Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Sad day. Leonard Cohen has passed Poet, novelist, singer, songwriter and one of the five strongest influences on whatever kind of art that it is I do. 
When I first heard The Songs of Leonard Cohen I was in my early teens. It was not just a revelation to me, it was like a gunshot to the temple. He was one of those artists who opened my mind to possibilities. His words spoke of worlds and experiences entirely new to me but in the way that only poetry and music can, made me instantly part of. 
There was also that beautiful turn of phrase.

"Oh I want you I want you I want you, on a chair with a dead magazine, in the cave on the tip of the lilly, in some hallway where love's never been, on a bed where the moon has been sweating, in a cry filled with footsteps and sand"
Anyone who suffered through the poetry I wrote in my 20's will see the clear connection there.

Collette and I got to see Leonard a couple of times. Most recently was just a few years ago, he had just turned 80 Honestly, one of the best concerts I've ever seen. You could joke that his voice had faded but how could you tell ... But the passion he had for his music was powerful as was his passion to share it with us. Self effacing and with a wit sharper than any knife I've ever owned, his performance was about giving where so many artists today seemed focussed on receiving
Bob Dylan was the first songwriter to receive a Nobel Prize. I'm not going to quibble about that But I told someone that Leonard should be next; who else in music could combine the profane with the spiritual, the street with the cathedral, love with sex, history with the present, memory with calculation

"Ah we're drinking and we're dancing, and the band is really happening, and the Johnny Walker wisdom running high, and my very sweet companion, she's the angel of compassion, she's rubbing half the world against her thigh"
He just released a new recording. I know that in recent years he's been hurting financially due to the actions of an untrustworthy accountant. That last concert we saw was, admitted by Leonard, a way to pay the rent. Perhaps this recording is as well. Well, I'm happy to be the landlord

"Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone, they were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on, and they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song"
Go on now Leonard. The Sisters of Mercy are waiting for you. They're singing Hallelujah.
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