“One is not meant to understand the meaning in every song. Some work best if listeners just sit back & allow themselves to be ravished” Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen 1988 (photo by Pete Purnell)

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I don’t think it’s necessary to love poetry to be a fine human being. I think there is a lot of ways we can get our information that has nothing to do with art and if somebody can’t penetrate Dylan’s imagery or my imagery then let them knock it aside. Besides, one is not meant to understand the meaning in every song. Some work best if the listeners just sit back and allow themselves to be ravished by the material.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

“I can rock out …” Leonard Cohen On His Relation To Rock

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I can rock out, if the moment is right for it. I can’t sell myself on that because I don’t have enough of that material, but I’ve loved it all my life, danced to it all my life. So no matter what some myopic critics might say, I don’t feel I have to justify my position in relation to rock. It’s my music as much as any other music is.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Read Leonard Cohen’s exclusive interview with Hot Press from 1988 by Joe Jackson (Hot Press: 11 Nov 2016)

Credit Due Department: The image is the cover of Rock & Folk No. 154, November 1979 (illustrator: Dominique Lechaud) from the private collection of Dominique BOILE

“We are missionaries. Don’t act like we’re part of showbiz.” Leonard Cohen To 1993 Tour Musicians


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I have a very important message I have to give to everyone. We are missionaries. Don’t act like we’re part of showbiz. We’re presenting messages that are beautiful.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen’s “Closing Time” and Other Memoirs by Bobby Furgo by Lisa Morgan (CV Weekly:November 22, 2016)

“I never think of the people who listen to my songs as ‘fans'” Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen arrives on stage - Dublin 2008

Leonard Cohen – Dublin 2008

Q: Sometimes ‘fans’ tend to put a poet/artist on such a high pedestal that our expectations may seem overwhelming. Hopefully you have never felt such pressure. Do you have any expectations of your ‘fans’? Is there such a thing as ‘the perfect fan’? What has the ultimate reward been for you?

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I never think of the people who listen to my songs as ‘fans.’ Something disagreeable about seeing people that way. I think of the activity as a kind of conversation, and now it’s my turn to talk. Expectations are out of place in the privacy of the occasion, and if I have them, it probably means the song isn’t any good.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From the 2001 online chat: Photo by Karl Smyth. Originally posted February 21, 2010 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I’m a hard-bitten professional…When I say professional, I don’t mean cold & unfeeling & automatic. I mean someone who is prepared to take the risks of the evening without making any excuses…” Leonard Cohen 1974


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I’m a hard-bitten professional. I’m not just some traveling youth who just picked up his harp. I go from stage to stage and I sing my songs … When I say professional, I don’t mean cold and unfeeling and automatic. I mean someone who is prepared to take the risks of the evening without making any excuses for them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen in His Own Words by Jim Devlin. 1998. Photo by Pete Purnell.. Originally posted December 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On Performing In Israel: “I feel a very special kind of nourishment. So, it is different. It is different because it arises from very deep wells of affiliation”

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13, 2016: Leonard Cohen event for the release of his new album "You Want It Darker" on October 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Sony Music Canada)

Was it especially moving for you as a Jewish man to perform in Israel?

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Well, there’s a deep tribal aspect to my own nature. So, when I’m in contact with those deep resources, of course I feel a very special kind of nourishment. So, it is different. It is different because it arises from very deep wells of affiliation. quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen event for the release of his new album “You Want It Darker” on October 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

Credit Due Department: Photo by Frank Micelotta/Sony Music Canada