Leonard Cohen Plays Radio City Music Hall – 2009

I get off on marquee shots such as the one atop this post. That the marquee is for a Leonard Cohen concert and is attached to a landmark like Radio City Music Hall is just that much better. The photos of Leonard in performance are a nice bonus. The shows took place May 16 & 17, 2009,

Credit Due Department: The good folks at Madison Square Garden have given permission to publish these photos, all of which were taken by Chad Batka.

Originally posted May 22, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Q: Would you rather make love or make poems? Or is it the same thing? Leonard Cohen: “That depends on the girl”


From A Session With Poet Cohen by Jon Whyte, Patricia Hughes, Terry Donnelly, and John Thompson. The Gateway, December 2, 1966. (The Gateway is the student newspaper of The University of Alberta)

“To move a song from a slogan to an authentic expression is really what the enterprise is about… discarding the lines that come too easy… waiting until something else bubbles up that is a little truer” Leonard Cohen On The 3 Steps Of Creating A Song

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I wish it didn’t take so long to finish a song and to make a record… it seems to be a long process… it’s trying to discover how I really feel about something. To move a song from a slogan to an authentic expression is really what the enterprise is about… discarding the lines that come too easy…  waiting until something else bubbles up that is a little truer… There’s the writing of the song, which can be laborious and difficult; there’s the recording of the song in the studio, which also takes a tremendous concentration… to materialize the songs. And then the third part of the process is singing the songs in front of other people.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, speaking “for German television in 1997,” quoted in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia by Michael Gray (2006). Photo by Johann Agust Hansen.

“I wrote a song like Everybody Knows to close that gap [between private life & public life] and the only way to close it is by speaking of it humourously, speaking of it as a joke, and saying the things that we all know” Leonard Cohen on Everybody Knows

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Without the music and nonsense rhymes, Everybody Knows would be pretty hard to take – the funeral quality of the message. It also pushes things very, very far just to get a laugh and that makes it amusing. It gives a jingle effect that as I say modifies and mitigates the heaviness of the vision. I think that everybody does know these things…These ideas were started a long time ago in my work, but the romantic world is just as Lorca said in that poem Take This Waltz. These romantic images that he’s using…he knows they’re rotten, he know they’re old, he knows they’re finished. That’s why it’s such a modern poem… There seems to be some appetite to say those words: ‘Everybody knows it’s coming apart.’ Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s just because I’m middle-aged and maybe nothing’s coming apart but, to me, those images, those romantic expectations, those religious expectations, the political vocabulary, are obsolete. I’ve never felt so much difference between the private life and the public life. There doesn’t seem to be a public life and there’s nobody speaking in a way that seems to address me… I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just getting old, maybe not, maybe I’m right, so I wrote a song like Everybody Knows to close that gap and the only way to close it is by speaking of it humourously, speaking of it as a joke, and saying the things that we all know.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

I’m Your Man by Alberto Manzano (Rockdelux (Spain): May 1988)

“[Mine was] the most uneventful kind of Norman Rockwell childhood. The absence of events is what distinguishes it.” Leonard Cohen

l-m-eFrom left: Esther (Leonard Cohen’s sister), Masha
(Leonard Cohen’s mother), Leonard Cohen

From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993. Originally posted February 7, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Motivation For Recording Songs of Leonard Cohen “I was trying to come up with a solution to being a writer and not having to go to a university to teach.”

From 7 Reasons Leonard Cohen Is the Next-Best Thing to God by David Browne. Entertainment Weekly, Jan 8, 1993.

“He was a very happy grandfather… He was always very sweet to me as Viva’s father. He’d introduce me to people by saying: ‘This is Rufus, he’s a member of my family.'” Rufus Wainwright Remembers Leonard Cohen

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He was a very happy grandfather. I remember one day when we were all just sitting there quietly, watching Viva play. He was smiling so much. He was always very sweet to me as Viva’s father. He’d introduce me to people by saying: ‘This is Rufus, he’s a member of my family.’ … I think it’s a tragedy that we lost the man now. He was such a smart guy at a time when there aren’t many smart guys around. There’s also so much more that I wanted to ask him as a man in my 40s, as he had such an incredible transformation as a musician and a spiritual person at this time in his life. I’m sad I can’t ask him as a songwriter and as a human being, because he knew so much. It really feels like someone superhuman has gone.quotedown2

Rufus Wainwright

 

Excerpt from Leonard Cohen remembered by Rufus Wainwright (The Guardian: Dec 11, 2016). The obituary by Rufus Wainwright is graceful, personal, and enchanting. It can be read in its entirety at the link. Photo  atop post by Bruce Baker – ,Flickr. CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons. Thanks to Alex Bee, who alerted me to this piece.

Embed from Getty Images

Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection: Paramount Theatre, Oakland – Dec 5, 2010

“How come I didn’t know him in the 70s?” her husband, recuperating after major surgery, asked. “On stage, commanding it, for almost four hours! Even I was impressed. And the young girl sitting next to you. She mouthed the lyrics to every one of his songs. Amazing. He’s my age, for crying out loud.”

Did she, will she ever — she’ll probably never tell her husband how the work of the Canadian singer influenced her as a young woman. Driving home from Oakland after their very first Leonard Cohen concert in 2010, all she said was, “I almost met him once, in Vienna. If we had gone to that bar after Peter’s gallery opening, in 1976…”

Rike

Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection

Rike’s tickets along with her accompanying memory are an early contribution to the Leonard Cohen Concert Tickets Collection. The concept is that such a collection would prove valuable and enlightening. Toward that end, we’re inviting readers to send in scans or photos of their Leonard Cohen concert tickets to Please enter “Leonard Cohen Tickets” in the Subject Line. We also invite you to add a brief note if the tickets or the show itself holds special meaning.

The goal is to put together a collection for posting and possibly publication.

Be aware that any tickets and information you send may be posted at Cohencentric.com or published elsewhere. Each ticket will include a credit; if you do not wish your real name used, please indicate an acceptable alias. The credits will not include other identifying data, such as email or postal addresses.