Leonard Cohen On His Show Business Principle “I wanted to get paid for my work, but I didn’t want to work for pay”

How does it feel to have weathered 30 years in the business?

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It’s a long time, my child. I’ve had a blessed kind of renown, though it waxes and wanes. I’ve been able to satisfy a principle I established for myself early in the game, which was that I wanted to get paid for my work, but I didn’t want to work for pay.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen by Neva Chonin (Rolling Stone: December 11, 1997). Originally posted Dec 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I did a tour of Poland before the Solidarity government …I discovered that Poland was probably my largest audience in the world. Unfortunately, they paid me in zlotys, which were…not transferable.” Leonard Cohen

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I did a tour of Poland before the solidarity government was established. I discovered that Poland was probably my largest audience in the world. Unfortunately, they paid me in zlotys, which were, as you know, not transferable. At times when my so-called career in the West almost evaporated in most places, there was always this following in Poland and Eastern Europe. I don’t know why. My great-grandfather came from Wylkowyski, which was part of Poland at the time. I was very pleased to be able to say that I came from Poland, although they really didn’t think of me as Polish.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Jewish Book News Interview With Leonard Cohen By Arthur Kurzweil And Pamela Roth: 1994. Poster contributed by jeremek. Photo of cash credit to piviso.com. Originally posted July 30, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric,

 

“It’s enough to put a dent in one’s mood, isn’t it?” Leonard Cohen talks about being bilked out of his savings (2006)

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I’ve been used as a cautionary tale. It’s enough to put a dent in one’s mood, isn’t it? I pay very little attention to business: I mean, I didn’t know where the bank was. I’d never been to the bank. So over the course of my career I’ve lost a great deal of my assets just by … well, I didn’t listen to my mother and that’s why all this happened. When I left Montreal and moved to New York my mother said, ‘Be careful, Leonard, those people are not like us.’ And Mother was right! But the lawsuit did confine me to barracks, so to speak; I don’t want to produce a response like ‘Every cloud has a silver lining,’ but it has, coincidentally or deliberately, produced a lot of good work.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Idol Chatter column by Brantley Bardin in Premiere magazine (June 2006). Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Recouping His Pilfered Funds: “I did the only thing I know how to do, which is sing songs and wash dishes. Well, there’s no money in dishes.”

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Quotation from Leonard Cohen Can’t Slow Down by Gavin Edwards. Rolling Stone (India): October 24, 2014. View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations

“I wasn’t shattered. But I was deeply concerned.” Leonard Cohen On The Loss Of His $5M Retirement Fund

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I was devastated. You know, God gave me a strong inner core, so I wasn’t shattered. But I was deeply concerned.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

A ‘Devastated’ Leonard Cohen by Katherine Macklem (Maclean’s: August 17, 2005). Note: Originally posted February 1, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen explains how he maintained his purity when other folk singers “went for the money”

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In the late ’60s you were in a community of folk singers who played together, sang each other’s songs – And everybody went for the money. Everybody. The thing died very, very quickly; the merchants took over. Nobody resisted. My purity is based on the fact that nobody offered me much money.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Originally posted August 10, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric