Is it true that Leonard Cohen still has a problem with his image of Mr. Doom & Gloom?
The image of gloom is one that’s just got into the computer, you know? You got gloom, suicide, bedsitter depression, razor-blades, and also, curiously enough, ladies’ man–as if women found those other characteristics attractive. They don’t. People have this image of you. If somebody says ‘Bob Dylan’, you think ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’. I don’t resist it, I tell you, I feel lucky to have any kind of image, because the scene is ferociously competitive; there is so much good stuff around. To be able to have any kind of identity at all, and one which enables you to make a living–that’s always been a concern of mine. My records have never sold in those vast quantities; until very recently, they sold very modestly, and they still sell modestly in relationship to the people who are considered pop icons. So, yes, ‘Suzanne’, ‘melancholy’, whatever the designations are, I’m ready to live with them, even embrace them.
From Leonard Cohen…What’s Your Problem? Doom and Gloom by Patrick Humphries (Vox: February, 1993). The image is an ad from the May 12, 1973 issue of Billboard magazine employing “The Master Of Erotic Despair,” one of Leonard Cohen’s many nicknames (362 at last count), to promote the Leonard Cohen: Live Songs album. Originally posted Oct 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric