“I understand what the blues is now… It’s just talking to your baby.” Leonard Cohen After Stevie Ray Vaughan Performance

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Roscoe [Beck] and I took Leonard to hear Stevie [Ray Vaughan] one night at the Hollywood Bowl, and Leonard was silent for a good half-hour after the show. We were walking in silence to the car. And finally Leonard said: ‘I understand what the blues is now.’ I said, ‘What is it you understand?’ And he said: ‘It’s just talking to your baby.’ In other words: It’s intimate. It’s as close to the truth as possible.quotedown2

Jennifer Warnes

 

Let’s Go To The Well by Brad Buchholz (Austin American-Statesman: 2002). Accessed at Jennifer Warnes website. Photo by Paul Lannuier. Originally posted July 18, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Talks About How Bob Dylan Did And Did Not Impact His Musical Career

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From Lenny Plays It Cool by Bud Scoppa (Music Connection, April 6-19, 1987)

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

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

“I remember you well at the Chelsea Hotel / That’s all. I don’t think of you that often” Leonard Cohen Talks About The Final Lines Of Chelsea Hotel #2

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The last line seems like a slap in the face: ‘I remember you well at the Chelsea Hotel / That’s all. I don’t think of you that often.’

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I don’t know why the truth compelled me to be so ungraceful or ungracious or even ungrateful in that final moment, but I guess that is the way it came out. I didn’t want it to be just one of those elegies; I thought it deserved the truth.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: This comment by Leonard Cohen supports the contention that, thematically, the earlier versions of Chelsea Hotel (aka Chelsea Hotel #1) is elegiac while Chelsea Hotel #2 focuses on Leonard’s own feelings for and perception of the woman at the Chelsea Hotel – even if doing so results in an ignoble self-characterization. See Video: Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1 (Tel Aviv 1972)

From Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Photo of Janis Joplin by Columbia Records (Billboard page 5) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Leonard Cohen by Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174. Originally posted October 17, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I had to go to work. I have no money left.” Leonard Cohen On The Loss Of His $5M Retirement Fund

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What can I do? I had to go to work. I have no money left. I’m not saying it’s bad; I have enough of an understanding of the way the world works to understand that these things happen.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

A ‘Devastated’ Leonard Cohen by Katherine Macklem (Maclean’s: August 17, 2005). Originally posted February 1, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen: “I would love to be admired without the work. … I just know that I’ve got to work.”


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I would love to be admired without the work. And it’s one of the cruel jokes, and I might say one of the comforting jokes, that one also wants to be admired for beauty, for elegance, for graceful limbs, for the music one creates out of just walking from one room to another. I mean one really would like to be loved for one’s animal grace. But even if one were, that is always subject to time. So when you’re involved with another kind of creation that’s not entirely conditional, then there’s a certain comfort in that, too. I just know that I’ve got to work.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman (Details for Men, January, 1993). Originally posted Oct 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen & The Las Vegas Shootings

fearless3The lead paragraph from the New York Times provides the essential facts of the shooting in Las Vegas – which are all we need to understand the depth of this tragedy.

A gunman firing from a Las Vegas hotel rained a rapid-fire barrage on a huge outdoor concert festival on Sunday night, sending thousands of people fleeing until SWAT units found and killed him. More than 50 victims died, and at least 200 others were wounded, officials said, making it one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

That this catastrophe took place at a concert in a city that is itself identified with entertainment, a city one that Leonard Cohen played in 2009 and 2010, simultaneously compels me to somehow acknowledge its significance and renders any comment on this disaster hopelessly superficial and even trivializing.

Consequently, in response to the Las Vegas calamity, I offer only Leonard’s words on suffering and grief:

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The evidence accumulates that ours is not an entirely happy undertaking. The amount of suffering that one sees and hears about is shattering. But the only comfort in the matter is Thy Will Be Done. To whatever degree you want to establish that as a principle in your life: The notion that it’s unfolding according to a mechanism that you can’t possibly penetrate. Acceptance. Or surrender.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

State of Grace by Doug Saunders. Globe and Mail: Sept 1, 2001. Accessed 09 June 2014 at Ten New Songs

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It is, I think, a matter of tradition. You have a tradition on the one hand that says if things are bad we should not dwell on the sadness, that we should play a happy song, a merry tune. Strike up the band and dance the best we can, even if we are suffering from concussion. And then there’s another tradition, and this is a more Oriental or Middle Eastern tradition, which says that if things are really bad the best thing to do is sit by the grave and wail, and that’s the way you are going to feel better. I think both these efforts are intended to lift the spirit. And my own tradition, which is the Herbraic tradition, suggests that you sit next to the disaster and lament. The notion of the lamentation seemed to me to be the way to do it. You don’t avoid the situation – you throw yourself into it, fearlessly.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: Leonard Cohen – London, June 1974 by Allan Jones. Uncut: Dec 2008.