Plus Paris Models Recitation, Using Computers To Write & Draw, Origins Of “Way Down Deep” and “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum” In Tower of Song
Leonard Cohen interviewed about The Future
Vin Scelsa’s Idiot’s Delight – June 13, 1993
From the Soundcloud description:
This originally aired live on the Sunday night sojourn of Idiot’s Delight on WXRK (92.3 KROCK) in New York. The first attack on the World Trade Center in late February 1993 was still on everyone’s mind; thoughts and questions about the nature of “the terrorist mentality” were very much in the air. Leonard’s latest album was “The Future.” He was in New York for a concert. His thoughts on the subject were vivid and have proved chillingly prescient over the years. Note : The music played that night has been truncated for this Podcast; same with the commercial breaks. Otherwise this is how it went down. Leonard Cohen was unique … it was a great privilege to spend this time with him.
- The Robert Browning line referenced by Leonard is “The first fine careless rapture” from Home Thoughts From Abroad.
- Truman Capote criticized many writers, including Jack Kerouac, with varying versions of “That’s not writing; that’s just typewriting.”
- Joan Baez’s changes to Suzanne are discussed at Leonard Cohen “Couldn’t Care Less” That Joan Baez “Brutally Violated” His Song Suzanne
- Rauvolfia (sometimes spelled Rauwolfia) is the substrate of reserpine, a medication once used for the control of high blood pressure and the relief of psychotic symptoms, although because of the development of better drugs for these purposes and because of its numerous side-effects, it is rarely used today. Re Gandhi, Pills for Mental Illness?, TIME Magazine, November 8, 1954
- Re Way Down Deep, see Video: Jennifer Warnes’ Way Down Deep & Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep
- Re the refrain of Tower of Song, see Who Put The “Dum-Dum” In The “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum?” – Non-Lexical Vocables In Leonard Cohen’s Songs
A transcript of this interview is included in Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen, Editor Jeff Burger
David Dye writes about his 1993 interview with Leonard Cohen in World Cafe: Backstage With Leonard Cohen In 1993:
I went alone with a tape recorder. When Cohen arrived, he walked off the bus wearing a band jacket whose lapel had been embroidered with “Field Commander Cohen.” Commander Cohen was gracious as we settled into the reverberant dressing room. (Believe it or not, he thanked me for having the interest to interview him.) I can’t believe I had the chutzpah to call him the “Barry White of folk music.” What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking “deep voice, affinity for string arrangements” — and maybe that people listened while loving. Afterward, it was soundcheck time and I settled in to listen — until Cohen came over and ever-so-kindly explained that sound check was a ritual, a sacred moment for the band. And, uh, I wasn’t in the band. I did not stay for the show that night. But years later, in 2009, I witnessed one of the most moving shows ever at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia — and I feel myself blessed.
Topics covered include
- The Future album
- Democracy – Its writing and its scope
- Closing Time – “Things as we know it are coming to an end”
- County music – Leonard notes that growing up in Montreal he heard “French versions of country western standards” and that tour buses frequently traveled from Montreal to Nashville
- Leonard holds that “renewal mechanisms” exist “from the Catholic church to AA”
- His influence on young musicians
- Pump Up The Volume
- Stranger Music anthology
Clips are played from
- “Democracy” (from The Future)
- “Closing Time” (from The Future)
- “The Future” (from The Future)
- “Everybody Knows” (from I’m Your Man)
This excellent new album continues the stylistic experiments inaugurated with I’m Your Man, with only a few nods to the jaundice folkiness that made him so popular with hypochondriacs and raving paranoiacs in the first place. Likewise, his lyrical concerns have broadened beyond familiar themes of seduction and betrayal, with numerous forays into the political amphitheatre and committed stabs into the belly of the cynical, hard-boiled nineties.
From Leonard Cohen: The Future by Cliff Jones, Rock CD, December 1992. Found at Rock’s Backpages. Access full review at the link.
This rare, gorgeously designed and executed French advertisement for Leonard Cohen’s The Future album was published in Les Inrockuptibles (December 1992, n° 41, p 59). The heading, “LA VOIX DE L’ÂME …” translated into English is “THE VOICE OF THE SOUL…” From Dominique BOILE
Note: Originally posted Aug 6, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
[The Future] involved a four-year struggle; the songs, some of them, are eight, ten years in the works. The record is there for keeps. There’s flesh and blood attached to it. I did what was necessary, and I sit here kind of wrecked.
From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993. Originally posted Jan 4, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric