“I’ve never forgotten Phil [Spector] coming towards me with a bottle of Manischewitz in one hand, a .45 in the other” Leonard Cohen On Recording Death Of A Ladies’ Man

[During the recording of Death Of A Ladies’ Man] I was holding on for dear life. My family was breaking up at the time – just to show up was rough. Then I’d have to go through this ninth-rate military film noir atmosphere. I’ve never forgotten Phil [Spector] coming towards me with a bottle of Manischewitz in one hand, a .45 in the other and putting his arm around my shoulder, shoving the gun into my neck, cocking it and saying, ‘Leonard, I love you.’ It wasn’t that much fun.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993.

“The chorus sounds like a kind of 30s musical about 10 degrees off” Leonard Cohen Talks About Jazz Police

I receive a surprisingly large number of questions about Leonard Cohen’s “Jazz Police,” released in 1988 on the  I’m Your Man album. Leonard’s most illuminating  comments (at least that I’ve discovered thus far) on the song are found in a two or three minute description he gave in this 1988 interview. The video automatically begins at the pertinent portion.

“Every man should try to become an elder” Leonard Cohen’s Aspiration As A Singer-Songwriter

From Rolling Stone: Leonard Cohen by Larry Sloman, The Sunday Citizen: May 25, 1975.

More about this theme that endured throughout Leonard Cohen’s career as a singer-songwriter can be found at Leonard Cohen Lays Out His Mission In 1974: “To Become An Elder”

Leonard Cohen Mistakes Antidepressant Side-Effect For “Spiritual Achievement”

By the time I finished my tour in 1993, I was in some condition of anguish that deepened and deepened. Prozac didn’t work. Paxil didn’t work. Zoloft didn’t work. Wellbutrin didn’t work. In fact, the only comic element in the whole thing was when I was taking Prozac, I came to believe that I had overcome my [sexual] desires. I didn’t know that it has that side effect. I thought it was a spiritual achievement.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen: Remembering the Life and Legacy of the Poet of Brokenness by Mikal Gilmore (Rolling Stone: 30 November 2016) Note:  The entire article – an excellent read – is available at the link.

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“We’re living in a butcher shop.” Leonard Cohen

We’re living in a butcher shop. The fact that we die is the only comfort in the whole thing. The anxiety comes from some kind of acute illusion of busyness. There are so many things to do that you’re not doing, so many thoughts to think that you’re not thinking, so many women to make love with that you’re not loving.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Leonard Cohen Obscured…A Haunting by Spector by Stephen Holden. Rolling Stone: January 26, 1978. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331 Originally posted Jan 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It became clear to me that I had no position and that nobody else did either.” Leonard Cohen

I couldn’t enter into the orthodox Jewish stream, the Hassidic dance – I tried, but it wasn’t really my own. I couldn’t really become a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, since it was over. I didn’t have the right accent or speak the kind of English my professors spoke. There was plenty of cafe culture in Montreal, but I wasn’t welcome there. It was mainly French and I spoke English. You had more prestige if you came from the wrong side of the tracks and I come from the right side. So I was always trying to find a cafe that was mine, a language and style that was mine, always looking for a homeland and a position – until it became clear to me that I had no position and that nobody else did either. They’d been swept away. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Melancholy Baby by John Walsh. The Independent Magazine: May 8, 1993 Originally posted Jan 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric