Q: I feel humiliated and exposed by my needs and my desires, even when they’re reciprocated. How can I deal with this? Leonard Cohen: “You feel humiliated and confused anyway. Do not confuse the issue with your needs and desires.”

Leonard Cohen answering questions in Details (July, 1993). Originally posted May 13, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Now We Know: The Story Behind This Leonard Cohen Photo

Over the years, I have repeatedly seen this photo online, always without attribution or explanation, and wondered – What the heck is Leonard doing? Happily, I finally discovered the photographer was Ian Cook, who was gracious enough not only to allow me to post this photo but also to answer my query:

I spent several days with Leonard Cohen when he was on tour [and 1979] and at one period he was having a slight nasal and voice problem so he went to a Harley Street Doctor in London who helped him and he was able to carry on with the tour.

Photo Credit: Ian Cook www.iancookphotography.com

“I try everything. I’ll do anything… Nothing works. After a while, if you stick with a song long enough, it will yield. But long enough is way beyond any reasonable estimation of what you might think long enough may be.” Leonard Cohen On Songwriting


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[I bring] anything I can bring to it [writing a song]. Thought, meditation, drinking, disillusion, insomnia, vacations… Because once the song enters the mill, it’s worked on by everything that I can summon. And I need everything. I try everything. I try to ignore it, try to repress it, try to get high, try to get intoxicated, try to get sober, all the versions of myself that I can summon are summoned to participate in this project, this work force. I try everything. I’ll do anything. By any means possible. [Interviewer: ‘Do any of these methods work best?’] No. Nothing works. After a while, if you stick with a song long enough, it will yield. But long enough is way beyond any reasonable estimation of what you might think long enough may be.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen by Paul Zollo. Boulevard Magazine: Jan 29, 2013. Photo by J. Scherr.

“The improvement of the soul is a lifetime project” Leonard Cohen 2008

From On The Loss Of A Great Artist & Inspiration… by Neil Strauss (NeilStrauss.com: November 11, 2016). Photo by Ketil Blom Haugstulen @ http://cargocollective.com/ketilblom/

Leonard Cohen On Writing Songs For New Skin For The Old Ceremony: “I went to Ethiopia looking for a suntan. It rained, including in the Sinai desert, but through this whole period I had my little guitar with me, and it was then I felt the songs emerging”

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I work very slowly and abandoned hope for many of them [the songs for New Skin For The Old Ceremony]. However, last summer I went to Ethiopia looking for a suntan. It rained, including in the Sinai desert, but through this whole period I had my little guitar with me, and it was then I felt the songs emerging – at least, the conclusions that I had been carrying in manuscript form for the last four or five years, from hotel room to hotel room.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Cohen’s New Skin by Harvey Kubernik. Melody Maker: 1 March 1975. Originally posted Dec 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I started playing guitar in 1950, when I spent the summer in a socialist summer camp near Montreal. I really liked the people there because they were the only ones who were interested in songs as a form of self-expression – as people’s music.” Leonard Cohen

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From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo of “Leonard Cohen playing for my mom & uncle, early 1950s, at my great grandmother’s summer campby noahbloom

Hear Leonard Cohen’s Live Performance Of The Butcher – Toronto 1975

Leonard Cohen – The Butcher
Toronto: January 31, 1975

messalina79 (aka Ruth Pietroni) showcases a performance of The Butcher by Leonard Cohen that is vastly different from the studio version featured on Songs From A Room (1969), which is available below for comparison.

Originally posted Feb 13, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric