“Bob Dylan knows this more than all of us: you don’t write the songs anyhow. So if you’re lucky, you can keep the vehicle healthy and responsive over the years. If you’re lucky, your own intentions have very little to do with this.” Leonard Cohen (2016)

Talking about his songwriting routine, Cohen referenced Dylan again and spoke as if personal determination and will had very little to do with real artistic achievement…

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I think that Bob Dylan knows this more than all of us: you don’t write the songs anyhow. So if you’re lucky, you can keep the vehicle healthy and responsive over the years. If you’re lucky, your own intentions have very little to do with this. You can keep the body as well-oiled and receptive as possible, but whether you’re actually going to be able to go for the long haul is really not your own choice.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Corrects Himself: ‘I Intend to Stick Around Until 120’ by Chris Willman (Billboard: Oct 14, 2016)

“Bob Dylan, that commie” Leonard Cohen’s Joke Gets Him Disinvited From 1992 Dylan Tribute

Why were you not part of the concert in homage to Dylan [the 1992 Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden]?

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I think I was invited, but I made a joke. Don Ienner, who’s the president of Columbia, mentioned this concert to me and I made a joke. He said that there would be a Dylan tribute. I said, ‘Bob Dylan, that commie. He singlehandedly destroyed society.’ I said, ‘My daughter wrote on the edge of her book: ‘Your sons and your daughters are beyond your control.’ Thanks a lot, Bob.’ And I don’t know if they thought I was serious or not. Then, I was never asked again.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Excerpt from The Future by Alberto Manzano. El Europeo: Spring 1993.

“If I knew where the good songs came from, I’d go there more often. And I guess [Bob Dylan] feels the same way.” Leonard Cohen (1992)

2Leonard Cohen Interview with Serge Simonart (1992). Photo by Pete Purnell.

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

“I heard Bob Dylan, listened to him carefully, and thought ‘He has already done it.’ It was exactly what I wanted to do: write as well and simply as possible and lay it at the feet of the people.” Leonard Cohen

bob_dylan_in_november_1963

From Leonard Cohen – All culture is nail polish by Bert van de Kamp, OOR magazine No.21, October 23,1974. [Via Google Translate]. The photo is by Unknown – BobDylan-1964StLawrenceYearbook-3, from the 1964 yearbook of St. Lawrence University, Public Domain, via Wikipedia. Thanks to Gordana Stupar, who alerted me to this article.

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

“These are more than songs. These are prayers.” Bob Dylan On Leonard Cohen’s Various Positions Album

From Episode 6 Leonard Cohen, A 1992 Archival Interview by Paul Zollo (The Great Song Adventure: July 10, 2018)

The Cohen-Dylan Interface

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“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

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“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

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

“The ‘secret chord’ and the point-blank I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself aspect of the song has plenty of resonance for me” Bob Dylan On Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

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That song ‘Hallelujah’ has resonance for me. There again, it’s a beautifully constructed melody that steps up, evolves, and slips back, all in quick time. But this song has a connective chorus, which when it comes in has a power all of its own. The ‘secret chord’ and the point-blank I-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself aspect of the song has plenty of resonance for me.quotedown2

Bob Dylan

 

Leonard Cohen Makes It Darker by David Remnick (New Yorker: October 17, 2016)

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