“Los Angeles is a great city – it’s falling apart on every level… a very suitable landscape for my dismal expression.” Leonard Cohen

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Los Angeles is a great city — it’s falling apart on every level. Geologically it’s falling apart, politically it’s falling apart, the physical realm is also in deep fragmentation…a very suitable landscape for my dismal expression.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993). Photo by Robert A. Eplett – This image is from the FEMA Photo Library., Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Note: In addition to experiencing the 1992 Los Angeles earthquake, Leonard Cohen observed the 1992 LA Riots up close and personal from his home:

I live about 8 minutes drive from South Central & the local shops were going up. My 7-11 grocery store went up, Goodman’s Music where I buy my musical supplies, Radio Shack, where I buy my electronics, they all went up. From my balcony I could see five great fires. The air was thick with cinders.1

See other Leonard Cohen geopolitical quotes at

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  1. Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993 []

A Directory To Online Poetry Recitations By Leonard Cohen

Many viewers have expressed a special appreciation for Leonard Cohen’s poetry recitations. If you fall into that group, this is a resource that will delight you. Marie, at Leonard Cohen Concordance, has compiled an annotated list of links to online recordings (including both videos and audio-only recordings) of Leonard Cohen reciting a significant number of his own poems as well as a few works by others: Poems Recited By Leonard Cohen.

I’ve included a screenshot below (click on image to enlarge) of the first few poems listed to offer a sense of the available recitations. The actual Poems Recited By Leonard Cohen list is, of course, much larger.

“We do live in several different worlds. We live in a world that’s mundane, a world that’s apocalyptic, a world of order and a world that knows no order. We’re continually juggling these worlds, entering them and leaving them.” Leonard Cohen

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I’ve been writing about this for a long time. In a song I wrote in 1979 [The Gypsy’s Wife] I said these are the final days, these are the final hours, this is the darkness, this is the flood. Y’know — don’t wait for the apocalypse, It’s already happened. It’s already come down on us, we are in it right now. It’s not something that’s going to happen outside, this one is inside and it’s raging. I don’t feel like being a wild-eyed prophet on the streets shouting, ‘Repent, repent’ but we do live in several different worlds. We live in a world that’s mundane, a world that’s apocalyptic, a world of order and a world that knows no order. We’re continually juggling these worlds, entering them and leaving them. I’ve always had the sense that this apocalyptic reality is with us, it’s not something that’s coming.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993).

“The Future would be pretty grim if I just nailed it up on the church door like Martin Luther. I mean it is a hot little track and you can dance to it. It’s gotta have that.” Leonard Cohen


From Rebirth of a Ladies’ Man By Brendan Kelly. The Financial Post: December 12, 1992.

Q: Is it true that you wrote Beautiful Losers largely under the influence or with the help of drugs? Leonard Cohen: “That is true. I took a lot of amphetamines…”

Is it true that you wrote Beautiful Losers largely under the influence or with the help of drugs?

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That is true. I took a lot of amphetamines. I felt that it increased the powers of my mind tenfold. I could work very hard for hours. I was never addicted, and I was not aware of the consequences. At a certain point, I could not take anything anymore, I could hardly live. It just stopped, I collapsed, the system collapsed. This is not a very good drug for the depressed because the descent is very unpleasant. I took ten years to fully recover, I had absences, I was grilled from the inside. I could not get up, I was in bed like a vegetable, long unable to do anything, without eating. I weighed less than 40 kg. It is said that amphetamines do not invent anything, that they draw on the resources to come. At home, they had taken over ten years. I have taken it once in a while, but never again regularly. I have not touched the hallucinogens, never the hard drugs, while many people around me have died, some very close.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.

Also See The Miracle Of The Storks: Leonard Cohen Talks About His Breakdown & Recovery After Writing Beautiful Losers

Leonard Cohen Animation: Dino Soldo Fires Up Crowd

 

Dino Soldo was not only Leonard Cohen’s “Master Of Wind;” he was also the “Caliph Of Clapping.” To rev up the audience in anticipation of First We Take Manhattan, he would perform his signature above-the-head clapping. While Javier Mas and Bob Metzger would contribute as well, it was Dino who was the most emphatic. This animation depicts his efforts at the August 1, 2010 Sligo show as recorded by Albert Noonan.

View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations.