Q: Is it true that you wrote Beautiful Losers largely under the influence or with the help of drugs? Leonard Cohen: “That is true. I took a lot of amphetamines…”

Is it true that you wrote Beautiful Losers largely under the influence or with the help of drugs?

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That is true. I took a lot of amphetamines. I felt that it increased the powers of my mind tenfold. I could work very hard for hours. I was never addicted, and I was not aware of the consequences. At a certain point, I could not take anything anymore, I could hardly live. It just stopped, I collapsed, the system collapsed. This is not a very good drug for the depressed because the descent is very unpleasant. I took ten years to fully recover, I had absences, I was grilled from the inside. I could not get up, I was in bed like a vegetable, long unable to do anything, without eating. I weighed less than 40 kg. It is said that amphetamines do not invent anything, that they draw on the resources to come. At home, they had taken over ten years. I have taken it once in a while, but never again regularly. I have not touched the hallucinogens, never the hard drugs, while many people around me have died, some very close.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.

Also See The Miracle Of The Storks: Leonard Cohen Talks About His Breakdown & Recovery After Writing Beautiful Losers

“Religion, teachers, women, drugs, the road, fame, money … nothing gets me high and offers relief from the suffering like blackening pages, writing.” Leonard Cohen – From Adam Cohen’s Foreword To The Flame

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“There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.” Leonard Cohen On Change Of His Concert Venue From Hop Farm To Wembley Arena (2010)

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I want you to know I learned about it [the venue switch] the same time you did. There are unseen hands that manipulate the marketplace. Hands that I never get to see…or crush.  quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Spoken by Leonard Cohen during his Sept 8, 2012 Concert at Wembley Arena in London. Quoted in Leonard Cohen brings ‘Old Ideas’ to London’s Wembley Arena (NME, September 9, 2012)

Originally posted Sep 9, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“A lot of my work is about what is appropriate behavior in the face of the flood, in the torrent… What is the appropriate conversation, the deep conversation?” Leonard Cohen

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A lot of my work is about what is appropriate behavior in the face of the flood, in the torrent. Is it appropriate to talk about European union? What is the appropriate conversation, the deep conversation? How do you extend fraternal greetings under these conditions – at a time when you can’t be sure if the guy is coming to embrace you or hit you with a baseball bat? You have to develop an alertness that enables you to discern things.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993).

“If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. And I guess [Bob Dylan] feels the same way.” Leonard Cohen (1992)

2Leonard Cohen Interview with Serge Simonart (1992). Photo by Pete Purnell.

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

“I took it easy. Very quiet lived… I worked in my house, painted walls, wrote a novel, I sang for the soldiers in Sinai, I took trips on my motorcycle.” Leonard Cohen Summaries His Life 1972-74

What have you done in the last two years?

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I took it easy. Very quiet lived. I experienced a few golden weeks in which all kinds of work that had remained unfinished suddenly came together and could be completed. I worked in my house, painted walls, wrote a novel (Title: The Woman Being Warned), I sang for the soldiers in Sinai, I took trips on my motorcycle…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23,1974. [Via Google Translate]. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.

“[Light As The Breeze] emphasizes the temporary, fleeting comfort that this congress brings. Nevertheless, when you’ve had a moment of comfort you return to the struggle with the residue of the experience.” Leonard Cohen

Light As The Breeze shows Leonard drawing his sustenance from womankind.

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It emphasizes the temporary, fleeting comfort that this congress brings. Nevertheless, when you’ve had a moment of comfort you return to the struggle with the residue of the experience. It enables you to shoulder things better.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From “Hello! I Must Be Cohen” By Gavin Martin (New Musical Express, January 9, 1993). Photo by xrayspx.

Leonard Cohen On His Songs

Leonard Cohen’s comments on his songs, organized by song title, are collected at Leonard Cohen On His Songs

Q: Who would you have play you in a film? Leonard Cohen: “Rebecca De Mornay”

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From “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” in Q Magazine, September 1994.