All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at
The I Love Leonard Cohen Birthday Video premiered in 2011 with a revised version offered in 2015 on the occasion of Leonard’s 81st birthday. It comprises favorite scenes from his life and career set to the infectious “I Love Leonard Cohen” by Robin Grey.1
We Love Leonard Cohen – Celebrating His 81st Birthday
Video by Allan Showalter
More about this theme that endured throughout Leonard Cohen’s career as a singer-songwriter can be found at Leonard Cohen Lays Out His Mission In 1974: “To Become An Elder”
In ‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’ … the whole idea is funny, even though it’s very true. There’s a surface to the song. You don’t have to go beneath the surface. You’re not invited to penetrate the song and analyze it but if you should be so foolish as to want to penetrate the song and analyze it you’d find that it is correct even theologically. Jesus appears in the last verse and whispers to me that you can’t get away from this; even the angelic host understands. Well, Christ who gave himself a lot, who knew that the only way to love was to sacrifice, he knows that if you love, your love will take a wound, so those parts of the world that are inhabited are still there, but nobody’s invited to look at them if they don’t want to. So the song just exists as a song that reaches your ear, but if there’s something else going on all the better. But it’s better to say those things as a joke than to rub somebody’s nose in it.
The verse to which Leonard Cohen refers follows:
I walked into this empty church, I had no place else to go
When the sweetest voice I ever heard whispered to my soul
I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much
It’s written in the scriptures
It’s written there in blood
And I even heard the angels declare it from above
There ain’t no cure, there ain’t no cure, there ain’t no cure for love
From I’m Your Man, by Alberto Manzano. Rockdelux (Spain): May 1988. Photo by Herminia Sirvent.
I don’t think there’s any difference between a crush and profound love. I think the experience is that you dissolve your sentries and your battalions for a moment and you really do see that there is this unfixed free-flowing energy of emotion and thought between people, that it really is there. It’s tangible and you can almost ride on it into another person’s breast. Your heart opens and of course you’re completely panicked because you’re used to guarding this organ with your life.
From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). Photography Dana Lixenberg. Originally posted May 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Selling Brut de Fabergé With Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”
Many fans still hold that Leonard Cohen doesn’t allow his work to be used in commercials. Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner, however, has put together a collection of TV advertisements using Cohen’s music (and sometimes Cohen in person) that challenges this shibboleth.
Note: In March 2010, I first published the content of Indifference: Leonard Cohen’s Cologne Concept, a post featuring a fake ad for a fragrance based on a joke Leonard once made about his creating own cologne to be called “Indifference,” and its slogan was going to be “I don’t give a shit what happens,” Notwithstanding the notion of “based on a joke” and Leonard’s own assessment of the post as “hilarious,” some fans have denounced the post with claims along the line of “Leonard Cohen would never advertise for a cologne or perfume.” Well, read on.
While most of the videos Roman has assembled promote Cohen’s own work (e.g., his album releases or his tours), I am most taken with ads for other products. Ongoing readers may recall the South Korean Ramen TV Ad featuring Cohen’s I’m Your Man. Today’s selection uses that same song in a more sophisticated, more seductive, equally commercial sales pitch, originally broadcast in 1999 in France, for a fragrance. The ad is entitled Brute de Fabergé : Duel.
I have included a few screen captures to provide a sense of the 30 second sales pitch, which features a man and woman thrusting and parrying through a series of violent, provocative, sexy scenes, all set against the soundtrack of Leonard Cohen singing “I’m Your Man.”
Las Vegas: December 11, 2010
Video by albertnoonan
I want you to know I learned about it [the venue switch] the same time you did. There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.
Spoken by Leonard Cohen during his Sept 8, 2012 Concert at Wembley Arena in London. Quoted in Leonard Cohen brings ‘Old Ideas’ to London’s Wembley Arena (NME, September 9, 2012)
Originally posted Sep 9, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
A lot of my work is about what is appropriate behavior in the face of the flood, in the torrent. Is it appropriate to talk about European union? What is the appropriate conversation, the deep conversation? How do you extend fraternal greetings under these conditions – at a time when you can’t be sure if the guy is coming to embrace you or hit you with a baseball bat? You have to develop an alertness that enables you to discern things.
From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993).
Leonard Cohen – Ain’t No Cure For Love
Lisboa: Oct 10, 2010
Video from alittledropofpoison
Originally posted Sep 11, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
AD: Were you surprised at all about the positive response you received about the first Marvin Pontiac record from the likes of folks like Leonard Cohen and Iggy Pop and David Bowie? Is it an easy thing to temper your ego after getting pats on the back from legendary figures like those gents?
John Lurie: I suppose that they agreed to give me the quotes at all was a positive nod toward the Marvin music or my music in general. But, I knew all of them in varying degrees and explained to each of them what I was doing and they all played along. The only person I didn’t know was Leonard Cohen. When Bob Dylan said he wouldn’t do it and he was the only person who refused, I wanted someone in that general ballpark of music. I was on the phone with my travel agent, Barb, booking a house in South Carolina at the last minute. I remembered, during the call, that she was Leonard Cohen’s travel agent and asked if she would mind giving me his number. Barb said she wasn’t comfortable about doing that. And we went back to hurriedly trying to book this house for the next day. An hour later, Barb called back and said, “Here is the number.” I call thinking I am calling about the house, when a very deep, mellifluous voice answers the phone. A voice just like how you would imagine Leonard Cohen to sound on the phone. My mind took a moment to register that I was now talking to Leonard Cohen. Then I started to laugh. Then I hung up. Because how would that have gone after laughing? I waited a couple of days and called him back. And he was very generous with me.
From Catching Up With John Lurie (Aquarium Drunkard: Feb 1, 2018). Photo by Ray Henders – http://archinect.com/features/article/65557450/fishing-for-architecture-with-john-lurie someone, Pubblico dominio, Collegamento
On Dec 20, 2010, 1HeckOfAGuy.com (Cohencentric’s predecessor) posted The Guy Leonard Cohen Never Introduced, an expose of Leonard Cohen’s failure to acknowledge the services of the guy who carries his guitar:
Now, Leonard Cohen certainly has the right to emulate his fellow rock stars and professional entertainers who, once they achieve fame and fortune, dump their menial but necessary chores – such as carrying a singer’s guitar or a cleanup hitter’s bat from location to location – onto underlings who have no other occupational options. Further, this elderly gentleman, who appears to be in his mid 70s, might have been thankful for the work, perhaps having suffered some kind of fiscal reversal that compelled him to take a position as an unskilled laborer when he should have been playing with his grandchildren or going on a spiritual retreat.
But shouldn’t he at least have been treated with respect? In various concerts and in interviews over the course of the past three years, Cohen lavishly thanked his band members, his backup singers, those who prepared food for the troupe, those who arranged transportation, those responsible for setting up and taking down the equipment, the lighting director, the person who cared for the fedoras, and many others involved in the success of the Tour.
Not once, however, did he publicly recognize, let alone commend the impeccably reliable service of this individual (as far as I can determine, Cohen has never found himself sans guitar when he stepped up to play “The Darkness” or “Feels So Good”), a man who uncomplainingly carried out his demeaning job in the service of the Tour and always managed to keep himself clean and decently groomed.
Since then, many more photos of The Guy Who Carries Leonard Cohen’s Guitar have appeared.
This photo by Szilvia Szanto, for example, clearly captures Joey Carenza give instructions to the guy who carries Leonard Cohen’s guitar.
And recently, we’ve discovered that guitar-carrying is by no means the only task that falls to this guy (or guys – it’s difficult to discern whether all of these jobs fall to the same guy or there is a retinue of these guys who resemble one another). For example, there’s
The Guy Who Takes Care Of Leonard Cohen’s Car
Photo by Lorca Cohen