A Young Lorca Cohen Packs CDs By Dylan, Grateful Dead, Fugazi, & Leonard Cohen (aka “Dad”) For Boarding School Stay

“She didn’t have to do that. It was wonderful.”

Leonard Cohen

From An Interview With Leonard Cohen by Rob O’Connor (Downtown, Feb 12, 1992). This article was contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted Aug 6, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I started the guitar and I heard myself sing that first phrase, ‘Like a bird on a wire,’ and I knew the song was going to be true.” Leonard Cohen

I’m not sure of exactly what I want to say next. It has to do with maybe an image you may have formed of yourself. That has something to do with this business of coming of age. But maybe it changes, all the way through, maybe the next record will be the epitome of simplicity and will be absolutely out of the hole.

Well, I understand what you mean. I’ll try to relate it to something particular: this song ‘Like a Bird on a Wire’ which I was telling you about. I tried many versions and in a way the history of that song on the record is my whole history. I tried it in many different ways. At about four in the morning I sent all the musicians home except for my friends Zev who plays Jew’s harp, Charlie McCoy who was playing the bass, the electric bass, and Bob Johnston who’s the A & R man; I asked him to just sit at the organ from time to time. And I just knew that at that moment something was going to take place. I’d never sung the song true, never, and I’d always had a kind of phony Nashville introduction that I was playing the song to and by the time I came around to start my own song I was already following a thousand models. And I just did the voice before I started the guitar and I heard myself sing that first phrase, ‘Like a bird on a wire,’ and I knew the song was going to be true. I knew it was going to be true and new and I sang it through and I listened to myself singing, and it was a surprise. Then I heard the replay and I knew it was right. I’d never sung it true and I didn’t think I could ever sing it true again because I’m not a performer. But there is one moment and it happens to coincide with the huge mechanical facilities of Columbia Records, that’s what I call magic. And it did, it happened that way. I suppose a master, a master of chance and someone who deeply understands phenomena, could see the method and technique. I learned a lot from it, I’d like to apply it right now, we may get to that moment.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Michael Harris. Duel, Winter 1969.

Hear Bruce Springsteen & The Castiles Cover Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne – 1967

While I was aware that Bruce Springsteen had sung Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, it was not until Adrian du Plessis, Allison Crowe’s Personable Manager, directed my attention to a recording of this effort that I actually heard the cover and realized that the performance took place in 1967.

Springsteen’s band, The Castiles, played Suzanne as the penultimate song at The Left Foot in Freehold, NJ on Sept 16, 1967. The following information are from The Castiles… When the Boss was young…, posted June 29, 2009 at The Clock That Went Backwards Again (highlighting mine):

This was grand opening night at The Left Foot, an “over 13 under 18” club located in the recreation centre of St Peter’s Episcopal Church at 37 Throckmorton St. … All 13 songs are covers of other artists’ material, including The Blues Magoos’ “One By One” and Moby Grape’s “Omaha”. The inspiration for often-covered “Get Out Of My Life, Woman” was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band version. Similarly the inspiration for Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” was the 1966 Judy Collins recording. Although Springsteen may have started out in mid 1965 singing mostly background vocals, it is clear that by this point Bruce is the band’s focal point. Bruce handles the lead vocals on all songs except “Eleanor Rigby”, The Kinks “See My Friends” and The Blues Project’s haunting “Steve’s Song” (all handled by George Theiss).

1st Set
01 Fire
02 See My Friend
03 Catch The Wind
04 Omaha
05 Steve’s Song
06 Jeff’s Boogie

2nd Set
01 Purple Haze
02 Get Off My Live, Woman
03 Hold On, I’m Coming
04 You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At It’s Cover
05 Elenor Rigby
06 Suzanne
07 Jeff’s Boogie

Video: Bruce Springsteen (The Castiles) – Suzanne
Freehold NJ: Sept 16, 1967
Video from 2010dreamon

Credit Due Department: Photo by Bill Ebbesen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Note: Originally posted Mar 10, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Performs Famous Blue Raincoat Featuring Paul Ostermayer On Sax – Bonn 1980

This is the final post of the recordings. All 12 songs can now be heard in a single YouTube playlist.

Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat
Bonn: Nov 4, 1980

The 1980 Leonard Cohen Bonn Concert Recording

As far as I can determine, no recording of the Nov 4, 1980 Leonard Cohen concert at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany has been available online – until now. A tape of one hour of the show has emerged, thanks to the generosity of a friend from Bonn, who recorded this song and 11 others with the permission of Leonard Cohen and his sound engineer. (The other songs from this concert have been posted or will be posted soon; all recordings from this show are collected at .)

The supporting musicians for the 1980 Tour follow:

  • Sharon Robinson – vocals
  • Roscoe Beck – bass guitar
  • John Bilezikjian – oud, mandolin
  • Bill Ginn – keyboards
  • Raffi Hakopian – violin
  • Steve Meador – drums
  • Paul Ostermayer – wind
  • Mitch Watkins – electric guitar

Credit Due Department: Photo of Leonard Cohen by Pete Purnell.

The Cars Of Leonard Cohen: The Cohen Family 1930s Chauffeur-Driven Pontiac

Cars Of Leonard Cohen

is a series of posts about actual automobiles owned by or associated with Leonard Cohen, metaphorical cars he employed in his songs, and his thoughts about cars. All posts in this series are collected at as they go online.

Cohen Family Car: 1930s Pontiac

When Leonard Cohen was growing up in Westmount, the Cohen family car was a chauffeur-driven (the driver, Kerry, was also the Cohen’s gardener) Pontiac.1 In fact, as Sylvie Simmons points out in her Leonard Cohen biography, I’m Your Man, that vehicle carried the infant Leonard home from the hospital:

The chauffeur turned off the main road by the synagogue, which took up most of the block, and headed past St. Matthias’s Church on the opposite corner, and up the hill. In the back of the car was a woman – twenty-seven years old, attractive, strong-featured, stylishly dressed – and her newborn baby son. The streets they passed were handsome and well-appointed, the trees arranged just so. Big houses of brick and stone you might have thought would collapse under the sheer weight of their self-importance appeared to float effortlessly up the slopes. Around halfway up, the driver took a side road and stopped outside a house at the end of the street, 599 Belmont Avenue. It was large, solid and formal-looking, English in style, its dark brick softened by a white-framed veranda at the front and at the back by Murray Hill Park, fourteen acres of lawns, trees and flower beds, with a sweeping view of the St. Lawrence River to one side and, on the other, downtown Montreal. The chauffeur stepped out of the car and opened the rear door, and Leonard was carried up the white front steps and into his family home.

Of course, when Leonard was a little older …
Credit Due Department: Thanks to Maarten Massa for access to these images.


  1. It’s worth noting that in his 60s and 70s, Leonard frequently served as chauffeur for his friend and Zen teacher, Roshi, []

Vote For Leonard Cohen’s Funniest Song Lyrics



1. Vote for ONE selection
Each of the first 8 selections is nominated as an entire song. The remaining nominees are specific lyrics in a song. Those specific lyrics are listed under the poll at the bottom of this post.

2. Voting ends 11:59 PM March 16, 2018

For more information, see


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 07-03-2018 11:42:29
End date 16-03-2018 23:59:00
Poll Results:
Vote For Leonard Cohen’s Funniest Song Lyrics



Continue Reading →