Leonard Cohen On The Significance Of His Spanish Guitar & Federico García Lorca

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.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero (1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate.


  1. Leonard Cohen’s first Spanish concert in 1974 was in Barcelona (Oct 12) []

“I think the crisis that we’re in right now is of such acute urgency that these tiny distractions of what survives and what doesn’t as cultural artifacts is really quite irrelevant.” Leonard Cohen


These days, most kids wouldn’t even know what a sonnet was. Does that sadden you at all?

It doesn’t matter, I don’t have a deep, vested interest in that kind of education. As the Talmud says, ‘There is good wine in every generation,’ and ‘Old forms pass away.’ There are some people, like myself, that somehow operate as a bridge between the old culture and the new one. It doesn’t really matter. I think the crisis that we’re in right now is of such acute urgency that these tiny distractions of what survives and what doesn’t as cultural artifacts is really quite irrelevant.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Rebirth Of A Ladies’ Man by Steven Blush. Seconds No 22: June/July 1993. The image atop this post is the back cover of Flowers for Hitler by Leonard Cohen (Jonathan Cape, UK: 1973). Photo by Sophie Baker.

Note: In the original article, the Talmud quotation reads

As the Talmud says, ‘There is a good line in every generation’ [emphasis mine]

This is the only instance I’ve found of Leonard attributing “a good line” to the Talmud. In several other interviews, however, he is quoted as follows:

As the Talmud says, ‘There is good wine in every generation’ [emphasis mine]

I am confident that in this article, Leonard was accidentally misquoted.

Leonard Cohen warns about risk of questioner’s “habitual drift toward the trivial”

I am twenty-eight; I work and attend college. I have been single for three years and love women but have developed a strong attraction for Italian men only. I have repeated dreams about them. What should I do?

J.G. (Los Angeles, CA)

This habitual drift toward the trivial will continue to make you suffer.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From The Determinator, Questions Posed by Fans (Details: July, 1993). Originally posted June 9, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. Photo by Dominique Issermann.

Striking Photos: 2012 Leonard Cohen Edmonton Concert

The impressive clarity, color, and depth of these photos of Leonard Cohen and his musicians performing in Edmonton render them striking indeed. These images are the work of Ned Yeung, A.C.E., Cyclops Photo Studio.

Originally posted Nov 20, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Thank you friends, for climbing to those high places… Thank you friends, for endangering your household budgets” Outstanding Video: Leonard Cohen Performs The Future – Amsterdam 2013

Leonard Cohen – The Future
Amsterdam: Sept 20, 2013
Video by albertnoonan

Originally posted December 31, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric