Hear the broadcast and read the transcript at New Collection Showcases Leonard Cohen’s ‘Obsession With Imperfection’. Terry Gross Interviews Adam Cohen (NPR: October 8, 2018).
The artist has no position other than the one that gets him through the day, as a coat-hanger. Yeats had that. He had a mad, metaphysical philosophy. He heard voices and took them down. He hung his coat on them. Then he took out the hanger. He hung his coat on them, but the coat stands there. That cape shines by itself. It doesn’t need the support of some cranky Lego construction.
From Maverick Spirit: Leonard Cohen by Jim O’Brien. B-Side Magazine: August/September 1993.
DrHGuy Note: “Coat-hanger” alludes to the recurrent line from The Apparitions by Yeats:
Because there is safety in derision
I talked about an apparition,
I took no trouble to convince,
Or seem plausible to a man of sense.
Distrustful of thar popular eye
Whether it be bold or sly.
Fifteen apparitions have I seen;
The worst a coat upon a coat-hanger.
And, this is not the first time Lego has been referenced on this site; see A Little Leonard: Leonard Cohen Miniatures
The Venue-Fedora Mismatch
The current Leonard Cohen USA Tour1 features certain venues where those in attendance may feel uncomfortable donning Leonard’s trademark fedora.
My most recent visit to the Rosemont Convention Center, for example, the location of the Chicago show next week, was to watch a minor league hockey game. My penultimate Rosemont visitation was as a guest of a colleague who insisted, erroneously as it turned out, I would “really get off” on the monster truck show held there.
Note: In fairness, not all venues on this leg of Leonard’s tour could be similarly characterized. The concert in Kansas City, a favorite stomping ground of my youth, home of Lord of Leisure and Hippie With Tiara, and, of course, the primary procurement site for crazy little women, will be held at the Midland, a recently reopened indoor theater, which strikes me as a fedora-friendly sort of place.
The Fedora-Alternative Solution
For those sites in which the distinctive Leonard Cohen chapeau can be stylishly and admiringly worn by no one other than Leonard Cohen himself, the Cohencentric New & Improved Leonard Cohen Merchandise Emporium2 offers the perfect solution to those who wish to both respect local sartorial mores yet simultaneously declare their allegiance to the Canadian singer, songwriter, and, of course, icon: The Leonard Cohen Fedora-alternative Truckers Cap.
Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Mandy MacLeod. Monster truck photo by VIRIN: 090111-F-2907C-0330.JPG. Photo of Midland Theatre by Sharon Mollerus.
- Note; this entry was originally posted Oct 20, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric [↩]
- For information about and background of the Cohencentric Leonard Cohen USA Tour merchandising effort and other available Leonard Cohen souvenirs, see New & Improved Leonard Cohen Merchandise – The Heart With A Companion T-shirt and The Leonard Cohen Bobble Head [↩]
At this point, yes I am interested in the market journey of the product; but I’m very, very interested also in the mind of the reviewers, how they change over the decades, and how a man approaches new work. Whether he approaches it in a spirit of curiosity, charity, interest, or as a vehicle for his own self-aggrandizement, his own career. Whether he uses it as an opportunity to display humanism, or cruelty… I mean to me, the critic is on trial at this point.
From Leonard Cohen: The Romantic in a Ragpicker’s Trade by Paul Williams (Crawdaddy, March 1975). Image is back cover of Energy Of Slaves. Originally posted October 19, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
- “You’re going to have the occasional inspired individual who just uses the form in the way a poet uses a sonnet. They’re going to be able to create cultural value and create an intellectual and emotional delight” Leonard Cohen on Rock Critics
- Leonard Cohen Responds To Negative Review (1970): “I’ve got a bunch of big guys in my band who would love nothing more than to take you into an alley.”
Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Paris: Sept 29, 2012
Video by albertnoonan
And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin
I practiced every night, now I’m ready
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin
This video has a lot going for it: a strong performance, an enthusiastic audience, a beaming Sharon Robinson, a dandy stare-down between Leonard & Javier, and a cameo by The Monkey. What’s not to like?
Note: The best available video of each of the 40 songs performed during the 2012 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour can be found at the Best Of 2012 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist.
Originally posted Oct 19, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric