Leonard Cohen Performs Diamonds In The Mine, Dedicated To “The Next President Of The United States – If You Can Tell The Difference” Bonn 1980

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“This evening they’re voting for the president of the United States, and  all we’re doing is listening to some immortal tunes.”

Leonard Cohen

Nov 4, 1980 was the date not only of the Leonard Cohen show in Bonn but also the 49th United States presidential election, pitting Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter. Consequently, Leonard dedicated Diamonds In The Mine to “the next president of the United States – if you can tell the difference.”

The 1980 Leonard Cohen Bonn Concert Recording

As far as I can determine, no recording of the Nov 4, 1980 Leonard Cohen concert at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany has been available online – until now. A tape of one hour of the show has emerged, thanks to the generosity of a friend from Bonn, who recorded this song and 10 others with the permission of Leonard Cohen and his sound engineer. (The other songs from this concert have been posted or will be posted soon; all recordings from this show are collected at .)

Credit Due Department: Photo of Leonard Cohen by Pete Purnell.

Highly Recommended Reading – “Leonard Cohen Was Right: Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined”

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Inspired by the slogan,”Leonard Cohen Was Right,” seen on the jacket worn by Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson of TG and Coil (for more about this jacket, see “Leonard Cohen Was Right” – Peter Christopherson’s Jacket Slogan Resonates), Luke Turner of Quietus has collected brief essays from seven other staff writers that look at Cohen’s words for their insight and sustenance. Turner explains

Such clear words [Leonard Cohen Was Right] about a man who never was clear, whose music has danced into our ears for decades now, a man who has been at once a shaman, a poet, a wit and a monk, a lover of many, a singer who cannot really sing. Cohen’s poetry, made all the more clear by the deceptive simplicity of his backing music, have been one of the few constants and guides in my own life for approaching a quarter of a century. For those who have gone deep, as our writers reveal below, the truths that can be gleaned from his writing are at once universal and political as well as deeply personal – few have written so well about sex and death that their songs are crammed with some of the finest poetry of the late 20th century: “life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn”, and so on.

While the submissions vary in quality and the collection, of course, is hardly exhaustive (“Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined” might seem to indicate a comprehensive analysis of Cohen’s work; this is, instead, seven pieces, plus Turner’s introduction, each of which covers at most a few phrases from Cohen’s corpus), all the offerings are thoughtful, worthwhile reads, some are personally moving, and at least a couple approximate brilliance. The entire article can be accessed at Leonard Cohen Was Right: Songs & Years Of Wisdom Examined by Luke Turner (Quietus: Nov 11, 2016).

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Credit Due Department: Photo by Chris Carter

“[Roshi] provided a space for me to kind of dance with the Lord …” Leonard Cohen

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The ideas in Zen, I’m not sure what they are, because I’ve only known one old man [Roshi]. I don’t know how authentically he represents his tradition. I just know that he’s provided a space for me to kind of dance with the Lord, that I couldn’t find in a lot of  the other places I went to.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

“I Am The Little Jew Who Wrote The Bible” — A Conversation Between Leonard Cohen And Arthur Kurzweil held November 23, 1993. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles.

“[Leonard Cohen] said in his last interview that he was ready to die, and he said in his last public outing that he would live forever. Both are true. There was no one like him, and there never will be.” Rebecca de Mornay

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Leonard Cohen was one of the greatest poets, but for me, he was also one of the most important people in my life, and losing him is like losing a limb. He was my ground, he was my aerial, as he wrote in his song ‘Treaty.’ I really cannot fathom what life will be like without him in it. At least I was able to spend time with him in his last year. He faced death as he faced life: straight on, with honesty, grace, and breathtaking depth of perception. He enjoyed the quiet, simple moments with friends, and being immersed in working on songs. He said in his last interview that he was ready to die, and he said in his last public outing that he would live forever. Both are true. There was no one like him, and there never will be.quotedown2

Rebecca de Mornay

 

Rebecca de Mornay Remembers Ex-Fiancé Leonard Cohen: ‘There Was No One Like Him, and There Never Will Be’ by Alex Heigl (People: November 11, 2016)

“[Leonard Cohen] said he had a version where every time you heard ‘blue alert’ there’d be this siren going off, like, ‘OoooOOOooo.'” Anjani On Music, Her Career, & Working With Leonard

While researching material about Blue Alert, I read batches of media interviews with Anjani.

I was not impressed.

The Anjani who wrote snarky comments on my posts and clever email retorts was completely absent from these articles.

The PureMusic Aberrancy

At least one interview, however, has proved an exception. The PureMusic Interview With Anjani by Frank Goodman (PureMusic, Issue 75, April 2007) is remarkable for establishing an empathic connection between Anjani and the interviewer almost immediately. In addition, the content is intriguing, Mr. Goodman is both knowledgeable and interested, and the exchange of ideas is entertaining and provocative.

The discussion of Leonard Cohen’s influence on the Blue Alert CD and on Anjani herself, the tar pit into which most interviews with Anjani sink and die a deservedly agonizing death, is evenhanded and thoughtful. Even the photo choices are superior to the usual fare.

And Anjani herself confirmed my assessment of the article.

Heck, the chocolate bar-powered lyric generation anecdote alone justifies reading the piece:

PM: And he [Leonard Cohen] wouldn’t like go away and write them [the lyrics], he’d write them with you there, he’d write them on the spot, or try to?

ANJANI: Yeah. Well, there was one, “No One After You,” I remember he wanted to change his verse about “lived in cities from Paris to L.A., I’ve known rags and riches”–there was a different line in–I don’t know, there was a different verse there, actually. He just didn’t like it. And I said, “Well, you better write something fast, because I’m going in tomorrow.”

PM: “Come on, give me something.”

ANJANI: And, “I’m tired of this song, and I can’t–we’ve been over this ground a long time, so”–he says, “Okay, well, give me some chocolate.”

PM: [laughs] “Give me some chocolate.”

ANJANI: So I gave him a chocolate bar, and he walked around and came up with “I’m a regular cliché”–which is one of my favorite lines in that, too.

While I don’t agree with every point and implication of this piece I cannot fault the process or technique used.

Finally, PureMusic offers a PDF version of the entire multi-page article and music clips. While neither of these items are technological marvels, they are nifty conveniences for the reader and show a concern for the audience that is atypical of online and print journals.

This article can be accessed at PureMusic Interview With Anjani

Credit Due Department: Photo atop post by Dominique BOILE.

Photo: “Leonard Cohen. Went south to make his fortune” (& seems happy about it) 1973

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“I want to write lyrics that no one notices but they find themselves singing over a few days later without remembering where they heard them.” Leonard Cohen 1968


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In New York they kept putting me in an intellectual bag but that’s not what I’m at. I never wanted to make that scene. I never thought of myself as a Poet with a capital P; I just want to make songs for people because I reckon that they can understand things that I understand. That was why I was so glad to see Noel Harrison get so high in the charts with my song, ‘Suzanne.’ He got to somewhere like 55 or 56, which is pretty good in America. The ideas in the song may seem a little complex, but it’s just the way I see things. We’ve all learned to accept the fact that we don’t necessarily understand every moment of what’s happening to us. Well, it’s the same with songs. I want to write the sort of songs you hear on a car radio. I don’t want anyone to say: My God, that music’s great. I don’t want to achieve any sort of virtuosity. I want to write lyrics that no one notices but they find themselves singing over a few days later without remembering where they heard them.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Leonard Cohen: Songwriter Who Got Into Folk By Accident by Karl Dallas, Melody Maker, Feb 17, 1968. Photo from York University Libraries, Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, Toronto Telegram fonds, F0433, Photographer: John Sharp, ASC01709.

“There’s certainly a dark side to [my songs]. I also think there’s a couple of laughs in there that people miss.” Leonard Cohen

From Having Lunch With Leonard Cohen by Jon Wilde, Sabotage Times. Dec 3, 2015 (the quote itself is taken from a 1988 interview).   Originally posted Feb 5, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

This quote affords me the opportunity to announce that Cohencentric will be presenting candidates suggested by readers for Leonard Cohen’s Funniest Song Lyrics in the next few days. If you haven’t sent in your favorite Leonard Cohen laugh lines go to the link.