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Author Topic: Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen
skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 12:42 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Leonard is seventy today. Aw, Leonard -- if you could only have held on a coupla days, you'd have been a Libra.

quote:

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.
Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:
When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned.

I only just read yesterday where that song came from.

Leonard!


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 21 September 2004 12:45 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmmmm... you wouldn't be listening to CBC Radio at the moment, would you?
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skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 12:47 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We multi-task, Scott.
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pebbles
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posted 21 September 2004 12:49 PM      Profile for pebbles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
God, but "Closing Time" has to be one of the worst songs ever.
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skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 12:50 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a birthday party, this is shaping up to be a bit of a downer ...
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Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 21 September 2004 12:59 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Happy Birthday, Len! I love ya.
From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 21 September 2004 12:59 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl, ... ain't that the way Leonard would want it? (Until the very end when a beautiful 20 year old woman ['girl'] smiles at him and then screws him.)
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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 21 September 2004 01:00 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Isn't that kind of appropriate?

When the Osbournes first started appearing on TV, CBC Radio (can't remember the program) did a comedy sketch speculating on what the Canadian version -- the Cohens -- would be like (answer: pretty damned depressing).


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Jingles
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posted 21 September 2004 01:01 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Leonard is my hero. Happy B-day!
From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
leftist-rightie and rightist-leftie
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posted 21 September 2004 01:23 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
Isn't that kind of appropriate?

When the Osbournes first started appearing on TV, CBC Radio (can't remember the program) did a comedy sketch speculating on what the Canadian version -- the Cohens -- would be like (answer: pretty damned depressing).


I beleive the Royal Canadian Air Farce did a sketch along those lines.


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Wilf Day
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posted 21 September 2004 01:24 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My two best Leonard Cohen moments, out of many:

1. The summer of 1968. I was sitting in Professor Williamson's summer living room in Rankin Inlet, with several other young people including a young Inuit fellow about to start first-year university. When we listened to Suzanne, this fellow proceeded to analyze the resonances of various phrases with more insight than anyone I had ever met -- and it was my favourite Leonard Cohen song. That was when I realized Leonard's cross-cultural reach.

2. From 1988 to 1991 I found myself sitting at the school board table with one of Leonard's former girlfriends, whose mother owned Leonard's favourite night-club in Toronto. She had come back from a spell in Burkina Faso, rented a beach house in Bowmanville, decided to run for one of their two school trustee spots, and (perhaps to her amazement) was elected. Lovely lady, as you would expect.

[ 21 September 2004: Message edited by: Wilfred Day ]


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Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 21 September 2004 01:25 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Gir Draxon:

I beleive the Royal Canadian Air Farce did a sketch along those lines.


I dunno. That sounds a little dangerously close to actually being funny for the Air Farce. I doubt they'd risk it.


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audra trower williams
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posted 21 September 2004 01:27 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh Mr. Cohen, you have my devotion.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 01:36 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So have we all read Beautiful Losers?
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Jingles
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posted 21 September 2004 01:40 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yup. There are a few "wha??" moments in that one.
From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 21 September 2004 01:43 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
So have we all read Beautiful Losers?

Tried when I was 18 or so, couldn't manage more than a few pages. No doubt I'd read it differently now.

People talk about Cohen's stuff being dour and depressing, but when you see him in concert it's astonishing how funny he is, in a sly kind of way. But then he's always had a great line in deadpan. One time, talking about his record label's failure to promote his stuff, he said "I have always been touched by the modesty of their interest in my work."


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skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 01:52 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'lance:

Ok, I am about to steal a story from Mel Hurtig, but he won't mind. Or else. ;}

I can't remember whether it was 1967 or 1968 when Leonard, still mainly a poet and novelist, made his fabled trip to Edmonton (see original post above -- there really were two sisters, apparently!).

Anyway, after he did a reading wherever, he went back to Hurtig's for a long chat and libations. He was, of course, wearing a black turtleneck sweater. Midway through the long chat, he rolled the turtleneck up over his face and whole head while remaining entirely friendly and relaxed, and continued to talk away happily through a good deal of the rest of the night.

I think I've reported that faithfully. I wasn't there, and I think I'm grateful for that.


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audra trower williams
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posted 21 September 2004 01:54 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Awesome old Cohen footage.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
vickyinottawa
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posted 21 September 2004 01:59 PM      Profile for vickyinottawa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have always been fond of this one:
quote:
The only tourist in Havana turns his thoughts homeward
from "Flowers for Hitler"


Come, my brothers,
let us govern Canada,
let us find our serious heads,
let us dump asbestos on the White House,
let us make the French talk English,
not only here but everywhere,
let us torture the Senate individually
until they confess,
let us purge the New Party,
let us encourage the dark races
so they'll be lenient
when they take over,
let us make the CBC talk English,
let us all lean in one direction
and float down
to the coast of Florida,
let us have tourism,
let us flirt with the enemy,
let us smelt pig-iron in our back yards,
let us sell snow
to under-developed nations,
(It is true one of our national leaders
was a Roman Catholic?)
let us terrorize Alaska,
let us unite
Church and State,
let us not take it lying down,
let us have two Governor Generals
at the same time,
let us have another official language,
let us determine what it will be,
let us give a Canada Council Fellowship
to the most original suggestion,
let us teach sex in the home
to parents,
let us threaten to join the U.S.A.
and pull out at the last moment,
my brothers, come,
our serious heads are waiting for us somewhere
like Gladstone bags abandoned
after a coup d'état,
let us put them on very quickly,
let us maintain a stony silence
on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Havana
April 1961


[ 21 September 2004: Message edited by: vickyinottawa ]


From: lost in the supermarket | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
vickyinottawa
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posted 21 September 2004 02:01 PM      Profile for vickyinottawa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
ok, I can't get the formatting to work properly for me.

But you all get the idea.


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'lance
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posted 21 September 2004 02:02 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm glad that's a CBC site. Maybe 5 years ago on CTV, I saw a Valerie Pringle interview with him. She was plainly starstruck and practically throwing herself at him. Graciously, he ignored her flirting, some of which bordered on the outrageous, but it was still kind of embarrassing to watch.

Edit:

I love that one too, vicky. Cohen reading that was a highlight of that old Donald Brittain documentary on him.

[ 21 September 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 21 September 2004 02:04 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
vicky, it's superb.
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'lance
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posted 21 September 2004 02:09 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
let us all lean in one direction
and float down
to the coast of Florida...

I could swear this was the inspiration for that great Take-30 prank in the 70s, when they convinced a fair number of people that there was, in fact, a scheme to detach Nova Scotia from Canada and float it down to the Florida coast -- to save on energy costs, and give Canada a tropical province.


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HeywoodFloyd
token right-wing mascot
Babbler # 4226

posted 21 September 2004 02:17 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I loved you when our love was blessed
And I love you now there’s nothing left
But sorrow and a sense of overtime
And I miss you since the place got wrecked
By the winds of change and the weeds of sex
Looks like freedom but it feels like death
It something in betwen, I guess
It’s closing time

Time for a drink. JW red and some cheap cigars.


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Jingles
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posted 21 September 2004 02:53 PM      Profile for Jingles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No one on earth can say the words "baby" and "naked" the way Leonard can. Sends shivvers, it does.

quote:
She stands before you naked
You can feel it you can taste it
And she comes to you light as the breeze


From: At the Delta of the Alpha and the Omega | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
pebbles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6400

posted 21 September 2004 06:15 PM      Profile for pebbles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As Audra Trower Williams might have written:

quote:
Reprinting entire [Leonard Cohen lyrics] is a copyright violation.

Oh, sorry... I guess I should have obtained your permission first.

Audra, why are you so selective about whose third-party copyrights you enforce? Why is Mike Constable permitted to parody the promotional graphic art of a Mel Gibson film or an Edvard Munch painting? Oh, the copyright violations!


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Hinterland
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posted 21 September 2004 06:22 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pebbles, you obviously don't understand copyright, so I think you really shouldn't confront Audra on the decisions she makes. You can in fact modify or add to copyrighted material to create a new instance of intellectual expression that is, in itself, copyrightable. That's what parodies are, for example, and that's what Constable is doing.
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 21 September 2004 06:26 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in an old midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

Screw copyright, eh, Leonard?


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pebbles
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posted 21 September 2004 06:33 PM      Profile for pebbles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hinterland:
Pebbles, you obviously don't understand copyright, so I think you really shouldn't confront Audra on the decisions she makes.

I have probably forgotten more about copyright law than you have learned.

I just find it bizarre that Audra is the copyright-Nazi AND the fair-use-fairy, simultaneously.

quote:

You can in fact modify or add to copyrighted material to create a new instance of intellectual expression that is, in itself, copyrightable. That's what parodies are, for example, and that's what Constable is doing.

Quote me the section of the CANADIAN Copyright Act that permits this.

It's available at canada.justice.gc.ca

I'm all for a parody exemption to copyright infringement... but we don't have one in Canada, not yet. (And people like Wendy Lill would probably not go for it, anyway...)

[ 21 September 2004: Message edited by: pebbles ]

[ 21 September 2004: Message edited by: pebbles ]


From: Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 21 September 2004 06:38 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have probably forgotten more about copyright law than you have learned.

Oh, I sincerely doubt that.


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
pebbles
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posted 21 September 2004 06:41 PM      Profile for pebbles     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hinterland:

Oh, I sincerely doubt that.


Whip it out!


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 21 September 2004 06:41 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
So have we all read Beautiful Losers?


I've lived Beautiful Losers.

magic is alive!


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globetrotter
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posted 21 September 2004 06:53 PM      Profile for globetrotter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Happy Birthday Leonard.
From: canada | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sharon
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posted 21 September 2004 06:57 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some years ago, I was walking along Sherbrooke St. in Montreal late on a Sunday morning. Leonard was sitting on the ledge of a bank with a very beautiful young woman with long straight black hair. He was drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup.

I had met him on a few occasions and we said "hi" and he invited me to sit down and join them. I did and he offered me coffee from his cup. I had a sip. He said a few profound things and we all smiled at each other and I moved on.

He wrote a poem years later -- I won't be able to quote it exactly -- in which he recalled how he had always desired young beautiful women and how it wasn't always easy to have them. The last line of that poem was, "I advise you all to become rich and famous."

I think he never took himself as seriously as others took him.

And I don't say that as a bad thing.


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 21 September 2004 10:59 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Len is God

Happy birthday God.


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Rand McNally
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posted 21 September 2004 11:25 PM      Profile for Rand McNally     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love Leonard. "Dance me to the end of Love" was my wedding song. A very good friend gave a wonderful book with the words of the song matched to painting by Matisse. It is amazing how well they go together.

Let me see you beauty
when the witnesses are gone
let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowley
what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love

I think it is good my Grandfather, who is a preacher, and preformed my wedding service, never picked out what the words to the song were.


From: Manitoba | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 21 September 2004 11:45 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm very fond of my concitoyen Leonard, but the "young, beautiful woman" thing does show a certain lack of judgement and taste, no?
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
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posted 22 September 2004 12:00 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some great Cohen facts from The Guardian

5 Cohen's albums regularly go to no 1 in Norway.

6 In America, his last album entered the Billboard chart at number 143.

15 His middle name is Norman.

36 In 1968 he moved with Suzanne and the children to a cabin near Nashville. John Hammond said, "Nashville was astounded by him, because they hadn't seen anything like him, and they never will again."

41 His album Death of a Ladies' Man was produced by Phil Spector, the reclusive genius of girl-group pop. "I was flipped out at the time," Cohen said later, "and he certainly was flipped out. For me, the expression was withdrawal and melancholy, and for him, megalomania and insanity and a devotion to armaments that was really intolerable. In the state that he found himself, which was post-Wagnerian, I would say Hitlerian, the atmosphere was one of guns - the music was a subsidiary enterprise ... At a certain point Phil approached me with a bottle of kosher red wine in one hand and a .45 in the other, put his arm around my shoulder and shoved the revolver into my neck and said, 'Leonard, I love you.' I said, 'I hope you do, Phil.'"

(my favourite)
48 In 1986, he made a guest appearance in Miami Vice as a character named François Zolan, head of Interpol.

59 Hallelujah was covered by Kathryn Williams, the young British folk singer, on her album, Relations. At a recent concert she introduced it by saying, "I'd really, really, really like to shag Leonard Cohen, but I know his heart just couldn't take it."

61 As a marketing ploy, cafes in the US that had "the Leonard Cohen vibe" were sent a free copy of the Tower of Song album. "I'd like to go to some of those," Cohen said. "I can rarely locate my own vibe."


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 22 September 2004 12:23 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From SLB's link

quote:
His vocals have gone from a limited but appealing wail to a heroically smoky rumble. Soon, he may be audible only to dogs.


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Islander
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posted 06 March 2006 11:37 PM      Profile for Islander     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CBC is showing a Leonard Cohen award ceremony/love in tonight. I heard the radio interview a while back with Shelagh Rogers. It was vintage Leonard. Apparently Adrienne Clarkson will be on this one. There's a funny clip of her interviewing the man on the CBC archives from the 1960's.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brett Mann
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posted 09 March 2006 06:50 PM      Profile for Brett Mann        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When asked his opinion of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen said that in the realm of songwriting, "I am Monet and Dylan is Van Gogh." Two obvious areas of overlap between the two - revolution and God. Dylan is far more circumspect about his calls for revolution, but has dropped lines like "I'm glad we fought, I only wish we'd won". Cohen wrote "First We Take Manhattan" which draws its potency from the possibility of revolution. Cohen spent years living monastically in search of God. Dylan has written nothing since his conversion to Christianity to suggest he has changed his mind. Both demonstrate a characteristic of surpassing artistic genius - prophetic abilities. Here the picture becomes much darker: Cohen's "I have seen the future, and it is murder" and Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", to grab two examples out of many. Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen. You do us all proud.

[ 09 March 2006: Message edited by: Brett Mann ]


From: Prince Edward County ON | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 09 March 2006 08:04 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
At a certain point Phil approached me with a bottle of kosher red wine in one hand and a .45 in the other, put his arm around my shoulder and shoved the revolver into my neck and said, 'Leonard, I love you.' I said, 'I hope you do, Phil.'"

Evidently Cohen didn't join the long list of musicians Phil Spector pulled a gun on -- or if he did, he wasn't telling.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

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