“[Leonard Cohen’s] gravelly bass-baritone and his utterly personal phrasing-scansion transforms innocent-looking lines on the page into rich double and triple meanings.”

Mr. Cohen’s poetry is by no means all he has to offer. His music sounds classically simple yet fresh, enlivened by apt and original arrangements, mostly by himself and featuring contemporary electronic timbres that don’t even hint at a pandering to contemporary tastes. Even more crucial to his impact is his voice, a gravelly bass-baritone, and his utterly personal phrasing-scansion that transforms innocent-looking lines on the page into rich double and triple meanings.quotedown2


From Rock Poets From Canada Roll Anew by  John Rockwell. New York Times:  April 17, 1988.

Note: Originally posted Mar 1, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: On The Scene At The 1988 Royal Albert Hall Concert



1969-12-31-at-18-59-539James Finch (the cool dude in the daft shades) offers these photos taken prior to his entering Royal Albert Hall for the June 1, 1988 Leonard Cohen concert.  The posters displayed promote Cohen’s May 30, May 31, and June 1, 1988 shows.

Note: These photos are posted with the permission of James Finch. Please do not repost photos or use photos for commercial purposes without the specific permission of the copyright holder.

Note: Originally posted April 3, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen Seen From Limo By Leonard Cohen: 1988 Carnegie Hall Concert Poster

This animated gif captures that self-referential moment in Harry Rasky’s Songs From The Life Of Leonard Cohen when Cohen’s limo window slides down to reveal him peering out at the poster  for his own July 6, 1988 Carnegie Hall Concert. I was moved to post it today1 because it is also a scene in NFBC’s Clever, Funny Animated Video Of Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” posted yesterday.

View more animated gifs at Leonard Cohen Animations

This is the July 6, 1988 Leonard Cohen Carnegie Hall Concert poster.


  1. This animation was originally published March 29, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric []

Vinyl Version of “Leonard Cohen Toronto ’88” Bootleg


Peter Torbijn of the Netherlands sends word that a vinyl version of the “Leonard Cohen Toronto ’88” bootleg on the Rox Vox label is listed at Forced Exposure. The description from that site follows:

180-gram vinyl. By 1988 Leonard Cohen had undergone something of a renaissance in North America, propelled by the success of Jennifer Warnes’s 1987 Famous Blue Raincoat album. He supported his widely acclaimed synthesizer-heavy I’m Your Man album (1988) with a tour of Europe, the US, and his native Canada. This superb performance at Massey Hall in Toronto on November 9, 1988, was broadcast live on CBC Radio. The complete broadcast is presented here with background notes and images.

This is yet another bootleg of Leonard Cohen’s November 9, 1988 concert at Massey Hall in Toronto, which was broadcast live on CBC radio and rebroadcast on March 11, 1990.

Peter notes “there are other pressings on vinyl of the same concert, but I think this is a new one.”

Also see

Leonard Cohen’s One-Performance Only Version Of “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” Cologne 1988


Leonard Cohen Sings To A Different Beat

While the visual aspects of this video are suboptimal, it captures Leonard Cohen1 singing “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” in a rhythm distinct from any other performance I have heard.

For purposes of comparison, a video of a  more typical performance of the song (from the 2013 Rotterdam concert) is also embedded below.

Leonard Cohen – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
Cologne: April 10, 1988
Video by jikan78

For comparison,

Leonard Cohen – Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
Rotterdam: Sept 18, 2013
Video by albertnoonan

Note: Originally posted Jul 13, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. Comparison video updated for this re-posting.

  1. Band Members: Bob Furgo (keyboards, violin), Bob Metzger (guitars, pedal steel guitar), Steve Meadot (drums), Stephen Zirkel (bass, keyboards, trumpet), John Bilezikjian (oud, mandolin), Tom McMorran (keyboards), Julie Christensen (vocals), Perla Batalla (vocals) []

Leonard Cohen Tells 1988 Helsinki Concert Audience 5 Things He Knows About Finland

I don’t know much about you [Helsinki concert audience]. I know that there are 126 members of your Parliament that are not socialists and 76 that are. It’s not much to know about anybody. I know that you have 0.11 percent of the world gross product. That’s a lot for a country your size, but that’s not enough to know. I know that your President is a Doctor of Philosophy, that’s impressive, but it really does not help us get through the night. I know that you’re a heroic people and except for the Afghanis, you’re the only one who resisted the Soviet Union. Mostly, I know that you live in winter like I do. I wrote this next song under the inspiration, under the fatherly guidance of Federico Garcia Lorca, the great Spanish poet. He never came to Helsinki. Doesn’t matter, ’cause I’m here now. And I bring you the greetings of the South even though I am frozen to death in the north. It is one of those things that I know how to do.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s introduction to “Take This Waltz” from the April 28, 1988 concert at Jaahalli Helsinki, Finland

DrHGuy Note: And that’s before he knew Jarkko

Note: Originally posted October 31, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric