Leonard Cohen on His 2008 Tour: “It didn’t look like it was going to pan out very well” – From Leonard Cohen Master of Song by Sylvie Simmons

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Leonard Cohen’s Reluctance To Begin The 2008 Tour

Graciously acceding to my request, Sylvie Simmons offers an excerpt from her forthcoming 5000 word essay on Leonard Cohen that will appear in The next issue of MOJO (#279), which should be in the hands of subscribers and on newsstands the end of Dec 2016 or early Jan 2017.

“It’s hard to separate the feelings at the beginning of the [2008]  tour”, said Leonard. “Reluctance of course. The difficulty of assembling the band, especially when you haven’t done it for almost fifteen years, and in those early periods of assembling the band I guess I felt some reluctance that I had started the whole process, because it didn’t look like it was going to pan out very well. There was a great anxiety about whether we had a show. And my voice”, he laughed. “Well my voice was the least of my worries. I’ve never thought of my voice as a fine or a delicate instrument; I’ve never thought of myself as a singer.” But finally he said he was ready.

Sneak Preview From “Leonard Cohen Master Of Song” By Sylvie Simmons – MOJO #279

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“The Life Of Leonard Cohen Was A Series Of Radical Departures”

Graciously acceding to my request, Sylvie Simmons provides an excerpt from her forthcoming 5000 word essay on Leonard Cohen that will appear in The next issue of MOJO (#279), which should be in the hands of subscribers and on newsstands the end of Dec 2016 or early Jan 2017.

“I was always going off the deep end”, said Cohen, smiling. “So it was no radical departure.” True, when you think about it, the life of Leonard Cohen was a series of radical departures.

Cohen was 33 when his debut album came out. Another radical departure, this being when you weren’t to trust anyone over thirty. Like his poems, his lyrics were sophisticated and dense. Although he had consumed copious amounts of acid and speed, his songs showed no evidence of either. His songs were like nothing else being made in the late 60s, he was unique, at the same time ancient and fresh. John Hammond had a hard time getting Columbia to sign an “old poet”. 

From the outset, Cohen’s relationship with the music business had ranged from dismal to conflicted.

MOJO 279 (Feb 2017) Offers “Leonard Cohen Master Of Song” By Sylvie Simmons

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Sylvie Simmons (and Bono) hymn the greatness of Leonard Cohen

From  MOJO Blog: December 15, 2016

Note: MOJO does not routinely publish articles of this sort online so those who wish to see this piece need to track down a print copy (or a friend who has a subscription)

Photo Of Sylvie Simmons, Author Of I’M Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen, May Be Clue To Worldwide Post-It Shortage

9166857843_0b9f28824c_oSylvie Simmons, author of I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, at June 13, 2013 Rough Trade reading. Photo by Lynette van Duyn

Update: The following announcement of one of Sylvie’s presentations, the original reason for this post, is outdated, but I love the evocative photo atop this post.

Ms Simmons appears today (June 30, 2013) at

Leigh-on-Sea – Lunch with Leonard in a church in Southend

Reading, signing and a song or two at New Road Methodist Church -part of the Leigh on Sea festival

New Rd Leigh-on-Sea, Essex 1.30-2pm

Note: Originally posted June 30, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric