Cohen spoke two really beautiful phrases in his recital. First, he said that his guitar had come home. And at the end of the recital, he dedicated his first concert in Spain to Federico García Lorca.1 The guitar comment was clear; it was a Spanish guitar. But why the dedication?
It’s not that I wanted to earn sympathy by dedicating the recital to Lorca. When I was fifteen years old I discovered a book of his poems that I always took with me, until the book began to lose its pages. He is the poet who has influenced me the most, so much so that a month ago I had a daughter and I decided to call her Lorca, Lorca Cohen. What can I say about a name that at one point in my life changed my way of being and thinking in a radical way? The other part is the Spanish guitar, the deep cante of a people that has known how to place the singer in the position not of someone who is a show but something that has to do with the people and, more than that, with their emotions. I mean flamenco singing. That’s why I have always felt a special desire to perform in Spain.
Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero (1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate.
- Leonard Cohen’s first Spanish concert in 1974 was in Barcelona (Oct 12) [↩]