Two Superb Photos Of Leonard Cohen – Oslo 2008

Leonard Cohen, holding hat and flowers, at the July 1, 2008 concert at Bislet Stadium in Oslo. (The string of beads threaded around two fingers of his right hand is likely his komboloi, although it appears different from those Cohen typically carries.)

Leonard Cohen, leading his musicians in the closing chorus at the same show.
Photos by Ketil Blom Haugstulen @

Note: Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Identifies Voice In Night Comes On As “My Mother’s True Voice”

I went down to the place where I knew she lay waiting
Under the marble and the snow
I said, Mother I’m frightened, the thunder and the lightning
I’ll never come through this alone
She said, I’ll be with you, my shawl wrapped around you
My hand on your head when you go
And the night came on, it was very calm
I wanted the night to go on and on
But she said, go back, go back to the world

From Night Comes On by Leonard Cohen

AL: In the song “Night Comes On,” I guess it’s the mother who asks the son to return to the world … That’s my interpretation.
LC: That’s right.

AL: What is the voice that made you return to the world? Is she spiritual? Material? Sexual or Sensual?
LC: This is probably my mother’s true voice.

AL: Masha. You remembered and you went back into the world, you came back to us.
LC: The voice of my mother in my life – she died a few years ago – remains the wisest,

AL: wisdom?
LC: Wisdom. A wisdom not sublime, not exalted, not …

AL: something quiet, peaceful?
LC: Quiet and practical, pragmatic.


Meeting with Leonard Cohen – Interview by Albert Labbouz  Translation and adaptation: Dr. Marc Gaffié (Patrice Clos: “Throughout the conversation, Leonard spoke mainly in French but also in English. It is this synthesis of the two languages ​​that was absolutely necessary.”) Paris, June 29, 2001. Published in French; this excerpt via Google Translate.

Promotional DVD and CD Set Of “My Sad And Famous Songs: Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970”

Dominique BOILE forwards these images of the rare promotional DVD with the original title, “My Sad And Famous Songs: Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970,” the same contents on DVD with the final title “Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970,” and the same contents on CD entitled “My Sad And Famous Songs: Leonard Cohen Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970” (note the listing, “So Long Mary Ann” on the CD).  The item’s description follows:

Rare 2009 promotional only US 15-track NTSC DVD-R acetate featuring Leonard Cohen and his band live at the third annual Isle Of Wight music festival on August 31st 1970 featuring Joan Baez, including documentary footage by filmmaker Murray Lerner – this has not been officially released on DVD and is only available commercially as a Blu-Ray! Custom printed disc with title/tracklisting insert. Live at the Isle of Wight was originally to be called My Sad and Famous Songs but, at the last minute, the title was scrapped. This release has been announced under the title My Sad and Famous Songs: Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight in 1979, but it was released without the first part of the title. Still, most of the available promotional acetate CDRs and DVDRs to show the complete original title.

The following explanatory excerpt is from Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 by Steve LaBate (Paste: Oct 22, 2009):

Live at the Isle of Wight was originally to be called My Sad and Famous Songs but, at the last minute, the title was scrapped. This is fortunate — while it’s true that Cohen writes some of the heaviest songs you’ll hear, and that his dour delivery gives him his (often deserved) reputation as an artist who’s inspired quite a bit of wrist-slashing, the proposed title would have reinforced an overly simplistic perspective that fails to consider Cohen’s disarming onstage charm and potent if subtle sense of humor. Mid-set on Isle of Wight, Cohen begins delivering what, at first, seems like a ponderous activist poem so common to the era: “As for the political situation, ” he says, “they locked up a man who wanted to rule the world. The fools, they locked up the wrong man.” The crowd cheers, and Cohen continues, ” A man who eats meat wants to get his teeth into something. A man who does not eat meat wants to get his teeth into something else.” There’s a long pause, and then Cohen adds, “If these thoughts interest you for even a moment, you are lost.”

Note: Originally posted Oct 24, 2014 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“That’s why you pray – because you don’t have a prayer” Listen To CriticsAtLarge Interview with Leonard Cohen (1984)

“[Book Of Mercy] would only be accessible to someone who is in some kind of trouble”

In 1984, Kevin Courrier sat down with poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen to speak about the publication of his latest book of poetry, Book of Mercy. The segment first aired on the radio show, On the Arts, on CJRT-FM in Toronto in 1984. Kevin Courrier writes:

Leonard Cohen and I met once for a conversation in 1984 for “On the Arts” at CJRT-FM after he had come out of a brief retirement from both music and writing. I was aware during our talk that Cohen seemed to be contemplating (and accumulating) more and more unexpressed thoughts as the interview was progressing. So after our chat ended, he asked if he could play me something that he felt might best fully answer some of the questions that the interview kept raising. He was my last guest that morning so all I had was my lunch waiting. Since I had my whole life to eat lunch, but little time to spend with Leonard Cohen, we went into the control room that had just been vacated by my technical producer. He handed me a cassette that was obviously a promo tape with no writing on it and asked me to fast forward it to the concluding song on side two. As I cued the tape titled Various Positions, I brought up the volume on the control board while he lounged back in his chair as I did in mine. As the song began gently, he looked over to me and said, “I think this song best answers your questions during our talk.” What he played was “Hallelujah.” Once it ended, I gave him back the tape, but I forget now what my initial response was. We shook hands and I thanked him for the opportunity to hear this new unreleased song. After escorting him to the door, I went to heat up my lasagna never considering that the song I first heard with Leonard Cohen would turn out one day to be such an enduring one.

Note: If the above embedded player does not function in your browser, listen to the recording at the host site.

Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this recording.

January 8, 2008: GoodCleanWholesomeFun Opens – And GoodCleanWholesomeFun Begat And Begat Cohencentric

On Jan 8, 2008, GoodCleanWholesomeFun was launched as a Tumblr site. When it became evident that an effective  Tumblr blog search mechanism was  a distant dream, three years of posts were moved to Posterous where the collection was renamed DrHGuy.  All was well in the House Of DrHGuy until Twitter bought Posterous in 2012 solely to hire the guys who developed the site and acquire certain technology – not to maintain a platform for bloggers. As support on Posterous deteriorated, DrHGuy packed his posts at the end of Dec, 2012 and got out of Dodge for the more stable land of WordPress. Finally, in March 2015, and were effectively terminated and their content became the substrate of