Leonard Cohen Video Of The Day: The Guests – German TV 1979

One by one, the guests arrive
The guests are coming through
The open-hearted many
The broken-hearted few
And no one knows where the night is going
And no one knows why the wine is flowing
Oh, love I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you, oh
I need you now

Leonard Cohen – The Guests
ZDF-TV Rock Pop Special
München, Deutschland, October 31, 1979

“[My work] may not be always easy to understand, but it is easy to embrace…” Leonard Cohen on the Comprehension of His Songs

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Interviewer: “His work, I put to him [Leonard Cohen], is not always easy to understand.”

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No. Well, it may not be always easy to understand, but it is easy to embrace. It’s simple. ‘All at once the torches flare / The inner door flies open / One by one they enter there / In every style of passion.’ Every style of passion is in my work… It’s best just to think of these as little songs, not terribly complicated, not any more complicated than anyone’s experience. How could they be? It is the work of my heart.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Love Me, Love My Gun Barrel by Graham Lock. New Musical Express: February 23, 1980. Photo of Leonard Cohen performing in Amsterdam, 1980 by Pete Purnell.

A discussion of related issues can be found at Three Characteristics That Make A Song A Leonard Cohen Song: #3. Artistic Design – Introduction

Leonard Cohen on the significance of “The Guests”

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Its sensibility is sponsored by the poems of Rumi and Attar, who are Persian poets of the 12th and 13th centuries. I guess it’s a religious song, just about our strangerhood on the Earth and how it’s resolved. ‘One by one, the guests arrive/Guests are coming through/The openhearted many/The brokenhearted few.’ [The guests ask] ‘Where is God? Where is truth? Where is life?’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Poet of Brokenness by Mikal Gilmore (Rolling Stone: 30 November 2016) Note:  The entire article – an excellent read – is available at the link.

Pristine Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Guests On French TV – 1979

Leonard Cohen - screen capture from French TV

Leonard Cohen – screen capture from French TV

And no one knows where the night is going
And no one knows why the wine is flowing
Oh, love I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you, oh
I need you now

This extraordinarily vivid video of Leonard Cohen singing “The Guests” was originally broadcast on French TV on December 15, 1979.1

lc-french-tv--dec-15-1979-violinist.jjpgAccompanying Cohen on the violin – and evoking smiles of approbation from him –  is Armenian Raffi Hakopian.

Leonard Cohen – The Guests
French TV: December 15, 1979

Note: Originally posted July 17, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Date provided by INA.fr archives []

Best Videos Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour: The Guests – Madrid

guestsOne by one, the guests arrive
The guests are coming through
The open-hearted many
The broken-hearted few
And no one knows where the night is going
And no one knows why the wine is flowing
Oh, love I need you, I need you, I need you, I need you, oh
I need you now

Best 2012 Leonard Cohen Videos: Cohencentric.com features selections from the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist, which comprises the best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen World Tour.

Leonard Cohen – The Guests
Madrid: Oct 5, 2012
Video by