“To get along, you have to become part of the chaos” Leonard Cohen 1966


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A major change occurred last year [1965], something comparable to the beginning of the Renaissance. A lot of people now sense the change and are baffled. They feel the world has gone crazy, and they can’t get their hands on what is happening. To get along, you have to become part of the chaos.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

Is the World (or Anybody) Ready for Leonard Cohen? by Jon Ruddy. Maclean’s: Oct 1, 1966. Originally posted November 17, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The first rebellious act of man is to stay up late” Leonard Cohen

From Songs Sacred and Profane by Ira Mothner. Look: June 10, 1969. Photo: Peter Torbijn of The Netherlands captured this key moment of the 2012 Amsterdam show as Leonard Cohen, cradling a clock in his arms, completes “First We Take Manhattan” just before the 11:30 PM curfew (more information at Leonard Cohen Grand Tour Souvenirs: Cohen Concert Curfew Clock – Amsterdam 2012). Originally posted Nov 12, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen Defines Success


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Success is generally an exterior description other people have of you. When you’re struggling with your own work and the struggle for it is at hand, then you don’t really think too much about it except in a negative kind of way.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

DrHGuy Note: While not as punchy or inspirational as Leonard Cohen’s better known comment on success (from the same year, 1972), “Success is survival,”1 this explanation offers, I believe, more insight.

From The Strange, Sad and Beautiful World of Leonard Cohen By Andrew Furnival. Petticoat: December 30, 1972. Originally posted Oct 25, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Source: interview filmed for Tony Palmer’s documentary, “Bird On A Wire” []

“[Singing] is just the evidence of the life that is led. Just like the ash of a fire; if the fire burns well it is a clean white ash, if it doesn’t there are a lot of clinkers.” Leonard Cohen

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I always liked singing but I do a number of other things just like anybody else. But there’s a whole life you know. This is just the evidence of the life that is led. Just like the ash of a fire; if the fire burns well it is a clean white ash, if it doesn’t there are a lot of clinkers.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

The “ash of a fire” is a recurrent Leonard Cohen metaphor for music and poetry; see

Note: A “clinker” is “the stony residue from burned coal or from a furnace.” (Oxford Dictionary)

From The Strange, Sad and Beautiful World of Leonard Cohen By Andrew Furnival. Petticoat: December 30, 1972. Photo from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01709.

Leonard Cohen On “The Themes Of My Songs”


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Establishing a theme in a song comes later. I don’t really know what it is any more than I know what the theme of my life is, or anybody else’s is. I don’t know what the themes of my songs are.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Behind The Enigma By Tony Wilson. New Musical Express: March 25, 1972. Photo taken at 1972 Stockholm concert by Lars Sandblom.