Leonard Cohen On Bob Dylan: “He put the word back into the jukebox, which is really where you have to have it, or at least where I like to have it.”

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Cited in Michael Ondaatje, Leonard Cohen (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1970). Found in Introduction to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen – Rock Poets by David Boucher (New York: Bloomsbury Academic,April 1, 2004)

The Cohen-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

“We were dying to be Dylan / to be beggars worth a million / to be nowhere & to suddenly arrive” – Leonard Cohen Closing Time Lyrics (Unused)

cylanclosingWe were dying to be Dylan
to be beggars worth a million
to be nowhere & to suddenly arrive

From “Closing Time” — Indepth Study Page Four

I suspect these unused lines from an early draft of “Closing Time” by Leonard Cohen allude to a specific Dylan song (Leonard had directly referenced a Bob Dylan song in his lyrics at least one other time: see Leonard Cohen Alludes To Dylan Song In “Democracy”)  and, in fact, can coerce a fit with a handful of Bob’s tunes, but doing so requires Procrustean tactics. I am hopeful that a reader will identify the reference (if one exits).

Update: Ratnesh Mathur Appears to be a reference to Rolling Stones ( Dying to be Dylan ( Like a Rolling Stone)) & their break through album “Beggar’s Banquet” ( with “Sympathy for the Devil”), with which “they arrived, from nowhere”. The debauchery & decadence described in Closing Time, is more Rolling Stones than Dylan.

Note: Originally posted July 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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

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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 DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Bob Dylan’s “Brownsville Girl” 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. … 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.

Another Bob Dylan Hit On Leonard Cohen’s Playlist

knockout_lDylan’s “Brownsville Girl,” #3 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten Songs of 1988,1 joins “I And I” and “Tangled Up In Blue” on the list of songs specifically praised by Cohen.

Released in 1986 as a track on Bob Dylan’s “Knocked Out Loaded” album, “Brownsville Girl” (originally named “New Danville Girl”) was co-written by playwright Sam Shepard. Dylan performed it only once in concert, on August 6, 1986.2

Bob Dylan – Brownsville Girl

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

Note: Originally posted June 27, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. From Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten (in his own words) by Jim Devlin, a listing found by Florian at LeonardCohenForum []
  2. Wikipedia []

Leonard Cohen Upon Being Asked If He Followed “Bob Dylan’s Credo, ‘Just because you like my music doesn’t mean I owe you anything'”

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I feel the exact opposite. These people created my life. It’s a modest one, but I’ve been able to live and send my kids to school and lead this charmed and lucky existence. At least, that’s the cover story – I’m not talking about my own inner turmoil. I was never a punk, you know? It isn’t my style to be ungrateful to people who buy my records and come to my concerts.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, responding to the interviewer’s query, “So you don’t follow Bob Dylan’s credo,’Just because you like my music doesn’t mean I owe you anything’?” in Leonard Cohen by Neva Chonin (Rolling Stone: December 11, 1997)

Note: Originally posted Dec 28, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric