Leonard Cohen, On Being Asked If He Toured “For The Sake Of Sex, Drugs, And Rock & Roll?”

Q: [Do you tour] for the sake of sex, drugs, and rock & roll?

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Sex? No, too dangerous. Drugs? I wouldn’t go near them. Music is good. But as they say in rock and roll, they don’t pay you to sing, they pay you to travel.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen interviewed by Hans Pfitzinger in Paris, 1988. Photo from Webb Sisters Facebook Page. Originally posted Nov 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The kind of thing I like is that you write a song, and it slips into the world, and they forget who wrote it” Leonard Cohen


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The kind of thing I like is that you write a song, and it slips into the world, and they forget who wrote it. And it moves and it changes, and you hear it again three hundred years later, some women washing their clothes in a stream, and one of them is humming this tune.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Unplugged By Pico Iyer (Buzz: April 1998). Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles. Photo by Johann Agust Hansen. Originally posted Nov 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on “Famous Blue Raincoat” & “Bird On The Wire” as unfinished songs & why he released them anyway

Interviewer: What about “Famous Blue Raincoat?”

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That was written on Clinton Street. I never felt I really sealed that song; I never felt the carpentry was finished. That song and ‘Bird on the Wire’ were two songs I never successfully finished, but they were good enough to be used. Also, with the poverty of songs I have for each record, I can’t afford to discard one as good as that. It’s one of the better tunes I’ve written, but lyrically it’s too mysterious, too unclear.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: View photos of Leonard Cohen’s Clinton Street digs and surroundings at “New York is cold, but I like where I’m living” The View From Leonard Cohen’s 1960s NYC Apartment

Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 10, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“In [The Energy Of Slaves] I say that I’m in pain. I don’t say it in those words because I don’t like those words. They don’t represent the real situation.” Leonard Cohen


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I’ve just written a book called The Energy Of Slaves, and in there I say that I’m in pain. I don’t say it in those words because I don’t like those words. They don’t represent the real situation. It took 80 poems to represent the situation of where I am right now. That to me totally acquits me of any responsibility I have of keeping a record public. I put it in the book. It’s carefully worked on, you know. It’s taken many years to write and it’s there. It’ll be between hard covers and it’ll be there for as long as people want to keep it in circulation. It’s careful and controlled and it’s what we call art… It’s my work, that’s all. And part of the nature of my work is to reach people. I mean I’m not very interested in playing to empty halls. My work is to make songs and poems and I use whatever material I have at hand. I don’t have the luxury of a vast range of material. I’m not entirely happy with the subject matter. I’d like to broaden my subject matter but as it is right now I only work with what is given. I am interested in this book’s reception. I’m interested in how it will be received almost more than any other book, because I have the feeling that by making it public I may be making a mistake. I hope that I will find that this gnawing feeling is wrong or that I have misread it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972)

Note: Compare with Leonard Cohen On The “Difference Between Life And Art”

“And it’s not even Canada, it’s Montreal. Not even Montreal, it’s a few streets: Belmont and Vendôme. It was wonderful.” Leonard Cohen On His Homeland


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It’s my native land, my homeland, all the feelings one feels for one’s homeland . . . very tender feelings about it. I don’t like hearing it being criticized. I like to hear it praised. I return often and I live there part of every year. It’s the last home I’ve had. And the next home, too. I think we’re very lucky it’s not a first-rate power and that it’s … I don’t know, it’s my homeland, what can I say? And it’s not even Canada, it’s Montreal. Not even Montreal, it’s a few streets: Belmont and Vendôme. It was wonderful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972). Photo of Belmont Avenue from Google Maps.

More About Leonard Cohen’s Montreal

The best articles about Leonard Cohen’s Montreal homes and haunts as well as videos and a list of pertinent landmarks can be found at Resources: Leonard Cohen’s Montreal.