The Leonard Cohen/Mozart – Phil Collins/Beethoven Faxes

In 1995 Cohen’s manager, Kelley Lynch, put together Tower of Song, a set of his compositions sung by bigger stars including Sting and Bono. She asked Phil Collins, who turned her down.

Cohen himself sent Collins a fax, saying: “Would Beethoven refuse the invitation of Mozart?” Collins faxed back: “No, unless Beethoven was on a world tour at the time.”

Cohen understood: “It’s kind of a pain in the ass, to think about somebody else’s dismal songs when you’re not even in the studio.”

From  Who held a gun to Leonard Cohen’s head? by Tim de Lisle (The Guardian, 17 September 2004)

Credit Due Department: Photo by Philippe Roos from Strasbourg – Strasbourg-1981-10-28-08, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikipedia Commons

Note: Originally posted May 16, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Dear Nana” – Leonard Cohen praises Nana Mouskouri on her return to stage at age 80


Dear Nana

Twenty years ago, in this curious world, you raised your voice in song. I heard you then and I hear you now. I am still listening. We all are. May you continue to be as you have always been – strong, clear, simple and true.

With Love,


Credit Due Department: Found and contributed by Dominique BOILE

Note: Originally posted September 14, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Lauds Bob Dylan’s “lines that have the feel of unhewn stone”

At a certain point, when the Jews were first commanded to raise an altar, the commandment was on unhewn stone. Apparently, the god that wanted that particular altar didn’t want slick, didn’t want smooth. He wanted an unhewn stone placed on another unhewn stone. Maybe you then go looking for stones that fit … Now I think that Dylan has lines, hundreds of great lines, that have the feel of unhewn stone. But they really fit in there. But they’re not smoothed out. It’s inspired but not polished. That is not to say he doesn’t have lyrics of great polish. That kind of genius can manifest all the forms and all the styles.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and more on Bob Dylan by Paul Zello (American Songwriter: Feb 14, 2012). All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at . Originally posted December 30, 2014at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on “that curious thing that we call ‘experience’ that you hear in the voice of Fats Domino, that you hear in the voice of Aretha Franklin”

You just want to indicate that curious thing that we call ‘experience’ that you hear in the voice of Fats Domino, that you hear in the voice of Aretha Franklin. It’s something in the voice itself. It indicates that the person has been through a life, that they have lived their life on the front line. And that’s the sound we like — I like — to hear in a singer, and it includes a lot more than irony. It includes optimism. It includes despair. It includes regret. It includes so many things that you forget about all of them, and you just know that you’re listening to a voice — a voice of experience.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen’s Voice Of Experience on Listen Now at NPR: April 09, 1988. Photo of Fats Domino by Roland Godefroy; cropped by Erik Baas – Own work (photo personnelle), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons. Photo of Aretha Franklin bu Ryan Arrowsmith – Flickr, CC BY 2.5, via Wikipedia Commons

“My hero is Muhammad Ali” Leonard Cohen

When Sylvie Simmons asked Leonard Cohen who his hero was, he named “poets and spiritual leaders – Roshi, Ramesh Balsekar, Lorca, Yeats – adding the caveat, ‘I admire many men and women but it’s the designation ‘hero’ I have difficulty with, because it implies some kind of reverence that is alien to my nature.'” The next day, however, Sylvie received the following email from Leonard:

i forgot
my hero is muhammad ali
as they say about the Timex in their ads
takes a lickin’
keeps on tickin’

Leonard Cohen


From  I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. Also see Adam Cohen Named His Son, Cassius, After His Hero, Muhammad Ali

Posted shortly after Muhammad Ali died June 3, 2016

Leonard Cohen’s Mother Advises Him: “Follow Your Own Little Heart”

I felt very free to follow whatever direction I wanted and my mother, who was very generous and open,  just said, ‘follow your own little heart.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen: Exclusive JC Interview by Jenni Frazer (The Jewish Chronicle: July 19, 2007)