“As Roshi says, you can’t live in paradise – no restaurants or toilets.” Leonard Cohen On Boogie Street

There are moments – I suppose when you embrace your children, or kiss your beloved, or plunge into a pool of cold water – when you forget who you are, when you forget yourself, and that’s a very refreshing occasion, and it’s paradise – there’s no you. But you resurrect immediately into Boogie Street. If you’re lucky, you resurrect with the residue of the experience of paradise. But, as Roshi says, you can’t live in paradise – no restaurants or toilets.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


State of Grace by Doug Saunders. Globe and Mail: Sept 1, 2001. Accessed 09 June 2014 at Ten New Songs. Originally posted June 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Terrorism, Kerouac, Songwriting, Zen, Dylan, Joan Baez, Chelsea Hotel #1 and #2, Jennifer Warnes, & Irving Layton (1993)

Plus Paris Models Recitation, Using Computers To Write & Draw, Origins Of “Way Down Deep” and “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum” In Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen interviewed about The Future
Vin Scelsa’s Idiot’s Delight – June 13, 1993

From the Soundcloud description:

This originally aired live on the Sunday night sojourn of Idiot’s Delight on WXRK (92.3 KROCK) in New York. The first attack on the World Trade Center in late February 1993 was still on everyone’s mind; thoughts and questions about the nature of “the terrorist mentality” were very much in the air. Leonard’s latest album was “The Future.” He was in New York for a concert. His thoughts on the subject were vivid and have proved chillingly prescient over the years. Note : The music played that night has been truncated for this Podcast; same with the commercial breaks. Otherwise this is how it went down. Leonard Cohen was unique … it was a great privilege to spend this time with him.


A transcript of this interview is included in Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen, Editor Jeff Burger

Leonard Cohen: “[The Future] evokes a scene of the end of things”

‘There’ll be the breaking of the Western code, I mean your private life will suddenly explode.’ That is the whole investment in private space that the West has painfully established over the centuries. That is specifically what is going to collapse. ‘There will be phantoms, there’ll be fires on the road’ – a return to suspicion, superstition, return to the tribal paranoia and the white man dancing. It evokes a scene of the end of things but with certain variations.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From TV Interview by Barbara Gowdy. Broadcast Nov 19, 1992 on TVOntario and published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, edited by Leanna Crouch (1994).

Leonard Cohen On How His Career Would Have Been Different “If I had one of those good voices”

I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

“Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough” By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Photo of Leonard Cohen at 1993 Juno Awards by George Kraychyk. Originally posted April 9, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I do it for the same reason the sparrow sings – even when it doesn’t have a very good voice” Leonard Cohen

Where do you get inspiration for your work?

Maybe I do it for the same reason the sparrow sings – even when it doesn’t have a very good voice. No one tells the sparrow that it should sing the same way as a nightingale. Some of us are just born this way. I think it’s natural that I write. Whether I have a voice or not, what I do is part of me.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016) Via computer translation.

“You’re continually see-sawing back and forth between the secular and the spiritual until from time to time you hit it right” Leonard Cohen On Songwriting

When people ask me, ‘What’s your favorite song?’ I say ‘Blueberry Hill.’ ‘I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill / The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill.’ That’s as good as it gets, as far as I know. You know everything about that moment. You know, you’re continually see-sawing back and forth between the secular and the spiritual until from time to time you hit it right. It’s there on ‘Blueberry Hill,’ or ‘Old Man River’ from Ray Charles. And what is that? What is that about? Is it about work? Is it about God? Is it about love? It’s impossible to say; it’s been transmuted into the world, and the song doesn’t invite you to examine your achievements in the realm of piety or religiosity or even love, but the song itself is embracing all those elements! Like in Beautiful Losers, there’s certain moments when the lyricism and the spontaneity and the boldness allow the expression to be without self-regard, without self-consciousness, and once that happens, once that moment happens, then the embrace is absolute: Everything is embraced, nothing is left out! It’s when you leave things out that you get on the one side pious, on the other side the vulgar or pornographic. If God is left out of sex, it becomes pornographic; if sex is left out of God, it becomes pious and self-righteous.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993)

Note: Originally posted October 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric