Leonard Cohen On Bob Dylan And Bob Dylan On Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen’s comment about Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize, “It’s like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain,” is a notable but hardly exclusive manifestation of the interface between the preeminent bards of contemporary music. Since the 1960s, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan shared what Larry “Ratso” Sloman has called “a relationship of tremendous mutual respect.”

A collection of posts about the interface between Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan, including their opinions of each other, their interactions, and their occasional differences can be found at ce

Credits: Leonard’s evaluation of Bob Dylan below is from a 1994 Q Magazine interview (photo courtesy of Leonard Cohen); Bob Dylan’s assessment of Leonard is from the 2016 New Yorker Leonard Cohen profile by David Remnick (photo by Alberto Cabello via Wikipedia Commons).

“Then We Take Berlin” Vivid Leonard Cohen Video: First We Take Manhattan – Berlin 2013



Leonard Cohen’s performances of First We Take Manhattan in New York and, especially, Berlin are typically powerful and invariably trigger a tremendous response from the audience. This July 17, 2013 rendition of First We Take Manhattan in the German capital is exemplary on both counts.

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Berlin: July 17, 2013
Video by kyoshi9


Best 2013 Leonard Cohen Videos: The best available video of each of the songs performed during the 2013 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour can be found at the Best Of 2013 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist

Note: Originally posted July 19, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Songwriting: “I have to come up with something that really speaks to my deepest interest. Otherwise I just nod off.”


My immediate realm of thought is bureaucratic and like a traffic jam. My ordinary state of mind is very much like the waiting room at the DMV. Or, as I put it in a quatrain, ‘The voices in my head, they don’t care what I do, they just want to argue the matter through and through.’ So to penetrate this chattering and this meaningless debate that is occupying most of my attention, I have to come up with something that really speaks to my deepest interest. Otherwise I just nod off in one way or another. So to find that song, that urgent song, takes a lot of versions and a lot of work and a lot of sweat.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen – Los Angeles 1992 from Songwriters On Songwriting By Paul Zollo. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles. Originally posted December 15, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Girls Gone Wild: University of Alberta, Edmonton Female English Majors Swoon Over Poet Leonard Cohen – 1966


Normally cool, level-headed, and rational … literature-oriented females reacted to the poet like a mob of teenie-boppers leaving a performance of that modern teen-age aphrodisiac–the Beatles. … Young women apparently took one look at Mr Cohen’s mystic countenance, heard one word spill from his magic lips, saw one seductive roll of his soft, brown eyes, and then suddenly began to feel the pulsating heat of animal passion coursing through their veins.quotedown2

From In Praise Of Younger Women (an editorial written when Leonard Cohen the Poet visited the University of Alberta – Edmonton in Dec 1966) by Ralph Melnychuk. The Gateway: December 7, 1966. Found at Peel’s Prairie Provinces – University of Alberta Libraries. Photo taken in Edmonton in 1966 by Rocco Caratozzolo, contributed by Kim Solez.

DrHGuy Note: Leonard Cohen’s visit to Edmonton took place in 1966, a year before his first album, Songs Of Leonard Cohen, was released.

Originally posted July 31, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

An Halloween Poem to Delight My Younger Friends: Leonard Cohen’s First Published Work – With Notes


CIV/n #4 - The literary magazine that first published Leonard Cohen

CIV/n #4 – The literary magazine that first published Leonard Cohen


I had started writing before I met [Louis Dudek] but it was he who published me first in CIV/n 4, a piece called ‘An Halloween Poem to Delight My Younger Friends.’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen1

An Halloween Poem to Delight My Younger Friends
by Leonard Norman Cohen

(Ou sont les jeunes?)2

Impassive frogs, skins stretched taut,
grey with late October,
the houses down my street
crouched, unaware of each other.

Unaware of a significant wind
and mad children igniting heaps of rattling leaves
and the desperate cry of desperate birds.

Dry, stuffed, squatting frogs.

I don’t know where the children got the birds.
Certainly, there are few around my house. Oh,
there is the occasional sparrow or robin or wren,
but these were big birds.
There were several turns of parcel twine about
each bird to secure its wings and feet. It was
that particularly hard variety of twine that can’t
be pulled apart but requires a knife or scissors
to be cut.
I was so lost in the ritual that I’m not sure if
it was seven or eight they burnt.

Continue Reading →

  1. Louis Dudek: A Biographical Introduction by Susan Strumberg-Stein (Dundum: Jan 1, 1983) []
  2. See first entry under DrHGuy’s Notes []

Leonard Cohen on Realizing “You Can Abandon Your Predicament”


I remember there was one moment, I was just lying in bed thinking I can’t take this anymore, and a voice said, ‘You don’t have to take it anymore.’ It’s that precious, miraculous moment where you realise you can change your mind, you can abandon your predicament and nothing’s going to happen to you.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Eight Hours To Harry, Kristine McKenna (KCRW: Oct 1988)

For more about Leonard Cohen’s take on resolving the human predicament, see The Human Predicament In Leonard Cohen’s Music – Part 1 and Part 2

Originally posted Jan 17, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Playlist: Stream Every Leonard Cohen Album in a 22-Hour Chronological Playlist (1967-2016)

Excerpted from Hallelujah!: You Can Stream Every Leonard Cohen Album in a 22-Hour Chronological Playlist (1967-2016)

Perhaps no one since Thomas Hardy has matched Leonard Cohen in the dogged persistence of literary bleakness. Cohen’s entry into a Zen monastery in 1996 was a “response to a sense of despair that I’ve always had,” he said in an interview that year. Ten years later, Cohen told Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air, “I had a great sense of disorder in my life of chaos, of depression, of distress. And I had no idea where this came from. And the prevailing psychoanalytic explanations at the time didn’t seem to address the things I felt.”

Stream all Leonard Cohen albums at link.

Photos: Leonard Cohen & The Wellington Waterfront Busker – Jan 16, 2009

Leonard Cohen & The Wellington Waterfront Busker

Leonard Cohen’s 2009 Pacific Tour began with a January 20, 2009 show in Wellington, New Zealand. Photographer Des Pitfield at CVC Studios took these shots of the singer-songwriter taking in the Wellington, New Zealand waterfront on January 16, 2009 and described what he saw:

I watched as Leonard wandered along the Wellington waterfront that day. He was in New Zealand for a concert tour.. There was a busker [seen at the top right quadrant of the 2nd photo] right playing guitar and mouth organ using a small amp. Leonard put some money into his guitar case and I said to my friend I bet that guy has no idea who just gave him a dollar.. he nodded a thank you but kept playing …

Note: Please do not re-post the images without the photographer’s permission.

Note: Originally posted Dec 1, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Rare Leonard Cohen Vinyl 45 RPM – Dress Rehearsal Rag & Avalanche

Dominique BOILE writes a succinct explanation of (1) the rarity of this record and his motivation for acquiring it:

For more than forty years I have searched for every vinyl 45 rpm of Leonard Cohen’s songs. I had never seen this one before. So I bought it.

Dominique also notes that is there is no specified side A or side B in this Canadian 45 which features Dress Rehearsal Rag & Avalanche (perfect for parties and sock hops).

Note: Originally posted October 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Video From Oana Maria Cajal: Leonard Cohen In The Magic Garden Of Hat Productions


For Everything There Is A Season

Oana Maria Cajal, whose evocative, Leonard Cohen-themed videos have been cherished features at Cohencentric and its predecessor sites provides this description of herself:

I am a poet, a playwright, a painter. I believe the poetry created the world. My hobby: Survival! My message is urgent: In the Spotlight of Death, Life shines in its brightest colors. Celebrate! This very second! Right Now!

While her previous videos, reflecting that urgency, have been fast-paced, almost hectic, today’s offering is less dramatically driven but equally intense and compelling.

Leonard Cohen In The Magic Garden Of Hat Productions

Autumn was never more beautiful to our souls, tired of death.
For Balcica and Teo, Oct. 14, Saint-Sauveur.

Posts featuring work by this artist are collected at . Originally posted Oct 18, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric