“The genius of Phil [Spector] is to completely exhaust everyone and call on some special reserve that no one expects to locate and to manifest it.” Leonard Cohen

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The genius of Phil is to completely exhaust everyone and call on some special reserve that no one expects to locate and to manifest it. That is how he get the incredible energy. He frustrates the musicians for hours, refusing to let them play more than one or two bars, and then he lets them play.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: My album will be classic in 10 years by Mary Campbell. AP: Feb 1978.

“The album’s about the death of a ladies’ man. You just can’t hold that point of view anymore. ” Leonard Cohen On Death Of A Ladies’ Man

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The album’s about the death of a ladies’ man. You just can’t hold that point of view anymore. Phil [Spector] saw it immediately. Anybody over thirty, I imagine, who’s had a couple of marriages and a couple of children, as Phil has had, would see that it’s authentic. I don’t know what it could possibly mean to a twenty-year-old.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen Obscured…A Haunting by Spector by Stephen Holden. Rolling Stone: January 26, 1978. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I think this was quite an insight into the sexual politics of the time” Leonard Cohen On Death Of A Ladies’ Man Lyrics


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I think this [‘The last time that I saw him he was trying hard to get / A woman’s education but he’s not a woman yet’] was quite an insight into the sexual politics of the time, where we started to hear about or see a kind of feminised man. Or a man who could appreciate the woman’s position or could affirm the feminine aspects of his own nature. But despite being filled with good intentions, I am not one who believes in any kind of movement. Maybe it’s just my nasty, cantankerous, argumentative nature, but there is something about these ‘self-improvement’ rackets that turn me off. Like a concept of the ‘feminised’ man – because it suggested that we are going to transcend the dualistic and conflicting nature of life…quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Note: Leonard Cohen’s thoughts on his music, organized by song title, can be found at Leonard Cohen On His Songs

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“Great suffering is available to everybody – not just artists” Leonard Cohen refutes cliches about songwriting, capitalism, hallucinogens, marriage & family, American politics & hamburgers…

In this 1993 RTE interview, Leonard Cohen repeatedly rejects proffered opportunities to subscribe to popular contemporary notions, (e.g., the commercialization of the 1960s cultural revolution) to instead present some of his deepest, most lucid explanations of such varied subjects as the impact of hallucinogenic drugs, the meaning of “only drowning men could see him” in Suzanne, the significance of “Democracy is coming to the USA,” and his love for his children in the face of his aversion to having children. Heck, he even eschews agreeing with the idea that Death Of A Ladies’ Man “could have been better without Phil Spector” by commenting that “it could have been better without Leonard Cohen,” going on to point out that “a more powerful singer” like Bill Medley might have made it a great album.

Indeed, the only criticism of Spector Leonard unequivocally sets forth is his distaste for Phil’s pairing of Manischewitz wine with a 45 caliber handgun.

Leonard Cohen interview by Dave Fanning
RTE: Jan 21, 1993

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Josephine Hogan, who recommended this interview.