“I don’t pretend to have salvation or the answers or anything like that. I’m not saved. But on the other hand, I’m not spent.” Leonard Cohen (2002)

From Brother of Mercy by Mikal Gilmore, published in Spin, March 2002. Accessed at the Ten New Songs site. Originally posted July 26, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. Photo by Anjani Thomas.

“I don’t know if we were any good that night, but somehow the hospitality of the audience was such that they awarded me the highest designation of the heart.” Leonard Cohen Names 1988 Seville Show His “All Time Most Complete Performance”

 

Can you think of your all time most complete performance?

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One of the happiest & most heartfelt moments was at a [1988] concert in Seville. The audience began waving white handkerchiefs and chanting, ‘Torero.’ I don’t know if we were any good that night, but somehow the hospitality of the audience was such that they awarded me the highest designation of the heart.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen — Haute Dog by Mr. Bonzai (David Goggin). Music Smarts: July 10, 2010 (archived from 1988). Leonard Cohen played Seville on May 22, 1988. Note: Originally posted October 19, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

 

The presence of Leonard Cohen was, along with Frank Zappa and Joe Cocker at the peak of his popularity, the great attraction of the Cita in Seville of 1988, that festival that organized the City council of Seville before in the eighties and that brought to The city to names of the stature of James Brown or BB King, just to mention two of them. It was his only performance in Seville.

The Canadian, who died on Thursday at age 82, also went to the city with one of the best albums of his entire career under his belt: “I’m Your Man” (1988), responsible for a reinvention, via synthesizers And boxes of rhythm, which renewed its sound and returned it to the lists of successes, even in Spain.

The concert in Seville, however, was a public failure, as happened years before with The Kinks, which resulted in millionaire losses for the promoter, although Leonard Cohen offered a good concert accompanied by a solid band and the two chorus players Seconded at that time in which lay the basis of the style of maturity that would accompany him until his death.

The date of the concert was Sunday May 22 and the price of tickets was 1,000 pesetas (6 euros). It was held in the auditorium of Prado de San Sebastián, the usual place of the Cita’s performances in Seville, and in the concert the Canadian composer reviewed some of his recent songs, such as the hit “First we take Manhattan”, along with classics Of his repertoire, such as “Bird on the wire”, “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne”.

La única vez que Leonard Cohen actuó en Sevilla by JesÚs Morillo (ABC: 11/11/2016)

“I’ve never been very attached to my opinions. I’m not flippant about them but, whenever I hear myself say something, I recognise my own unwillingness to stand behind it.” Leonard Cohen

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview). Photo of Leonard Cohen by Roland Godefroy (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Originally posted Feb 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“You want to hear a guy’s story… when you hear Fats Domino singing, ‘I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,’ whatever that’s about, I mean, it’s deep.” Leonard Cohen

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You want to hear a guy’s story, and if the guy’s really seen a few things, the story is quite interesting. Or even if he comes to the point where he wants to sing about the moon in June, there’s something in his voice … when you hear Fats Domino singing, ‘I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,’ whatever that’s about, I mean, it’s deep.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988.

“It’s impossible to understand the ’60s culture without addressing the question of lysergic and the position it played right through the decade. It was an element of my creative endeavours at the time, but I don’t believe it was in any way a decisive factor.” Leonard Cohen

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016). The photograph atop this post, taken by Bill Dampier, is credited to York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, ASC26833.

“I need some chocolate if I’m gonna do this.” Leonard Cohen, Working On Blue Alert With Anjani Thomas

Anjani tells of fueling the Leonard Cohen lyric-writing engine with candy during their work together on the Blue Alert album:

The song was No One After You, and we just needed one line to finish it so I could record it the next day:

I lived in many cities
from Paris to LA
I’ve known rags and riches

It was a bit tense as he paced back and forth. I sat at the piano and didn’t move, didn’t say a word. Then he finally said, “I need some chocolate if I’m gonna do this.”

That would have been milk chocolate, because he doesn’t like dark — and of course I always keep some around — so he ate a bar and about a minute later he came up with the line:

I’m a regular cliche

From personal communication with Anjani Thomas. (Anjani also used this anecdote with some minor differences in an interview with PureMusic.) Photo atop post by Dominique BOILE.

“I was not unaware of the ironic impact of saying, ‘Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.,’ but the song is affirmative. I just can’t keep my tongue in my cheek that long.” Leonard Cohen

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I began to write it when the events in Eastern Europe began to indicate there was a democratic resurrection, and the Berlin Wall came down and people were saying, democracy is coming to the East. I was one of those people who weren’t entirely convinced that this was going to happen, and that it wasn’t going to come about without a tremendous amount of suffering. I was not unaware of the ironic impact of saying, ‘Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.,’ but the song is affirmative. I just can’t keep my tongue in my cheek that long. I’m Canadian, and we watch America very carefully. Everybody in the world watches America. And regardless of the skepticism and irony, [wiseguy] superiority that most intellectual circles have about America, it is acknowledged that this is where the experiment is taking place, where the races are confronting one another, where the rich and poor are confronting one another, where men and women, the classes…this is the great laboratory of democracy.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

The Loneliness of the Long-Suffering Folkie by Wayne Robins (Newsday: November 22, 1992)