Leonard Cohen: Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches ( RollingStone )

23 Sep

Leonard Cohen’s 13th studio album, “Popular Problems ”  is to be released on September 23rd, two days after his 80th birthday. That is today. The master turned eighty on September 21st. I want to quote a great Indian film director Shyam Benegal who said on a popular television show about great Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah ” If he acts in a movie. I will go and see him. If he acts in a play. I will go and see him. I cannot afford not to see him. He is such an outstanding actor”. I feel the same about the master. I try to listen to every song possible, read every written word, every poem and every feature on Leonard Cohen. Because ” I cannot afford to miss what Leonard says. Because he is messianic and prophetic, dysfunctional and lost, honest and sexy, insightful and graceful, always human and always sublime. One tries to locate and comfort one’s own little broken self.” So this is how feel..

“After my father died,

Never found refuge

I tried work

They took it away

I tried love

They were good

They never were

I thought of my sister,

She got married

Never mind..

I have my friends

I have my army

I have my religion

poems, features, songs

Of Leonard Cohen”

I want to share this Rolling stone feature for you dear friends. I listened to the new song  “Almost Like The Blues”. The New Yorker  has published the lyrics and  also a spoken word version of the song recited by Leonard. Please see :

Leonard Cohen :

” It’s the done-ness of it that I really like. It nourishes me. Some guys don’t know how to open a door.” ( On the album)

“I never had an approach. I was always like a bear in a honey tree, just trying to get something without getting stung to death.” ( On approach to music)

“I think it levels the ground. I never had huge amounts of money when I was young. I had huge amounts of fame, and I always had the sense of labor and recompense. I always said I don’t want to work for pay, but I want to get paid for my song. Financial necessity of course arose in a very acute manner a few years ago.  I thought I had a little bread, enough to get by. I found I didn’t – for which I’m very grateful because it spurred a lot of activity. ” ( On financial security)

” There’s truth that lives and truth that dies. I don’t know which, so never mind. There is no need that this survive, there’s truth that lives and truth that dies.” It’s one of those phrases that resonates in some corner of the heart. And I don’t think it serves us well to explain it or to analyze it or to interpret it. It sounded right to me. There are certain truths that are in a dormant stage that you can’t always locate or be nourished by. But they’re there. ” ( On lyric ” There’s truth that lives and truth that dies.”)

” Well, I think that sometimes when you’re in ninth gear, or when you’re really skiing down the slope – you’re right on top of the snow, you don’t want to go any deeper. As someone said, you learn to stop bravely at the surface. If you hear something that really resonates, you just fold your hands in gratitude and try to incorporate it into the song. Sometimes those obscurities are just bullshit and they have to be excised; they have to be ruthlessly removed even if they sound good. Because they produce a disconnect in the song that every listener feels unconsciously. If you feel somebody’s trying to put you on, you really feel it.” ( On writing process)

” There’s a lot of things that you can do that you couldn’t do when you were younger. You depend on a certain resilience that is not yours to command, but which is present. And if you can sense this resilience or sense this capacity to continue, it means a lot more at this age than it did when I was 30, when I took it for granted.” ( on age 80)

Leonard Cohen inspires me in so many ways to work towards a real life, even if that “life is not picture perfect” but ” always authentic, always real, always humble and always striving, always passionate, always loveful..”

Hope you like this nice Rolling stone feature. Please do read “Leonard Cohen on Longevity, Money, Poetry and Sandwiches” by Gavin Edwards ( Rolling stone).

Have a lovely day my friends!

Thank you!



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