Leonard Cohen On Touring & Monastic Life: “Once you get the hang of it, you go into ninth gear and kind of float through it all.”

From Cohen hopelessly in love with life on the road by Sylvie Simmons. London Daily Telegraph: June 14, 2013. Photo on viewer’s left by Szilvia Szanto. Originally posted June 15, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

“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.” Leonard Cohen

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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.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

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

“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” Leonard Cohen 1971

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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’.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

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

“I started playing guitar in 1950, when I spent the summer in a socialist summer camp near Montreal. I really liked the people there because they were the only ones who were interested in songs as a form of self-expression – as people’s music.” Leonard Cohen

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From ”En tunne vanhenevani lainkaan” – Leonard Cohen Soundissa 1976: The 2016 reprint of a June 1976 Leonard Cohen interview by Dougie Gordon. (Soundi: Nov 11, 2016). Via computer translation. Photo of “Leonard Cohen playing for my mom & uncle, early 1950s, at my great grandmother’s summer campby noahbloom

“To move a song from a slogan to an authentic expression is really what the enterprise is about… discarding the lines that come too easy… waiting until something else bubbles up that is a little truer” Leonard Cohen On The 3 Steps Of Creating A Song

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I wish it didn’t take so long to finish a song and to make a record… it seems to be a long process… it’s trying to discover how I really feel about something. To move a song from a slogan to an authentic expression is really what the enterprise is about… discarding the lines that come too easy…  waiting until something else bubbles up that is a little truer… There’s the writing of the song, which can be laborious and difficult; there’s the recording of the song in the studio, which also takes a tremendous concentration… to materialize the songs. And then the third part of the process is singing the songs in front of other people.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen, speaking “for German television in 1997,” quoted in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia by Michael Gray (2006). Photo by Johann Agust Hansen.

Leonard Cohen (1965): “I think I’m going to record myself singing my poems” Leonard’s Friend: “Please don’t”

Cohen’s career took a new jog when, one day in the summer of 1965 in a suite in Toronto’s King Edward Hotel, Cohen sat on a sagging couch composing tunes on a mouth organ. In between he tried singing his poems to a friend. In an adjoining bedroom, visible through an open door, a naked couple twisted and moaned through the songs, their concentration on Leonard’s music and their own rhythms clearly affected by middle-class amounts of cocaine and marijuana. Cohen chose to interpret their noises positively. “I think I’m going to record myself singing my poems,” he said. His friend winced at the sound of Cohen’s nasal voice. “Please don’t,” she replied. The admonition showed much esthetic sense but lacked all commercial judgment. In 1967 Cohen released his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, and a cult of international dimensions was established. Today his books can be read in 11 languages: book sales are over two million volumes and record sales are around the 9‘/2-million mark. His Selected Poems sold 700,000 copies in the United States alone. “A phenomenal sale for a book of poetry,” says Viking Press President Thomas Ginsburg.

 

From Leonard Cohen Says That to All the Girls by Barbara Amiel. Maclean’s: Sept 18, 1978. \