protested his assertion that he has passed through the first five stages to arrive at Stage 6: Cute.1

Consequently, the The Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency was called in on the case.

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.”2

An investigation ensued and a verdict rendered.

Video: A Respectful Dissent To Leonard Cohen’s Six Stages Of Man’s Allure To Women

Video by Allan Showalter

Other Leonard Cohen Corrections Agency Posts

Note: Originally posted Dec 9, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. The Six Stages follow:

    1. Irresistible2. Resistible
    3. Transparent
    4. Invisible
    5. Repulsive
    6. Cute []

  2. See Leonard Cohen Tells Sexologist About His Dog, His Mother, His Impermanence, Seduction, Men As Cocker Spaniels, and Rules Between Men & Women []

Impeccable Video, Classic Performance: Leonard Cohen Sings Hallelujah – Birmingham 2013

birm-hallelujah

I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
Birmingham: Sept 8, 2013
Video: albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Sep 10, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video: One Montreal Institution Pays Tribute To Another – Aislin Talks About Leonard Cohen

Aislin aka Terry Mosher began working for The Montreal Star, in 1967, moving to the Montreal Gazette in 1972. His cartoons have been published in numerous other publications and he has authored more than 40 books. Maclean’s has called Aislin “probably the best satirist in Canada.”

Aislin’s Leonard Cohen cartoons featured in this video may be viewed at

First Professional Appearance Of Leonard & Adam Cohen Together In A Music Video – Montreal 1985

termsunxOK, we think it’s Adam in the video (when asked, Adam responded “Looks like me but I really don’t remember!”). And, OK, the duration of the Cohen duo on screen is a bit less than 3 seconds. And, yes, the professional fee was one cool pair of sunglasses. Still, …

The video in which the Cohens appear showcases a band called Terminal Sunglasses performing Psycho Rail. Terminal Sunglasses, according to the group’s web site,

were part of the Montreal punk/new wave/alternative music scene from 1983 to 1985. Labelled an “avant-garage” band, they updated 60’s garage band influences and Velvet Underground avant-guard tendencies with 1980’s punk sensibilities.

That site is administered by Lawrence Joseph, a band member whose musical role is described as “twisted lead and spastic rhythm guitars, background mumbles and Latin percussion.” From his account., the video was filmed on Montreal’s St Laurent Blvd, “near the old location of the Montreal Pool Room, a bit north of Dorchester on the west side of St Laurent.”

To my query asking if Leonard Cohen materializing in the middle of the Terminal Sunglasses video was serendipitous, Lawrence replied

Yes, Cohen was just walking by and we were kind of taking up a lot of space on the sidewalk and drawing a crowd of weirdo gawkers. He stopped to ask us what was going on. His girlfriend saw we were all wearing cool sunglasses, so we made a deal with him: We would give his girlfriend a free pair of cool sunglasses, and in exchange he would appear in the video. So it was with his permission and we sort of paid him a “fee,”1 but it was otherwise just lucky that he was walking by that day. At the very least he was with his girlfriend, and quite possibly his son was there too, but I do not have a specific memory of that. His son did not come to speak to us, and many people were crowding around.

I did ask Lawrence if he knew the identity of the girlfriend:

Unfortunately, after 30 years, no and no. Maybe longish brown hair, I have a vague recollection about that, but I would not swear to it. Not very helpful, sorry.

The Michael Jackson Cameo

By the way, Michael Jackson also appears at the end of the video. Again, Lawrence provides some detail:

Same thing with Michael Jackson at the end of the video. He just happened to be out driving around the corn fields of Ste Anne-de-Bellevue where we were filming that day. Unlike Cohen he did not stop to talk with us, and instead littered the roadway with a Pepsi can. Two completely different personalities.

The Video: Terminal Sunglasses – Psycho Rail

The Cohens arrive at 2:15

Credit Due Department: Esther Park alerted me to this Cohen cameo and was the one who contacted Adam Cohen to ask if he recalled the incident. Esther found out about the video from a LeonardCohenForum post by Helen Ketcham.

Note: Originally posted Sept 28, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. DrHGuy Note: Given the loss of song rights, the lackluster promotion by record companies, and the fiscal problems that marked all but the last five years of Leonard Cohen’s career, a strong argument can be made that scoring a pair of sunglasses for a mini-cameo was one of the better deals the Canadian singer-songwriter struck at that point.On the other hand, he didn’t get to keep the sunglasses himself, so … []