“I’ve tried to create songs, now, that are appropriate to the gravity of the situation…” Leonard Cohen On Closing Time

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.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

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

Leonard Cohen On “Eastern European Flourishes” He Added To Closing Time & Why That Song Didn’t Get Played “In Country-Western Territory”

My mother was Russian, and she sang beautiful Russian and Yiddish songs. I love the violin, and I did put in those kind of eastern European flourishes in a country-western song [Closing Time], which I think worked rather well. It wasn’t that that didn’t get it played in country-western territory, though. What the country singers and country radio programs didn’t like was that line ‘The whole damn place goes crazy twice, once for the Devil and once for Christ,’ which they found theologically offensive, although I could reconcile it with orthodox Christian thought.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From A Purple Haze To A Purple Patch by Adam Sweeting (The Canberra Times: July 24, 1994)

Thanks, Leonard Cohen, For Coming To The USA – The Video Celebration


Video: Leonard Cohen USA Concert Highlights

I created the video, “Thanks, Leonard Cohen, For Coming To The USA,” in commemoration of the 2009 Leonard Cohen USA Tour – a triumph and a joy still worth celebrating today.

Heck Of A Guy proudly announces the release of
Thanks, Leonard Cohen, For Coming To The USA

A video offered in appreciation of
Leonard Cohen’s Fall 2009 US Tour
and in celebration of the
2008-2009 Leonard Cohen World Tour,
a labor born of catastrophe and betrayal
that became a triumph of music and spirit


A Look At The Leonard Cohen Fall 2009 USA Tour

Thanks, Leonard Cohen, For Coming To The USA is a ten minute video with photo and YouTube highlights focusing on the Fall 2009 Leonard Cohen concert series that began in Fort Lauderdale and concluded in San Jose, California. Additional scenes track back to the beginning of the Tour and Cohen’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and extends to the 2010 iteration of the Tour and beyond.

The soundtrack includes segments from “First We Take Manhattan” and “Closing Time” bracketing “Democracy,” the final song at the final concert of the USA Tour.

Thanks, Leonard Cohen, For Coming To The USA

Note: Originally posted Jan 7, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen, Thanks Again For The Tour, I Hope It Was Good For You, Too – The Encore Video


Leonard Cohen To World Tour Fans: “I Still Love You, Too”

For those desirous of commemorating the completion of the  Summer 2009 European leg of the Leonard Cohen World Tour, those anticipating the series of concerts in the USA that will conclude the World Tour, and those desperate for a Cohen fix during this Tour hiatus, Cohencentric offers a video celebration comprising photos and video clips associated with the performances, especially those from the past three months. The primary songs are Bird On The Wire and Closing Time.

Dear Leonard Cohen, Thanks – again – for The Tour; I hope it was good for you, too
Video by Allan Showalter

Note: Originally posted Oct 14, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

When Bad Seats Happen To Good Videographers: Closing Time From A New Perspective – 2013 Leonard Cohen Rotterdam Show

diffWhen Bad Seats Happen To Good Photographers is an informal Cohencentric series based on the  realization that some Leonard Cohen concert photos taken from the cheap seats more than compensate for the lack of closeup shots with intriguing angles and perspectives hidden to those photographing the show from directly in front of the stage Consider this the first entry in the When Bad Seats Happen To Good Videographers classification.

As Ingrid Van Daele reports:

We didn’t have tickets, arrived 10 min. before the show started, no one was selling tickets, so we went to the box-office and asked if there were any tickets available…We got the last 2, so that’s why we were sitting in a complete different area as we were used to, this is the result

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time
Rotterdam: Sept 18, 2013
Video: Ingrid Van Daele

Note: Originally posted Sept 23, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Reality Of “The Future”

I could of course say that “The Future” is a sick joke, a ghost story to scare the kids. But this future is already a reality. Even in protected and provincial Europe you just have to look out of your window to see the backyard is burning. In that sense, “The Future” reports, but it takes the form of an apocalyptic vision. That form is very old: the idea of “closing time” is an essential part of our culture, and just now in these times of social unrest the mind seems to yearn for the apocalyptic solution.

Leonard Cohen


From ‘Gesprek met Leonard Cohen, de boeteprediker van de popmuziek; Het Oude Testament is mijn handboek’ [Talk with Leonard Cohen, the philosopher of pop music; the Old Testament is my guide] by Pieter Steinz, NRC: December 4, 1992.

Credit Due Department: Contributed & translated by Anja Deelen