“The death of such a man unifies us, and recalls to us how precious we are to one another.” Leonard Cohen’s Elegant Eulogy For David Blue


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He died running, he fell beside the square, to the street where, many years before he had begun to sing, he fell in the fullest expression of vanity and discipline. Many of us, in our songs, had touched on the type of man that he became. Dylan raised up such a ragged hero many times before he turned to solace in the shadow of American Christianity. Joni Mitchell had spoken simply of that constant ambiguous lover, spoken of him over and over, before she entered the beautiful technology of jazz and virtuosity. Kris Kristofferson had described that gambler playing his way from Nashville to Hollywood, where finally the dangers of the game were too coarse for poetry. David Blue was the peer of any singer in this country, and he knew it, and he coveted their audiences and their power, he claimed them as his rightful due. And when he could not have them, his disappointment became so dazzling, his greed assumed such purity, his appetite such honesty, and he stretched his arm so wide, that we were all able to recognize ourselves, and we fell in love with him. And as we grew older, as something in the public realm corrupted itself into irrelevance, the integrity of his ambition, the integrity of his failure, became, for those who knew him,increasingly important and appealing, and he moved swiftly, with effortless intimacy into the private life of anyone who recognized him, and our private lives became for him the theaters that no one would book for him, and he sang for us in hotel rooms and kitchens, and he became that poet and that gambler, and he established a defiant style to revive those soiled archetypes. In the last few years, something happened to his voice and his guitar, something very deep and sweet entered, his timing became immaculate and we knew that we were listening to one of the finest, one of the few men singing in America and I was happy then and perhaps happier now to say that I told him that. He did not put away his cowboy boots. He did not take a part-time job, he was fully employed in his defiance and his originality and his faithfulness to a ground, a style, an image of which he himself was the last and best champion exponent, a style that many of us had wanted, courted, and had not won.And finally, toward the end of his short and graceful life, he had the grace to recognize the woman to whom he had always been singing, and he courted and married Nesya and because a woman of talent and beauty does not choose lightly, she made manifest for all to plainly see the qualities of love and generosity that he had forced out of his distress. The death of such a man unifies us, and recalls to us how precious we are to one another.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Accessed at Steve Hoffman Music Forums.

David Blue: David Blue (born Stuart David Cohen) was part of the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene along with Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton… In addition, he was an actor and, in fact, played the role of Leonard in The Leonard Cohen Show during the 1979-1980 season at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal. He also wrote Troubadour Song about Leonard Cohen and Marianne about his love affair with Marianne of So Long, Marianne.

I loved Marianne in the winter
In the loft of her favorite lover
She was growing older
The winter nights were cold
She told me I’m frightened
I said yes I know…

I knew her from another song
Her older poet wrote before
We played it in the morning laughing on the floor
Till he came knocking on the lower East Side door

Blue died of a heart attack in December 1982 at the age of 41, while jogging in Washington Square Park in New York City. More information about David Blue is available at An Illustrated Biography of David Blue.

“I’m very fond of Phil Spector…he’s one of the great, magnificent figures…It’s just that I don’t have much of an appetite for magnificence” Leonard Cohen

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I’m very fond of Phil Spector. I think he’s one of the great, magnificent figures on the landscape. It’s just that I don’t have much of an appetite for magnificencequotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Love Me, Love My Gun Barrel by Graham Lock. New Musical Express: February 23, 1980. Originally June 21, 2013 posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“My God! Only one masterpiece. Does this guy have any idea what it takes to produce a single masterpiece? I think anything [Dylan] does merits serious attention.” Leonard Cohen Reacts To Review Criticizing Bob Dylan’s Shot Of Love Album Because It Included “Only One Masterpiece”

Back in the early ’80s, I was having dinner with poet and singer Leonard Cohen, and we were talking about Bob Dylan. Cohen had had dinner with Dylan a few nights earlier, and we were discussing Dylan’s current slump in popularity. He had recently embraced evangelical Christianity and produced a series of religious albums that troubled many fans.Cohen thought the reaction unfair, and was particularly galled by a review blasting Dylan’s album, “Shot of Love,” because it included “only one masterpiece,” which was Dylan’s poignant hymn, “Every Grain of Sand.”

“My God! Only one masterpiece,” Cohen exclaimed, as we ate at a restaurant in Montreal. “Does this guy have any idea what it takes to produce a single masterpiece? I think anything he does merits serious attention.”

From Bob Dylan — A Poet for Our Times by Tom Chaffin (SFGATE: May 23, 2001). Originally posted July 8, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

“Why would [Bob Dylan] go for Jesus at a late time like this? … I don’t get the Jesus part.” Leonard Cohen

dylanturnschristian-jwarnes-lcoohen

Excerpt from Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan by Howard Sounes Grove Press (April 12, 2002) p 336

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

Originally posted Jan 15, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“To The Child Of My Child” By Leonard Cohen (1998)

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To the child of my child: I may not be around when you read this but I want you to know that this morning I walked on a path and I could see the full moon above the pine trees. It was very bright and round and full and it made me very happy to see it. Someday you will be watching that same moon. I hope it makes you happy too. Love, Your Grandfather.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Letter To My Grandchild by Liv Ullman, Editor (Atlantic Monthly Pr; Gift edition: October 1, 1998). The photo of Leonard and Viva, his granddaughter, atop this post was given to Penny Showalter by Leonard Cohen (see Thank-You Photo From Leonard Cohen To Penny Showalter)

“[Lou Reed] was an early reader of Beautiful Losers which he thought was a good book… He wasn’t getting very many compliments of his work and I certainly wasn’t. So we told each other how good we were.” Leonard Cohen

Embed from Getty Images

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He [Lou Reed] was an early reader of Beautiful Losers which he thought was a good book. In those days I guess he wasn’t getting very many compliments of his work and I certainly wasn’t. So we told each other how good we were. I liked him immediately because Nico liked him.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From September 15, 1974 Leonard Cohen Interview by Robin Pike (ZigZag, Oct 1974). Photo shows Lou Reed introducing Leonard Cohen at Cohen’s 2008 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. Originally posted Apr 28, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I remember being overwhelmed by the fertility and the abundance of her artistic enterprise” Leonard Cohen On Joni Mitchell’s Musical Mastery

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She [Joni Mitchell] doesn’t read music and it really is fully developed from the god’s head. She just came out that way. When I When I saw her detune a guitar, for me, just tuning the guitar is an ordeal, worrying if I can tune the damn thing. I was so relieved when I finally had guitar techs. It was always an issue for me. To see Joni just twist those little knobs, tuning the guitar in about thirty seconds, into all different strings that nobody had ever heard, and nobody’s ever played it. That indicated to me immediately that there was something very remarkable going on. Same with the piano. I was staying with her in Laurel Canyon when her piano arrived. She sat down and played the piano. Just to hold all those tunings in her mind indicates a superior intellect. I remember being overwhelmed by the fertility and the abundance of her artistic enterprise, because it was so much more vast and rich and varied and seemingly effortless than the way I looked at things. Naturally, I was very impressed and somewhat intimidated.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. Sarah Crichton Books (October 17, 2017). Photo by Whoknoze – Own work, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons.