Leonard Cohen on the characterization of his musical performances “I don’t care what people call me”

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I don’t care what people call me, whether you call it folksinging or some people call it a priestly function or some people see it as a revolutionary activity or acidheads see it as psychedelic revolution or poets see it as the popularization of poetry.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

After the Wipe-Out, A Renewal by Sandra Diwa, published in The Ubyssey (the student newspaper of the University of British Columbia), February 3, 1967. Photo from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01709. Originally posted June 4, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Talks About Being Granted The “Right To Sing The Blues”

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I’ve always loved the blues, I’ve always loved the musical construction of the blues, but I’ve always felt that I didn’t have the right to sing the blues. But somehow, the right was granted to me, I don’t know by what authorities, but I felt that I had the right to use that form and a number of songs came to me that way. Now I have the permission to sing the blues.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Leonard Cohen Sings The Blues. Hürriyet Daily News: January 28, 2012, Originally posted Aug 20, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on Sharon Robinson: “When we sing together, my voice contains no loneliness.”

Sharon Robinson & Leonard Cohen Caesar's Palace 2010

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In very early times, I tried that  [releasing albums without many accompanying musicians]. But in the meantime, my music became much more complex. Furthermore, I would bore myself to death to be in the studio or on stage alone. Sharon Robinson, who has worked with me since 1979 as a backup singer and who produced the new album, has succeeded in cushioning the imperfections of my voice. When we sing together, my voice contains no loneliness.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From The Happy Message of the Aged, Interview by Sven F. Goergens. (Translated by Marie Mazur, using translation software, with the aid of Adi Heindl): Focus: September 15, 2001. Originally posted Apr 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’ve always been there serving the nameless, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t have a voice.” Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen & Sharon Robinson performing in 1980 (Amsterdam)

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What we used to call the artist is becoming obsolete, and for some people I symbolize that. They feel my loyalty has not been compromised. I’ve always been there serving the nameless, and it doesn’t matter if I don’t have a voice.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From The Face May Not Be Familiar, but the Name Should Be: It’s Composer and Cult Hero Leonard Cohen by Pamela Andriotakis & Richard Oulahan. People: January 14, 1980. Photo by Pete Purnell. (see Leonard Cohen In Concert 1974 To 1993: Photos By Pete Purnell). Originally posted Dec 31, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Everybody was rehearsed not only in the notes but also in something unspoken” Leonard Cohen On 2008 Tour Preparation

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In rehearsal before 2008 Tour: Leonard Cohen, Sharon Robinson & Webb Sisters

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Everybody was rehearsed not only in the notes but also in something unspoken. You could feel it in the dressing room as you moved closer to the concert, you could feel the sense of commitment, tangible in the room.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

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

“My own collected emotions are best kept between two hard covers” Leonard Cohen On His Reluctance To Read His Poetry Onstage

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I never really enjoyed myself doing poetry from the stage, but I’m sorry I didn’t have a book of poems with me [at the 1972 Dublin concert] because people were so hospitable and interested and I did feel so relaxed. I might just have said ‘Well here are some poems I’ve written, if you want to hear them.’ Once again I couldn’t read the poems and pretend to recreate the emotion that brought forth the poems, but I would have done it if I had had a book of poems. But it’s something that smacks a bit of the Sunday School, kind of ramming something down people’s throats. My own collected emotions are best kept between two hard covers.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Behind The Enigma By Tony Wilson. New Musical Express: March 25, 1972. Images of The Energy Of Slaves by Leonard Cohen (1974 edition) contributed by Dominique BOILE.  Originally posted October 5, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Talks About Why He Is More Popular In Europe Than America

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Danny Fields: You’re the biggest star in the world in Europe.

Leonard Cohen: I’m a big act there, no question about it.

Danny Fields: Do you think it’s because you work there more, or because you pay more attention to Europe than America, or what?

Leonard Cohen: Maybe it’s because they can’t understand the lyrics.

Danny Fields: Do you look forward to the same vast acceptance in America?

Leonard Cohen: I don’t think it will happen in America. I don’t think the American tradition can accommodate a personage like that.

Danny Fields: What are the dimensions of that personage in Europe that can’t carry over the ocean?

Leonard Cohen: I think that that kind of singer is in the mainstream in Europe, and here it’s an eccentric kind of thing. I really think that the American music is black and Western, and whatever the permutations and combinations of those two things are. I don’t know if a chansonnier really fits into that.

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

Credit Due Department: This outstanding interview was discovered and contributed by Jugurtha Harchaoui. Originally posted Jan 21, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric