AD: Were you surprised at all about the positive response you received about the first Marvin Pontiac record from the likes of folks like Leonard Cohen and Iggy Pop and David Bowie? Is it an easy thing to temper your ego after getting pats on the back from legendary figures like those gents?
John Lurie: I suppose that they agreed to give me the quotes at all was a positive nod toward the Marvin music or my music in general. But, I knew all of them in varying degrees and explained to each of them what I was doing and they all played along. The only person I didn’t know was Leonard Cohen. When Bob Dylan said he wouldn’t do it and he was the only person who refused, I wanted someone in that general ballpark of music. I was on the phone with my travel agent, Barb, booking a house in South Carolina at the last minute. I remembered, during the call, that she was Leonard Cohen’s travel agent and asked if she would mind giving me his number. Barb said she wasn’t comfortable about doing that. And we went back to hurriedly trying to book this house for the next day. An hour later, Barb called back and said, “Here is the number.” I call thinking I am calling about the house, when a very deep, mellifluous voice answers the phone. A voice just like how you would imagine Leonard Cohen to sound on the phone. My mind took a moment to register that I was now talking to Leonard Cohen. Then I started to laugh. Then I hung up. Because how would that have gone after laughing? I waited a couple of days and called him back. And he was very generous with me.
From Catching Up With John Lurie (Aquarium Drunkard: Feb 1, 2018). Photo by Ray Henders – http://archinect.com/features/article/65557450/fishing-for-architecture-with-john-lurie someone, Pubblico dominio, Collegamento
I Celebrate Leonard Cohen’s Birthday Because
Leonard Cohen offers the possibility of living with grace, dignity, and integrity, without submitting to illusions, without succumbing to indifference, and without indulging in denial of our own failures and flaws, in a world that is too often corrupt & malevolent.
Reviews Of “I’m Your Man -The Life Of Leonard Cohen” by Sylvie Simmons
Yep, Janet Maslin has fallen in line with my own assessment of “I’m Your Man,” the Leonard Cohen biography written by distinguished music journalist, noted ukuleleist, revered rock chick, and erstwhile girls’ teenzine writer1 Sylvie Simmons. Of course, so has every other reviewer. Check it out yourself:
- Sept 18, 2012: “I’m Your Man” By Sylvie Simmons Becomes The Definitive Leonard Cohen Biography – Allan Showalter: Heck Of A Guy/Cohencentric
“I’m Your Man” is a conspicuously, unequivocally marvelous book
- Searching the Soul of a Soulful Singer – Janet Maslin: New York Times
Ms. Simmons’s “I’m Your Man” is the major, soul-searching biography that Leonard Cohen deserves.
- Another Cohen bio? Hallelujah! – Marshall Duke: Paste Magazine
Clearly, we have here more than a simple biography. Simmons’ carefully researched work feels definitive. It can be trusted. Even better, Simmons is a wonderful writer. She describes events with engaging clarity and a command of language that oftentimes enthralls.
- I’m Your Man – Kirkus Reviews
An elegant, deeply researched life of the Canadian musician, poet and novelist.
- Review: Sylvie Simmons’ ‘I’m Your Man’ takes on Leonard Cohen – August Brown: LA Times
Sylvie Simmons’ “I’m Your Man” tries to synthesize all these stories into a new gold standard of Cohen bios.
- ‘I’m Your Man Book’ Review: Tortured Poet Endures, Finds Peace – Chris Haire: Downtown Magazine NYC
Simmons successfully depicts the man’s decades-long exploration of spirituality, God, morality, sex, love, depression, drugs, time, loneliness, poverty, obscurity, art, ellipses, false starts and conclusions.
The US edition of “I’m Your Man” by Sylvie Simmons is available Sept 18, 2012. The Canadian publication date is Oct 23, 2012. In the UK, the release date is Nov 1, 2012, and in The Netherlands, October 16, 2012.
Originally posted Sept 17, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Leonard Cohen: Yes. Nico gives the most outrageous and interesting interviews of all. She’ll put Lou Reed down, she’ll put me down …
Interviewer: She seems to hate everyone.
She did not hate me until I saved her life 2 to 3 weeks ago. I met her in London. You never know where you stand with her, because she is deaf. Her reactions are always fascinating, usually because she didn’t hear what you were saying. I have not taken a metaphysical view of my life. It was all very physical. I had to take her to the hospital.
From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23,1974. [Via Google Translate]. Photo of Nico by Inn7516 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.
The article about the anticipated March 13, 1967 show at The Village (Waterloo, Ontario) featuring Leonard Cohen & The Stormy Clovers (the first band to perform his songs) appears on page 9 in The Chevron (the official newspaper published by the Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo).
More about this performance can be found at Waterloo, Ontario Anticipates Leonard Cohen & Stormy Clovers March 13, 1967 Show (Admission $1).
I had difficulty at one point accepting my affluence, and my success, even the expression of it seemed to me distasteful at one time, like to suddenly be driving a fancy car. I had a lot of soul searching to do. I felt that living in elegance and luxury cancelled creativity, or even some of that sort of Sunday school philosophy that luxury comes as a guest and then becomes the master. That was a philosophy that I held onto. I still had that stereotyped idea that success would deter it, that luxury would make you too comfortable and complacent and that the gift would suffer from it.
But I found that I was able to express it in the work, even at the time when it was distasteful to me… The only way that I could reconcile with myself and my art was to say, “This is what I’m going through now; my life is changing. I show up at the gig in a big limousine and that’s a fact of life.”
I’m an extremist as far as lifestyle goes. I need to live simply and primitively sometimes, at least for short periods of the year, in order to keep in touch with something more basic. But I have come to be able to finally enjoy my success, and to use it as a form of self-expression.
Leonard Cohen has a line that says, “Do not dress in those rags for me, / I know you are not poor.”1 When I heard that line, I thought to myself that I had been denying, which was hypocritical. I had been denying, just as that line in that song, I had played down my wealth.
From Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words by Malka Marom (ECW Press: September 9, 2014). Bolding mine.
- From the lyrics of Avalanche [↩]