“Sometimes he’d reveal that the new song he’d brought to rehearsal was derived from an old idea… It was very exhilarating to be part of that evolutionary process.” Charley Webb On Working With Leonard Cohen

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Even if it wasn’t new material, it would have a freshness, There were many songs he would rework and then re-evaluate. He wrote 50 verses for ‘Hallelujah’ and then distilled them to what they are now. Leonard was always scratching away in a notebook with that impeccable handwriting of his. If you asked him what he was working on, he’d give only a little detail away. It seemed to be a private process, and I respected that. Sometimes he’d reveal that the new song he’d brought to rehearsal was derived from an old idea. Often, they’d change shape as we worked on them. You could still hear the essence, but it was a totally different presentation of the song. It was very exhilarating to be part of that evolutionary process.quotedown2

Charley Webb

 

Quotation from Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen by Abby Steward. Hot Press: Sept 2017. Photo taken at Ghent on Aug 14, 2012 by J.S. Carenza III & posted at Webb Sisters Facebook Page

Sylvie Simmons, Rock Journalism, Leonard Cohen, & More

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I was living in Leonard Cohen’s mind for a good long time. I told him, he wore me out, living in his head. He gave his little smile and said, ‘I know darling.’quotedown2

Sylvie Simmons

 

Sylvie Simmons talks music, journalism and the exhaustion of exploring Leonard Cohen’s mind by Joshua Peacock (DoSavannah: Mar 29, 2018) offers interesting, entertaining information about Sylvie’s work with Leonard Cohen and other artists and a taste of her own musical talents.

Prince Charles Recommends Leonard Cohen Songs To Sons, William And Harry

After grumbling about William’s and Harry’s taste in music, Prince Charles raved about his own preferences, including Leonard Cohen:

Prince Charles: I tell you who I also think is wonderful is a chap called Leonard Cohen, do you know him?

Prince William: Is he a jazz player?

Prince Charles: He’s remarkable. I mean the orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything. He’s a remarkable man, and he has this incredibly, sort of laid back, gravelly voice. It’s terrific stuff.

Also see “The Queen [Of England] Is A Secret Fan Of Leonard Cohen” According To The Telegraph

Credit Due Department: Photo by Dan Marsh – Flickr: Prince Charles, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Hear TLV1 Podcast: Malka Marom’s Great Canadian Songbook: Joni, Leonard and I

When Malka Marom, a Canadian-Israeli musician and broadcaster, walked into a destitute Toronto night club in 1966, she was swept off her feet. The music, played by Joni Mitchell, mousy-looking and still unknown, was unlike anything she had heard before. Soon thereafter, they became lifelong friends; Marom’s book Joni Mitchell in Her Own Words is a compilation of conversations they had over a 40-year period. She is now working on another book, featuring conversations with another great Canadian singer-songwriter: Leonard Cohen.

From podcast description

The April 23, 2018 podcast can be heard at Malka Marom’s Great Canadian Songbook: Joni, Leonard and I

From The Leonard Cohen Food Files: Chili Dog Events

I suspect the list of music icons throughout history who favored Chateau La Tour 1982, Lagavulin single malt Scotch, and various cognacs and also enjoyed a well prepared hot dog resolves to one entry; Leonard Cohen. But, at least three Cohencentric posts attest to the Canadian singer-songwriter’s frankfurter fetish.

Today’s offering features an unrequited request for a chili dog. It’s also a pretty good story about an getting an interview with Leonard.

Twenty-five years ago, almost to the day, I sat in the bar of Toronto’s King Edward Hotel asking Leonard Cohen questions about Art and Life, Truth and Beauty, the Sacred and the Profane. A week earlier, in a different establishment across town, I’d been asking him whether he wanted fries or salad with his chili dog. He’d just come down from the mountain — Mount Baldy near LA, that is, where he’d been rigorously observing an ascetic lifestyle in a Zen monastery — and there he was, in my section, ordering a hot dog and Coke. Fortunately, the restaurant happened to be empty apart from Mr. Cohen and his female companion (the distraction of serving my biggest idol might have doomed my other tables). Not so fortunately, as the chef tardily informed me, we’d run out of chili dogs. After working up the courage to break this news — which (must’ve been the Zen thing) he accepted with admirable composure — I worked up the courage to ask him for an interview. I was a 21-year-old waiter and would-be writer working in downtown Toronto (some things, apart from age, don’t seem to change). The woman I was living with, in a dying relationship, was perhaps an even bigger Cohen fan than myself. When she heard that I’d met Leonard and would be interviewing him at the King Eddie, where he was filming I Am a Hotel, and when it was quite clear that I would not be divulging his room number, she threatened to split up with me. It was one of those let-me-get-this-straight moments: if I refused to provide my girlfriend with the directions to another man’s bedroom, I would be history. But such was the allure of Canada’s “melancholy bard of popular music.” (By the way, Suzie, it was Room 327!)

From Encountering Cohen: A Reminiscence On The Eve Of A New World Tour by Steve Venright. Mondo Magazine: August 15, 2008 (original interview date May 1983).

Credit Due Department: Photo by bryan… from Taipei, Taiwan – 起士熱狗堡, 皇后美食館, Queens Cuisine, 台北, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

“Sometimes working with people… you don’t please them, and it creates this shadow of doubt. With Leonard [Cohen] there was never any shadow. He was always like, ‘Try again.’ That’s generous in a way that I’ve never experienced.” Patrick Leonard

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The first song we wrote together was called Show Me the Place from 2012’s Old Ideas. It was a Stephen Foster-type melody—that’s how the lyrics struck me. We recorded it, he put a vocal on it, and the next day, he said to me, ‘I wonder if anybody ever asked the guy who wrote Amazing Grace if he had anything else?’ Obviously, I hadn’t written Amazing Grace, but it was him saying, ‘This is good. I like this.’ When I sent him Slow [from 2014’s Popular Problems], he responded with one word: ‘Done!’ And when it wasn’t right—and many, many times it wasn’t—I wouldn’t hear anything. No response. At first I’d say, ‘Hey, did you get what I sent you?’ And then I’d realize the message was loud and clear. Working with Leonard was a collaboration that wasn’t based on a single project. It was ongoing: ‘We’ve got to crack this one”; ‘I’m almost there with this;’ ‘What do you think of this?’ He’d say, ‘Nothing’s wasted because we recycle.’ He left behind so much stuff. Sometimes working with people, you try to accomplish something that you think is going to please them, and you don’t please them, and it creates this shadow of doubt. With Leonard there was never any shadow. He was always like, ‘Try again.’ That’s generous in a way that I’ve never experienced.quotedown2

Patrick Leonard

 

Quote from Remembering Leonard Cohen: Close Friends, Collaborators & Critics on How He Changed Music Forever by Sasha Frere-Jones (Billboard: November 17, 2016)

“The Queen [Of England] Is A Secret Fan Of Leonard Cohen” According To The Telegraph


The Telegraph reveals that The Queen Is A Secret Fan Of Leonard Cohen:1)

The Queen has asked for a song by Cohen is performed at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle. Jeffrey Latimer, the manager of The Tenors, who will sing at the event, tells Mandrake: “They were requested to sing Hallelujah. The group performed the song when she visited Canada. “She told us how much she enjoyed Hallelujah and that she liked the song,” says Victor Micallef, one of the four singers. “It was her favourite.”

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  1. The Queen Is A Secret Fan Of Leonard Cohen by Richard Eden (Telegraph: Apr 22, 2012 []