Video – Leonard Cohen Talks About His Life On Hydra: Why He Came, How He Met Marianne, Writing Books & Songs There …

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I met a girl and I stayed for eight or ten years.
Yeah, that’s the way it was in those days.
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Leonard Cohen

“This was the laboratory of my youth”

In this video, excerpted from the 1988 film Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen, accompanied by his backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen, revisits the home in Hydra that he shared with Marianne of So Long Marianne  In addition to a discussion of his life on Hydra, this clip includes performances  of Who By Fire, Bird On The Wire, So Long Marianne, Partisan, and Famous Blue Raincoat.

Leonard Cohen Just Says No To Julie Christensen

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Julie Christensen’s Political Anatomy

Among many other musical accomplishments, Julie Christensen has performed as vocalist on two of Leonard Cohen’s tours as well as on his albums. So, it is not surprising to find that she went to him for assistance with songwriting. Christensen recounts this exchange with Cohen:

One of the first songs that came was the one that eventually became the title track. I started writing it a few years back around the time of Independence Day. I asked Leonard Cohen to help me write because he was the only person I knew who could give it the weight that it deserved. But when I told him the opening line, which goes “Between my thighs / Is all my country,” he responded,

I can’t help you there, darling. You got yourself into this one, so you’re on your own.1,2

From The great leap forward: Julie Christensen takes us to Where the Fireworks Are by Brett Leigh-Dicks (VC Reporter: May 17, 2007), reprinted at Stone Cupid. Photo from Stone Cupid

Note: Originally posted May 19, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. It is disconcerting to realize that Leonard Cohen saying “No” to a beautiful woman is more seductive than me saying “Yes” – or “Yes, yes yes, a million times yes.” []
  2. One needn’t worry about Ms Christensen’s song; she reports that “… in the end, that [song] just propelled itself forward.” []

Leonard Cohen Video: Closing Time & Final Comments – Madison Square Garden 2012

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“I never got to tell you how beautiful you are”

Video is complete and very clear but sometimes unsteady. View is occasionally obstructed by “the friendly giant with the fedora in front of me [the videographer].” Audio  is very good. (6:09)

Leonard Cohen – Closing Time & Final Comments
Madison Square Garden: Dec 18, 2012
Video: WorldStreams·

Note: Originally posted Dec 23, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

20+ Striking Images From 1993 Leonard Cohen Barcelona Concert

Left to right: Paul Ostermayer, Julie Christensen, Perla Batalla, Jorge Calderon, Leonard Cohen

Left to right: Paul Ostermayer, Julie Christensen, Perla Batalla, Jorge Calderon, Leonard Cohen

The screen captures from the 1993 Leonard Cohen TV broadcast proved sufficiently impressive to warrant their own gallery. While all of the photos are worth a look, those featuring Bob Metzger, who played guitar during the 2008-2010 World Tour, Paul Ostermayer on saxophone, and the backup singers, Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla, are splendid.

Note: The quality of individual screen captures is dependent on many factors, including the decisions and style of the original cameraman and director, the stage lighting (in 1993, Leonard had a whole lotta purple going on), the musician’s instrument (just finding the drummer hidden in his equipment was difficult), and location on stage (there are 5 screen captures for Julie Christensen, situated on one side, for every usable screenshot of Perla Batalla, who positioned between Julie and the other musicians).

Leonard Cohen

Julie Christensen, Perla Batalla, Leonard Cohen

Bob Metzger (guitars, pedal steel guitar)

Paul Ostermayer (keyboards, saxophone, flute)

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Pro-Shot Video: Leonard Cohen’s Underappreciated Performance Of I Can’t Forget – Barcelona 1993

barcelona-forgetPerhaps because of the understated style, this rendition of I Can’t Forget, taped at the May 15, 1993 Barcelona Concert at Palacio Municipal De Deportes for broadcast by Televisió de Catalunya, has never received the attention it deserves.

The visual and audio elements are good to excellent and the performance itself sublime.

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In addition to Leonard Cohen, backup singers Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen are prominent as is Bob Metzger on the pedal steel guitar.

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Leonard Cohen – I Can’t Forget
Barcelona: May 15 1993
Video from a1000kissesdeep

Note: Originally posted Mar 25, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric