“We all tend to think our generation is the pivotal generation. The experience of the generations is that it isn’t so. Of course, if you’re dragged from your house at 3:00 in the morning, and you’re sent to a concentration camp, you may feel times are really bad.” Leonard Cohen

canada-future

Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.

Q: What do you never leave home without? Leonard Cohen: “My 12-inch dick.”

gk2 From “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” in Q Magazine, September 1994. Photo by Gered Mankowitz © Bowstir Ltd. 2016 / Mankowitz.com.

On the other hand,

If only my genitals didn’t float
When I relaxed in the bath
And we both looked down and we both agreed
It’s stupid to be a man

From The Good Fight by Leonard Cohen, published in Stranger Music (1993)

More About Leonard’s Genital Self-assessment:

Leonard Cohen Addresses The Plight Of The Aging Rock Star

Denying the popular myth that rockers burn out young while those in the fine arts age to great wisdom, Leonard says of the plight of the aging rock star…

quoteup2
Browning expressed it in that line, ‘First fine careless frenzy,’ when he heard the birds sing. But, when he repeats that cadence again, Browning knows that it was not just the ‘fine, careless frenzy:’ that this can be perfected, that this can be controlled and summoned.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993. The image atop this post is the cover of Rock & Folk No. 131, Dec 1977 (illustration by Dominique Lechaud) from the private collection of Dominique BOILE.

Note: The Browning line quoted as “First fine careless frenzy” is actually “The first fine careless rapture” from Home Thoughts From Abroad, by Robert Browning.

That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, Lest you should think he never could recapture The first fine careless rapture!

“The thing I like about cantorial music and protest music of the early ’60s was that there seemed to be a sacramental relationship between the singer and the audience. They gathered in the name of something and I suppose I prefer that kind of music.” Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: The Eloquence, The Songs Still Floating On The Air by Richard Harrington (Washington Post; Published in Gainesville Sun: Dec 25, 1988). Photo of 2009 Leonard Cohen Tel Aviv concert by baotzebao aka Valerio Fiandra.

“I can’t buy the bullshit of who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t care who wins the war.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
You think it’s a good idea that blacks and whites should live together [in Los Angeles], but that’s not going to get you through the crisis that you are going to face daily going downtown. You’ve got to come up with a new position. If you’re going to heal this thing between blacks and whites, leaders must experience themselves as neither black nor white. If we are going to heal what is going down between men and women, we are going to have to produce spokesmen that are neither man nor woman, then come back to being a man or woman. It’s a question of how wide is your embrace. I can’t deal with the shackles of loneliness any longer. And it’s only when I break something, when I flee from something, when I locate something that is wilder, freer, deeper and crazier, can I survive from one moment to the next. I just can’t buy the bullshit. I can’t buy the bullshit of who’s right and who’s wrong. I don’t care who wins the war.

Remember what I say: ‘Duck!’quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.

“There’s been… a number of extremely boring artistic creations dealing with saving the forest. That creates a kind of totalitarian situation. You can’t live in those songs.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
You know, nobody wants to destroy all the forests. There’s been a million — well, not a million, but a number of extremely boring artistic creations dealing with saving the forest. That creates a kind of totalitarian situation. You can’t live in those songs. You can’t really make love in those songs, or if you do there’s going to be something that is dangerously absent. If you want to write about the forest, say what I said: ‘Take the only tree that’s left and stuff it up the hole in your culture,’ That’s a good line about saving the forest. I haven’t read a better line than that.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993. Photo by Gerrit Terstiege.

“Democracy doesn’t come through legislation. It doesn’t come from above: we are creating it.” Leonard Cohen

quoteup2
Democracy doesn’t come through legislation. It doesn’t come from above: we are creating it. [Democracy] is something to do with, as Ginsberg said, ‘The secret love that whites have for blacks and blacks have for whites.’
quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.