Life Of A Lady’s Man by Brian D. Johnson. Maclean’s: Dec 7, 1992. Originally posted July 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Is it true that you wrote Take This Longing for Nico?
I gave her this song. She sang it to me sometimes, but never recorded it. Nico was very strange. When I tried to talk to her, she always replied in a very arcane and mysterious fashion. Whatever you said to her, she answered very curiously. It was only after many weeks of me being perplexed by her conversation and paralyzed by her beauty that she told me she was deaf. So it was her habit t0 respond to anything that was said to her with whatever came into her head because she could hardly hear a thing. Which explains her particularly strange style. But I definitely wrote Take this Longing thinking of her.
From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.Nico photo by GanMed64 – Flickr: Nico (The Velvet Underground) – Lampeter University – November 1985, CC BY 2.0, Wikipedia Commons: Originally posted Dec 21, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Well, for me to be a ladies’ man at this point involves a great deal of humor. I have come to the conclusion, somewhat reluctantly, that I am going to die one of these days. It gives you pause. I hope to do it without being too morbid. I like to talk about death, but in tempo. I don’t really understand that process of reincarnation. But if there is such a thing I would like to come back as my daughter’s dog.
From the Jan 16, 2012 Paris press preview for Old Ideas. Photo by Andi Gombasi
The word ‘Hallelujah’ of course is so rich, so abundant. It’s a wonderful word to sing and people have been singing that word for thousands of years. It seems to call down some beneficial energy when you declare it in the face of the kind of catastrophes that are manifesting everywhere. Just to say ‘Hallelujah’, to praise the energy that manifests, just to affirm our journey. It’s very invigorating to sing that word.
From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014. Image is a screen capture from a video of Leonard Cohen performing Hallelujah in Birmingham – 2013.
I do not believe in artistic boycotts. I do not understand it. I believe that art is the only way to communicate between men. I played in Israel in front of 50,000 people. It had been ensured that Palestinians could also attend the concert. All proceeds were donated to a fund for creative workshops, for the transmission of traditional cultures. It is surely only a drop in the ocean, but it is that. The concert was fantastic, obviously very emotionally charged. But I consider each of my concerts as a special event.
There seems to be within [Popular Problems] recurrent mentions of the military and war and battles. I was wondering if that reflected a current preoccupation with conflicts that are taking place at the moment?
Of course it reflects the world that we live in. It was not deliberate but one picks up these things from the atmosphere… I’ve tried over the years to find a political position that no one can actually decipher.
From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014. Photo atop this post shared by High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom Facebook page