“We lost a great poet today. Bo Diddley’s left us.” Leonard Cohen – 2008 Kitchener Show

He even dedicated a song to Bo Diddley…the most un-Bo song he has, Take This Waltz. And the audience lapped it up.

Leonard’s words were quoted at mygnrforum. The description of the dedication is from Mental Blog: Lunchbucket ON aka The Tower of Song offers a sweet, personalized, thoughtful review of the June 2, 2008 Leonard Cohen concert in Kitchener. Photo by AconcaguaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Note: June 2, 2008 was the date of Bo Diddley’s death. Originally posted June 4, 2008 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It is essential to my own survival: those values that my family gave me, which are Torah values, are the ones that inform my life.” Leonard Cohen

On how his Jewish roots affect his life

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I grew up in a very observant family so it’s not something I ever felt any distance from. It’s not something I have to publicize or display. It is essential to my own survival: those values that my family gave me, which are Torah values, are the ones that inform my life. I never stray very far from those influences.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen: ‘I’m a closet optimist’ [a report on the Sept 16, 2014 London Press Preview Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] by Andy Morris. Gigwise, Sept 16, 2014. Photo of Leonard Cohen’s Montreal synagogue, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, by Maarten Massa.

Leonard Cohen Talks About The Meaning Of “My Dick Is The Horse And My Life Is The Cart…” & Why He Rewrote Those Lines

Stina Lundberg: In the Book of Longing there is a long poem, and I probably don’t remember the lines right, but it is something like “My dick is the horse and my life is the chart…”

Leonard Cohen: Is the cart.

Stina Lundberg: Is the cart, sorry.

Leonard Cohen: Yeah, very vulgar line, I wish I hadn’t written it. In fact I changed it.

Stina Lundberg: To what?

Leonard Cohen: I don’t remember… what I changed it to now, because, er… I had a growing sense of dissatisfaction with that poem. I must remove it from the site (chuckles) or at least it needs more work. It came out of a time when I’d just come down from Mount Baldy and I was writing very, very quickly and with a great sense of, a kind of wild sense of freedom from the schedule, and I was blackening a lot of pages and sending them off to the website, and that’s one I have to look at.

Stina Lundberg: Why? It’s very direct.

Leonard Cohen: It’s very direct but I think the language – it could be… it could be as direct… a little bit more musical. Try for a different music.

Stina Lundberg: But what did it mean? What is the content?

Leonard Cohen: I think the content is that, you know, that’s where a man’s brain is. And you know, when I watch the young, as I do because I have two young – they’re not children, they’re young adults – I remember going to a party that my son invited me to, and I sat there just thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t 25, because I saw this… the level of suffering at one of these events was overwhelming, you know, the mutual displays of attraction, the effort that had gone into each personal presentation, the expectations, the disappointments… it seemed to be one of the circles of hell that I was pleased not to be in.

From 2001 Leonard Cohen interview with Stina Lundberg. Originally posted May 12, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

DrHGuy Note:

The verse to which Stina refers follows:

I followed the course
from chaos to art
My dick was the horse
my life was the cart

Accessed at Book Of Longing – LeonardCohenFiles

In the Book Of Longing published in 2006, that verse reads

I followed the course
From chaos to art
Desire the horse
Depression the cart

“I think about all writing the same way. It takes me as long or as short to write a letter as a poem or a laundry list.” Leonard Cohen

lc-26-oct-1963-allan-r-leishman-montreal-star-library-and-archives-canada-pa-190166-light-scaled1000

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I think about all writing the same way. It takes me as long or as short to write a letter as a poem or a laundry list. Whenever I apply myself to blackening a page a certain mechanism is thrown into operation and I am facing it in exactly the same way that I have faced my life, probably all wrong. Probably clumsy and aberrated and completely mistaken; but that’s the way I happen to face myself.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel: Winter 1969. The  photo of a young Leonard Cohen at his desk is credited to: Allan R. Leishman/Montreal Star/Library and Archives Canada/PA-190166.

“Suzanne Elrod… mother of Leonard Cohen’s two children and a female of conspicuously sultry beauty and appetites, was on the phone [to Leonard] from the Greek island of Hydra making the one telephone call the police would permit her.”

Suzanne Elrod, 29, better known since meeting the Canadian poet in 1969 as Mrs. Leonard Cohen (though they’ve never been legally married), mother of Cohen’s two children and a female of conspicuously sultry beauty and appetites, was on the phone from the Greek island of Hydra making the one telephone call the police would permit her. Separated from Cohen, 44, for the past six months, Suzanne’s enjoyment of younger men and their rituals had become something of a sore point with her tradition-bound village neighbours on Hydra who loved Leonard and were protective of him—according to their own lights. There on the white-washed walls of Leonard’s old house, Suzanne had hung erotic woodcuts beside religious icons. Next to pictures of the saints, prints of Eastern rituals involving exaggerated and enthusiastic phalluses decorated the walls. “I warned Suzanne,” explained Cohen later, “the local cleaning lady would be offended.” The combination of an illustrated Kama sutra on the wall and the absence of the appropriate patriarch in bed was too much for the community. Suzanne and her young boy-friend-of-the-moment were arrested for drug possession after aggrieved villagers complained about “commotions” at the villa. Though all charges were dismissed against Suzanne when the case was investigated, the cost of lawyers, Greek justice and bail for the young man took close to $25,000 out of Cohen’s pocket. “These days I work to support my wife, my children and my responsibilities,” says Cohen.

From Leonard Cohen Says That to All the Girls by Barbara Amiel. Maclean’s: Sept 18, 1978. Now available at From the archives: Leonard Cohen and the Casanova paradox

“That’s What I Like About The Guy – There’s No Whining” Leonard Cohen On Mick Jagger, Songwriting, Musical Trends…

Marie at Speaking Cohen has discovered an ABC In Concert (posted July 15, 2018 on YouTube) featuring Leonard Cohen (as host),  Mick Jagger, & Mother Love Bone. The video automatically begins with a segment comprising Leonard talking about Mick Jagger. The second Leonard Cohen segment begins at 12:00 and includes more commentary as well as (prerecorded) portions of Democracy, Closing Time, and The Future.

“I never experienced the torrent of creative force that other people have spoken about – the ground doesn’t move.” Leonard Cohen On Songwriting

Life Of A Lady’s Man by Brian D. Johnson. Maclean’s: Dec 7, 1992. Originally posted July 25, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On The Reason For Nico’s Strange Style “After many weeks of me being perplexed by her conversation and paralyzed by her beauty… she told me she was deaf.”

 

Is it true that you wrote Take This Longing for Nico?

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I gave her this song. She sang it to me sometimes, but never recorded it. Nico was very strange. When I tried to talk to her, she always replied in a very arcane and mysterious fashion. Whatever you said to her, she answered very curiously. It was only after many weeks of me being perplexed by her conversation and paralyzed by her beauty that she told me she was deaf. So it was her habit t0 respond to anything that was said to her with whatever came into her head because she could hardly hear a thing. Which explains her particularly strange style. But I definitely wrote Take this Longing thinking of her.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via Google Translate.Nico photo by GanMed64 – Flickr: Nico (The Velvet Underground) – Lampeter University – November 1985, CC BY 2.0, Wikipedia Commons: Originally posted Dec 21, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric