Bob Dylan’s “Ballad Of A Thin Man” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. There was “The Great Pretender,” “Cross Over the Road.” I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Renik Van den Eynde points out that Leonard Cohen’s admiring use of Dylan’s lyrics from The Ballad Of A Thin Man qualifies it for Leonard Cohen’s jukebox:

I don’t know what is happening, and I don’t care what is happening, to tell you the truth, it’s none of my business. I know that the explanations that are available have their various degrees of interest, but nothing seems to be speaking to me personally about what is happening. I tend to, you know, let my attention wander from the various channels of information, whether they be newspapers, television, art, song, literature and even conversation; so something is happening, as Dylan says, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones. So that’s the way I feel. So what is happening or what has happened to me or my writing or my lyrics, I’m not interested in the explanation, even my own, I’m only interested in the feeling that is just answering the appetite to describe moments and feelings that somehow has not been described in what is available.1

The referenced Dylan lyrics follow:

Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?
You raise up your head and you ask, “Is this where it is?”
And somebody points to you and says, “It’s his”

Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man
Desert Trip, Coachella: Oct 14, 2016

Bob Dylan Songs On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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

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  1. From Interview with Leonard Cohenby Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005 []

High Quality Video: Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters Performing If It Be Your Will – Amsterdam 2013

Leonard Cohen, Featuring Webb Sisters – If It Be Your Will
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by Sharon Erde

Also see Video: The Extraordinarily Poignant Final Minutes Of Final Leonard Cohen European Concert – Amsterdam 2013

Two Photos: Leonard Cohen In The Kitchens Of His Hydra & L.A. Homes

Leonard Cohen: Hydra, 1970s

Posted by Adam Cohen on Facebook

Update: Dominique BOILE offers the information that this photo was taken in 1981 by the  Bruce Brown.

Leonard Cohen: Los Angeles, 2001

Leonard_Cohen_PolaroidPhoto by Chris Buck: Photos – Chris Buck’s 2001 Leonard Cohen Shoot: Rosicrucians, Photographic Destiny, & Pastrami Sandwiches With A Side Of Chopped Liver

Leonard Cohen on songs as “best way to say the most important things…”

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It’s very hard to really untangle the real reasons why you do anything. But I was always interested in music and it seemed to me I always played guitar. I always associated song and singing with some sort of nobility of spirit. The first songs I learned were of the workers movement. I always thought that this was the best way to say the most important things… I don’t mean the most ponderous or pompous things. I mean the important things — like how you feel about things, how you feel about someone else — and I always thought this was the way to do it. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Pacifica Interview with Kathleen Kendall. WBAI Radio, New York City: December 4, 1974. Photo by  Pete Purnell. Originally posted Dec 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Two Leonard Cohen Montreal Mural Alternatives By Joel Singer

Joel Singer offers two alternatives, displayed above, for the Leonard Cohen Mural To Be Created At 1420 Crescent St, Montreal, the official model of which (below, left)  does not show the actual image of Leonard Cohen that will be depicted in the actual mural.I’ve been posting alternative versions, such as You Want It Darker (below, right). All posts about the Montreal mural, including alternatives, are collected at .