Video: Watch Complete 1991 Induction Of Leonard Cohen Into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

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Featuring Jennifer Warnes, Suzanne Vega, Aaron Neville & Moses Znaimer

Linda Sturgess alerts us that the video of Leonard Cohen’s complete induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, including the introduction by Moses Znaimer, the tribute performances by Jennifer Warnes (Joan of Arc), Suzanne Vega (Who By Fire), and Aaron Neville (Bird on the Wire) and, of course, Leonard’s acceptance speech, is now online.

Leonard Cohen’s acceptance speech includes numerous moments of graciousness and gratitude, sparkling wit, and exquisite phrasing.  A couple of examples follow:

After saluting a bevy of Hall Of Fame members, including Hank Snow, Glenn Gould, The Diamonds, The Four Lads, Neil Young, The Band, Paul Anka, and Gordon Lightfoot, Cohen ends the list with Joni Mitchell and Maureen Forrester, going on to remark,

Two women of genius among all that exuberant, masculine prominence … It’s going to be hard to get a date in the Hall of Fame.

Commenting on the timing of this honor Cohen explains

If I had been given this attention when I was 26, it would have turned my head. At 36 it might have confirmed my flight on a rather morbid spiritual path. At 46 it would have rubbed my nose in my failing powers and have prompted a plotting of a getaway and an alibi. But at 56 — hell, I’m just hitting my stride and it doesn’t hurt at all.

Leonard’s speech without the introduction or tributes can be viewed at Video: Leonard Cohen’s Witty, Touching 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame Induction Speech

Leonard Cohen Inducted Into The Canadian Music Hall of Fame | Junos 1991

Hear Classic 1988 Leonard Cohen Interview: How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns

Shure_mikrofon_55S-700This is an extraordinary interview that includes this quotation that I consider the touchstone of Leonard Cohen’s perspective:

That’s what it’s all about. It says that none of this – you’re not going to be able to work this thing out – you’re not going to be able to set – this realm does not admit to revolution – there’s no solution to this mess. The only moment that you can live here comfortably in these absolutely irreconcilable conflicts is in this moment when you embrace it all and you say ‘Look, I don’t understand a fucking thing at all – Hallelujah! That’s the only moment that we live here fully as human beings.

The following description is from Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988 at the RTE site:

From the RTÉ archives: Kildare-born novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist and former RTÉ radio producer John MacKenna made two feature programmes in the RTÉ Radio Centre with Leonard Cohen in 1988, entitled ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’. Together, they offer a remarkable insight to Cohen’s life and work. Below, you can listen to them both in full. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Note: A transcript of this broadcast is available at Transcript: 1988 RTE (LeonardCohenFiles)

The first programme ‘How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns’ is entitled ‘Isaac to Joan of Arc’ in which Cohen discusses his interest in and attitude to heroic figures in history. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Programme 2 is entitled ‘If I Have Been Untrue’  and considers songs about people in the street. (From Leonard Cohen talks to RTÉ in 1988)

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post “Shure mikrofon 55S” by Holger.EllgaardOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Favourite Games Of Leonard Cohen, Part 3

olyIn commemoration of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Cohencentric offers the third post in the three-part survey of the sports of Leonard Cohen. For the previous entries, see Part 1 and Part 2. Update: More Leonard Cohen Favourite Games – Unified Heart Touring Company Teammates

Archery

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Dancing

Ballroom

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Latin

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Freestyle

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Running

The Early Years

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Video: Leonard Cohen & Jennifer Warnes Perform Silent Night – Brighton 1979

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Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes Sing Silent Night: 1979

This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded (audio only) at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert. I’ve constructed a video montage of photos of Cohen and Warnes, drawings by Leonard Cohen, and a clip of a very young Leonard and his sister Esther skating to complement the music.

Note: Originally posted Nov 30, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric