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

Leonard Cohen, An Artist? Indeed – Leonard Cohen, A Salesman? Not So Much

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I am grateful to my friends in Oslo for the opportunity to showcase my doodles. I hope no one will feel obligated to buy anything.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen quoted in an Cohen i stort format i Oslo  (Osloby :  Aug 9, 2011), an article about the August 13, 2011 opening of an exhibition of his art at a gallery in Oslo.

Note: Originally posted August 10, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Music Business: “You cannot suppress the soul or confine a heart forever”

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Though it looks bleak right now, the [music business]  works in such a way that a creative genius will always have enough power to burst all existing moorings. You cannot suppress the soul or confine a heart forever.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohens store comeback by Leif Gjerstad (LeffesLab: Jan 12, 2015) Translated from German to English by Google Translate and other online translation processes. Interview originally published in February 1985 in several newspapers, including Bergens Tidende and Ny Tid)

“20 Brilliant Musicians On Why They Make Music” – Leonard Cohen

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It seems like the height of folly to decide to solve your economic problems by becoming a singer. But I’d always played guitar, and I’d always sung. And I’d played in a country-western band, in Montreal… I came down to New York, and I didn’t have very much success in getting the ear of anyone. I visited some agents and they’d say, ‘Turn around, kid… let’s have a look at you. Aren’t you a little too old for this game?’ I was 32 at the time. I think I was eating very little; I was about 116 pounds…and going to all the clubs, and listening and playing and writing. Just the ordinary cliche of a young writer in New York.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Tom Hawking has posted quotations from “20 Brilliant Musicians on Why They Make Music” at Flavorwire (Oct 11, 2012). The original sources of the quotations are also provided, although they are easy to miss (hint: look for the “[via]” at the bottom of the text).  Leonard Cohen’s explanation is from a Elizabeth Bacon-Smith transcription of the audio tape of a September 20, 1986 BBC interview –The John Hammond Years at LeonardCohenFiles. Other artists in the article include Tom Waits, David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker, Nick Cave, and Patti Smith.

Note: Originally posted October 12, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Music Business Economics, Einstein, & Motivation

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A number of people know my name, but very few people have bought a record of mine. So I’m in the same kind of economic situation as Einstein. Everybody knew his name, but he was not a very rich man. So I have to continue working for reasons that are a lot less fancy than art and life and literature. I’ve had to make a living.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Interview – Finland 1993

Note: Originally posted Jan 25, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The 10-15 Minute Revolution Of The 60s And The Relationship Of Art & Commerce

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What we called the revolution of the 60s was also 10 or 15 minutes, and then it was taken over immediately by the head shops and the hustlers and the money makers … it’s also not written anywhere that commerce is an enemy of revolution or an enemy of art. In fact, art and commerce have always been indistinguishable.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Interview with Serge Simonart (1992)