From 1974 Radio Luxembourg (RTL 208) interview with Leonard Cohen. Photo by Ratnesh Mathur.
I always experience myself as falling apart, and I’m taking emergency measures.It’s coming apart at every moment. I try Prozac. I try love. I try drugs. I try Zen meditation. I try the monastery. I try forgetting about all those strategies and going straight. And the place where the evaluation happens is where I write the songs, when I get to that place where I can’t be dishonest about what I’ve been doing.
From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993. Photo by SolMur. Originally posted June 15, 2011 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
They say that as you get older, the brain cells associated with anxiety begin to die and you start feeling better … The longer it goes, you get a kind of divine amnesia. The memories remain, but the charge that disturbed you dissolves. Often when you review your past, you think of these experiences — ‘That motherfucker,’ y’know. Now I don’t remember the emotional charge… Yeah, 55 I found difficult. I found I was losing my powers in some way. I had no currency in the sexual marketplace, but there didn’t seem to be anything to take its place. I remember at that time I had trouble with people and relationships and myself, and I was on every antidepressant you can think of.
Exquisite, Unembarrassed and Undestroyed, Leonard Cohen at 71 by Greg Burk (LA Weekly, June 28, 2006). Originally posted December 18, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
I always consider myself an extremely bad monk – a sloppy monk, compared to some of the very admirable people up there. Real monks. I have been associated with that community for more than 30 years. It’s an existence where the emphasis is on the ordinary. But it’s the least-easy place to lose track of time in. During the day, you hear bells and they tell you to go somewhere – that’s the nature of those places. They are kind of hospitals for the broken-hearted and for people who have forgotten how to walk and talk. It wasn’t just touring that left me feeling this way. I often do.
From I Never Discuss My Mistresses Or My Tailors by Nick Paton Walsh. The Observer, October 14, 2001
From a 1974 interview by Jordi Sierra I Fabra in Barccelona. Published in Leonard Cohen by Alberto Manzano (Antonio Dalmau/G. Gddo: 1978). Photo by Pete Purnell. Originally posted Oct 1, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
Did you start out seeing yourself as a poet or aspiring to be a poet?
I never thought of myself as a poet, to tell you the truth. I always thought that poetry is the verdict that others give to a certain kind of writing. So to call yourself a poet is a kind of dangerous description. It’s for others; it’s for others to use… You know, you scribble away for one reason or another. You’re touched by something that you read. You want to number yourself among these illustrious spirits for one advantage or another, some social, some spiritual. It’s just ambition that tricks you into the enterprise, and then you discover whether you have any actual aptitude for it or not. I always thought of myself as a competent, minor poet. I know who I’m up against. You’re up against Dante, and Shakespeare, Isaiah, King David, Homer, you know. So I’ve always thought that I, you know, do my job OK.
From Songwriter Leonard Cohen Discusses Fame, Poetry and Getting Older by Jeffrey Brown. PBS: Broadcast June 28, 2006.
What are you good at that has nothing to do with music?
I can make a couple of good sandwiches: tuna salad and chopped egg salad. And Greek bean soup. I was a cook for my old Zen master for many years. So there were two or three dishes that he liked, you know. Teriyaki salmon, a few things. I wouldn’t call myself a good cook by any means. My son is a very good cook. My curries are not bad.
Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches By Gavin Edwards (Rolling Stone: Sept 19, 2014). Photo by Chris Buck Website Instagram.
More about Leonard Cohen’s cooking can be found at