“I write the songs when I get to that place where I can’t be dishonest about what I’ve been doing” Leonard Cohen

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I always experience myself as falling apart, and I’m taking emergency measures. It’s coming apart at every moment. I try Prozac. I try love. I try drugs. I try Zen meditation. I try the monastery. I try forgetting about all those strategies and going straight. And the place where the evaluation happens is where I write the songs, when I get to that place where I can’t be dishonest about what I’ve been doing.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993.

Note: Originally posted Jan 12, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on being asked his view of himself: “It’s one of the things I’m least interested in”

Interviewer: I was wondering how your songs reflect your own view of yourself, as a songwriter and a musician.

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It’s very hard for me to locate a view of myself. It’s one of the things I’m least interested in. I’m reminded of that story I read in Dalva, a novel by Jim Harrison, who is speaking of certain tribes where the white man tried to introduce the mirror, and certain native American tribes refused to accept the mirror. The reason was, they said, that your face is for others to look at.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Note: Dalva is a 1988 novel by James “Jim” Harrison. It’s the tale of a woman’s search for the son she had given up for adoption and for the boy’s father, who is also her half-brother. Throughout the narrative, Dalva invokes the memory of her pioneer great-grandfather John Wesley Northridge, a survivor of Andersonville and a naturalist whose journals describe the demise of the Plains Indian way of life.

From Stolen Moments: Leonard Cohen by Tom Schnabel. Acrobat Books, 1988.

“There is a whole tradition of music where you just want to hear the man telling a story as authentically as you can. That is why there is a place for singers like me.” Leonard Cohen

The Profits Of Doom by Steve Turner. Q Magazine: April 1988.

Note: Originally posted Oct 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’ve always had a fantasy that some director will find me sitting at a drug store counter…I would be cast as some kind of detective with wide lapels ” Leonard Cohen

jajplc

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I’ve always had a fantasy that some director will find me sitting at a drug store counter, like Hedy Lamar or who ever it was. Who was it, who was that girl who was discovered in the drug store on Sunset Boulevard? A very famous actress, Hedy Lamar or somebody like that. I always wanted this to happen. Some very perceptive director would see that I stood for something very, very particular. I would take all the work away from it. I thought I would not have to create myself as an image. I would be cast as some kind of detective with wide lapels and then I could just put out my sound …quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel: Winter 1969.

DrHGuy Note – Re The Album Cover Illustration: The idea of Leonard Cohen being “cast as some kind of detective with wide lapels” called to mind the distinctive pop art of the sleeve cover for the Japanese CBS orange label 7″ vinyl version of Dance Me To The End Of Love (“B” side: If It Be Your Will).

DrHGuy Note – The Actress Discovered At Schwab’s Story: The Hollywood legend to which Leonard Cohen alludes held that actress Lana Turner rather than Hedy Lamar was discovered by director Mervyn LeRoy at the soda counter at Schwab’s Pharmacy (the actual location was not Schwab’s but the Top Hat Cafe on Sunset Boulevard, where Ms Turner was discovered by William Wilkerson, publisher of the Hollywood Reporter).

Note: Originally posted October 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Working “I feel better when I’m working …”

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I feel better when I’m working than when I’m not, but I feel both things – a need to write and a need to quit. The need to write is greater – off and on. Sometimes you get tired of the whole thing; think you’ll get an honest job. Sometimes you know you’re just dealing with the pipes and you think you’d like to get out of the basement. But you recognise your limitations and try to work within them…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Suffering For Fan And Profit – The Return Of Leonard Cohen by Mick Brown. Sounds: July 3 1976, Accessed 26 April 2014 at LeonardCohenFiles

Note: Originally posted September 26, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on realizing “that I had no position and that nobody else did either.”

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I couldn’t enter into the orthodox Jewish stream, the Hassidic dance — I tried, but it wasn’t really my own. I couldn’t really become a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, since it was over, but I did go down to Spain. I wasn’t British, I didn’t have the right accent or speak the kind of English my professors spoke. There was plenty of café culture in Montreal, but I wasn’t welcome there. It was mainly French and I spoke English. You had more prestige if you came from the wrong side of the tracks and I came from the right side. So I was always trying to find a café that was mine, a language and style that was mine, always looking for a homeland and a position — until it became clear to me that I had no position and that nobody else did either. They’d been swept awayquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993