From Famous Last Words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman. Maclean’s: June 1972. Photo by Peter Brosseau. Found at Library and Archives Canada. Originally posted Dec 19, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.
[I asked] Cohen about longevity in songwriters, why so few lasted past adolescence.
I think there are a number of things that bear on that. You can burn yourself out, for one. The late teens and twenties are generally the lyric phase of a writer’s career. If you achieve enough fame and women and money during that period, you quit, because that’s generally the motivation. I mean, I didn’t get enough money or women or fame for me to quit. I don’t have enough yet, so I’ve got to keep on playing. I know it’s rather unbecoming at forty to keep it all going, but I have to do it.
The Obscure Case of Leonard Cohen and The Mysterious Mr. M. by Bruce Pollock (After Dark: February 1977). Found at LeonardCohenFiles.
From Leonard Cohen Interviewed About Judy Collins and “Suzanne”. Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174.
From Harry Rasky’s The Song of Leonard Cohen (1979). Photo by Pete Purnell.
I don’t want to get into performing too much because I’ve always seen song and poetry as the evidence of the life rather than the life itself, the picture of life is straight and if you really are experiencing things then this work is the evidence of that experience. If your experience only becomes putting out for the public, and we are all whores in a certain level because we’re out there every night like the entertainer, but for me I couldn’t live that life totally because I know it would dry things up.
From The Sounds Interview 1971 by Billy Walker. Sounds: October 23, 1971. The image atop this post is the back cover of Flowers for Hitler by Leonard Cohen Jonathan Cape (UK): 1973. Photo by Sophie Baker. Originally posted June 14, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
The reason I’ve stayed away from it [other people’s materials] mostly is because I started writing my own songs because I couldn’t really learn the tunes of other songs. I would love to and if I could really sing well I’d sing everybody’s songs but I feel if I sing my own songs nobody can complain. I think if you sing your own songs you can really embody the vision in the song but I wouldn’t like to try it with ‘0 Sole Mio’.
From The Sounds Interview 1971 by Billy Walker. Sounds: October 23, 1971. Photo Credit: Peter Brosseau/Library and Archives Canada/PA-170174. Note: Originally posted June 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Leonard Cohen at Nov 18, 2012 Edmonton Concert, quoted in Godfather of Blissful Doom by Mike Ross (Edmonton Sun: Nov 18, 2012). Originally posted Nov 19, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric