“When I stand on a stage, I feel I bring my private life with me there and that that’s what’s interesting or amusing.” Leonard Cohen

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Then you have invented for yourself a very non-typical existence for a performer.

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I think the value of anybody on a stage is where he comes from. It’s not really so much what he does at the moment, assuming that it reaches a certain level of excellence. The interesting thing for me is what a man or a woman brings from his or her own personal kind of ambience to the stage. I’m only valuable at this moment because I don’t live that star’s life. When I stand on a stage, I feel I bring my private life with me there and that that’s what’s interesting or amusing. That’s what’s entertaining about me. When I see other people perform, I think the same way. When I see Joni Mitchell perform, I think this is really the story of a girl who moved from the prairies to Beverly Hills. When I see myself, I think this is the story of a guy who was born in Montréal and lives there still. And there are different kinds of stories, you know? And I think that’s what’s interesting about all of us.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974

“I think a song always has two or three doors to enter it” Leonard Cohen

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But on occasions like this, when you find yourself on a tour, you have no choice but to face your work every day. You have to sing songs that may have stopped meaning something for you …  I think a song always has two or three doors to enter it. If you know which door to choose, you can almost always enter the song. And that’s what I try to do on stage: find a door that at that moment seems appropriate. Because if you approach a song in a cynical way, you end up making it boring. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen Words And Silences by Constantino Romero. Vibrations 2 (November 1974). Republished in Rockdelux 356 (December 2016). Via Google Translate. Photo taken by Bernd Morlock and originally posted to Facebook by Sandra Gallian.

“It was just at a certain moment that I felt that songs of a certain quality came to me that somehow demanded … or somehow engage a larger audience” Leonard Cohen


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I’ve always played and sung. Ever since I was 15. I was in a barn dance group called the Buckskin Boys when I was about 18 .. 17. It was just at a certain moment that I felt that songs of a certain quality came to me that somehow demanded … or somehow engage a larger audience. Like when you write a good song, you feel like you can sing it to other people. When you write other songs that are not so good you just sing them to yourself. I don’t know … I think … I guess greed had something to do with it.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Ladies and Gents, Leonard Cohen by Jack Hafferkamp (Rolling Stone: Feb. 4, 1971). Note: Originally posted Jan 9, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I started bringing some songs together. And it really changed my whole scene.” Leonard Cohen On His Career Shift From Author To Singer-Songwriter


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A lot had to do with poverty. I mean I was writing books (two novels and four volumes of poetry) and they were being very well received … and that sort of thing, but I found it was very difficult to pay my grocery bill. I said, like it’s really happening. I’m starving. I’ve got beautiful reviews for all my books, and you know, I’m very well thought of in the tiny circles that know me, but like … I’m really starving. So then I started bringing some songs together. And it really changed my whole scene.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Ladies and Gents, Leonard Cohen by Jack Hafferkamp (Rolling Stone: Feb. 4, 1971). Photos: Copyright John Rettie – www.rocknrollphotographs.com

Note: Originally posted Jan 4, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.” Leonard Cohen

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The words, surprisingly enough, came from Leonard Cohen, and he was making the first of several efforts to bring the opening show of his [1976] British tour to a close…. I had to ask him,… if this summed up his current mood.

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After a concert, if the people are happy, you do feel grateful on a certain level. I don’t want to make too much of it. I never said it before. It just came out like thatquotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Cohen Down The Road By Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, May 22, 1976. Found at Reality Now!. Photo Credit: Roloff Beny / Library and Archives Canada / PA-196331

“Whenever I meet people that other sources would describe as fans, they are sensitive to the moment, they all seem to possess the grace of the occasion” Leonard Cohen On His Audience

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Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974. Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui.

Leonard Cohen Looks At Commercial Success From Both Sides Now

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There have been moments when I’ve felt that I’ve betrayed myself [for commercial success] but I think I would have felt that from the other side too if I hadn’t reached a wide audience. I would then have felt that I should have put more effort into reaching people.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Also see Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas Hits The Charts – And Why That Matters (Maybe)

From The Strange, Sad and Beautiful World of Leonard Cohen By Andrew Furnival. Petticoat: December 30, 1972. Originally posted Oct 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“If you can do anything, it’s kind of satisfying. It’s [performing] and washing dishes that are the only things I know.” Leonard Cohen


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If you can do anything, it’s kind of satisfying. It’s [performing] and washing dishes that are the only things I know.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From “I’m a closet optimist”: An audience with Leonard Cohen, September 16, 2014, London by Michael Bonner (Uncut: Sept 16, 2014) Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric