“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

“I’ve stopped hoping that people will praise my voice, though, obviously, I’ve a couple of friends out there who like the way I sing.” Leonard Cohen

From Songs Of Longing – The Joe Jackson Interview. The Irish Times: November 3, 1995. Accessed 05 April 2014 from LeonardCohenFiles. Note: Originally posted April 11, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Everybody wants 22-year-old women. Sing to somebody else. You know who I sing to? 14-year-olds and 40-year olds.” Leonard Cohen Advises Poet Kenneth Koch On Singing

Jordan Davis: How about the Leonard Cohen story?

Kenneth Koch: I met Leonard Cohen on the island of Hydra in Greece where Janice and Katherine age five and I had gone for a summer vacation. And we became very good friends. We traveled also to Turkey together, to Istanbul. I liked Leonard a lot and so did Janice. We saw each other then a few times after that, it was nice and intense, but never more than a day. After some years, we were already living on West 4th Street, Katherine must have been ten by then. I ran into him on a bus. “Leonard!” I asked him what he was doing and he said, “Don’t you know? I’m a singer.” He had been a poet and a novelist. I got him to tell me all about it. I invited him over to our place and he told me I should become a singer too. I should sing all my poems. It was wonderful because you met lots of women and made a lot of money and you got to travel around and it was very satisfying to sing your poems. I said, “That’s great, Leonard,” and of course I was interested. I said, “Leonard, I can’t sing.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “I can’t carry a tune.” He said, “That’s good, that means no one else will be able to sing your stuff.” And I said, “Well okay, but also I don’t play an instrument.” He said, “You can probably learn — let’s try.” There wasn’t anything that made noise except a vacuum cleaner. I plugged in the vacuum cleaner and I thought I’d be more in the mood to sing if I stood up on a chair. He said, “Sing one of your poems.” I said, “There’s no music to any of my poems.” He said, “That’s okay.” I sang, with intermittent noise from the vacuum cleaner, “You were wearing your Edgar Allan Poe printed cotton blouse” in a hillbilly voice.

Leonard interrupted me after a few bars I think they’re called — “You’re not serious.” Well there I was standing up on a chair and playing a vacuum cleaner. I stopped playing the vacuum cleaner and tried to be serious. He said, “I don’t believe you. Who are you singing to.” “Leonard, I’m singing to you, there’s no one else here.” “No — who in the audience. Who do you want to go to bed with after the show? Who are you addressing? Who do you want to like you?” “Twenty-two year old women.” “No. Everybody wants 22-year-old women. Sing to somebody else. You know who I sing to? 14-year-olds and 40-year olds.” I’m not sure those are the exact numbers — something like 14 and 40. I said, “Okay, I’ll try to sing to 14 yr olds.” But trying to sing my poems? It didn’t work too well. I said I’d try. At my age how can I get started? I can’t carry a tune I don’t play an instrument and I’ve never sung before. I was already 40 at least by then. “There’s one way you can help me.” And he said, “Anything, what is it.” “Are you going to have tributes on your sleeve, put me on the record jacket. Say, ‘Even the legendary Kenny has come out of retirement to praise Leonard Cohen.’” I figured that people who respond to this kind of thing are not exactly scholarly. He promised he would put this on the record cover. Months went by. I never heard from Leonard. I did receive from him this big rectangle, his record. On the cover was this girl (I don’t know if she was 14 or 40) rising from flames, somewhere in between, and on the back was Leonard, his lyrics, and no tributes. And no Kenny, and that was the end of another career, another attempt to become rich. And you probably don’t know my translations of the songs of Guy Béart.

From issue one of Ladowich Magazine. An Unpublished Interview with Kenneth Koch (Ello Beta).

Note: Kenneth Koch was an exemplary poet and an avant-garde playwright, who also taught poetry at Columbia University. He died in 2002.

Originally posted October 3, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on being asked how 2012 San Jose concert went: “No one asked for their money back.”

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TOUCH OF CLASS: When the legendary Leonard Cohen checked into the Hotel De Anza on Tuesday afternoon, in advance of his Wednesday night show at HP Pavilion, his main priority was finding a place where he and his group could watch the election results. General Manger Alison McKennon pointed them to the Hedley Club Lounge, which showed TV coverage of the election all night. Cohen returned to the Hedley Club on Thursday before departing to Seattle and chatted with daytime bartender Harold Martin, who is a bassist himself. Martin asked the 78-year-old singer and songwriter how Wednesday’s show went, Cohen responded, “No one asked for their money back.”

From  Pizarro: Holiday events are just around the corner by Sal Pizarro (Mercury News, Nov 9, 2012). Originally posted November 10, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“There’s nothing like singing for people… [It’s a] wonderful opportunity to explore the song itself” Leonard Cohen

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There’s nothing like singing for people. Having that moment before the people, it changes the song, the delivery, and to accommodate the song to the moment is a wonderful opportunity to explore the song itself.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Comment made at the Sept 10, 2014 Popular Problems Preview In Los Angeles. From Leonard Cohen on the Inner Workings of His New Album ‘Popular Problems’ by Todd Aaron Jensen. Bio: Dec 1, 2014.

Note: Originally posted at Dec 1, 2014 DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric