viernes, abril 14, 2006

Leonard on Leonard

He descubierto una de esos rincones que hacen que este caos, al fin y al cabo, merezca la pena: Diamonds in the lines. Leonard Cohen in his own live words:

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A singer must die

Hanover November 11th, 1979
In this next song I wrote from the feeling of being on trial - everyone's on trial -. In every living-room there's a trial going on, in every bedroom there's a trial going on, not just in the courtrooms, not just in the jails, but in the most private places of our lives, yeah we subject each other to judgement and to trial.

Ain’t no cure for love

Nurnberg 10/05/88
It seems to me that when the Prince of Peace was hanging from the cross he looked toward the heaven and he cried out those immortal words "My Lord, my Lord, why hast thou forsaken me ? " And then he looked around him from horizon to horizon and He understood that a cosmic lever had been thrown in the Universe and nothing would be the same as it was before. And he said "consummatum est - it is finished." And he looked beneath him, at the Romans and the Jews and all the mankind looking up at him with the various positions of indifference, guilt, remorse, ecstasy, indifference. And he understood then, finally, what it was to be a human. He understood there ain't no cure for love...

A thousand kisses deep

Interview Magazine "Chorus", 2002
It’s a song that summaries quite well this feeling of invicible defeat anyone is affected by. The feeling that everything is temporary and unsubstantial. Of course you have to live your life as though it were all real, but the fondamental reality is far beyond the human’s understanding. Nowadays we know much more the mechanism of the Human, we’re decoding his genes, but noone can tell what is the meaning of that “Boogie street”. You can only have this feeling everything escapes us. Finally it’s an instructive feeling, that drive us ahead.

Boogie Street

Interview Magazine "Mojo", November 2001
About the verse "It is in love that we are made, in love we disappear".
That's just a journalistic reportage of the process. We are made in love and in love we disappear. But that love is not the romantic love, it's the impersonal, benign activity that governs creation and destruction.

Interview Magazine "Mc Lean's", 2001
There is an actual Boogie Street in the world. It's in Singapore. I don't know if it's still there. I was coming home from a tour of Australia many years ago and during the day Boogie Street is a scene of intense commercial activity. In fact, there's a lot of little stalls where bootleg records are sold. This was at a time when it was hard to find my records in the Western world. And they weren't displayed. But I asked the man if they had any Leonard Cohen, and he went into the tent where he kept his inventory, and he brought an entire box of all my cassettes for a dollar apiece. There was that kind of bazaar feeling. And at night, it was a scene of intense and alarming sexual exchange. Prostitution, and . . . everything seemed to be available. I don't even know if it was prostitution. It just seemed to be mutual availability.Boogie Street to me was that street of work and desire, the ordinary life and also the place we live in most of the time that is relieved by the embrace of your children, or the kiss of your beloved, or the peak experience in which you yourself are dissolved, and there is no one to experience it so you feel the refreshment when you come back from those moments. As my old teacher said: "Paradise is a good place to visit, but you can't live there because there are no toilets or restaurants." So we all hope for those heavenly moments, which we get in those embraces and those sudden perceptions of beauty and sensations of pleasure, but we're immediately returned to Boogie Street.

Interview Magazine "Chorus", 2002
What is that “Boogie Street” evocated in both “A 1000 kisses deep” and “Boogie Street” ?
It’s an image to evoke the deception, the “lost illusions boulevard”, an image of the everyday life, with its tentations, its disillusions. In fact there is actually a “Boogie Street” in Singapore. A very attractive street, where you can find illegal records. I remember having been there after a Tour in Australia. I was almost offended not to find my records. I asked the seller and he went back with a box containing the entire collection of my records - what you could never find anywhere else, furthermore at one dollar each record. By night, this same street becomes the hottest one of the area. It’s a street of working ans sex, and of all the deceptions these activities can bring, deceptions more cruel as you get older, like I do.

By the rivers dark

Interview (French magazine "Optimum", October 2001)
This song reports the peregrinations of a character in Babylon. He's part of it, then flees it, comes back to it… He belongs to the City of depravities while he knows there's a Jerusalem somewhere, even if he doesn't figure what's going on there. It's like our thoughts. Our brain is a receptacle for thoughts just as we are for Love. One doesn't really know what's arising in us the next moment. But our nature drives us to think we master these streams, while we master them no more than the location we're born in. We spend too much time thinking we're able to deny, disown our roots and our condition. This story is reflected in the character, except the fact he finally really understood where he comes from.. Even if an Eden exist, he does come from Babylon and has to face this, what will surely enable him to enjoy more the idea of a distant place, necessarily better.

Chelsea Hotel #2

New-York 88' tour
A thousand years ago I lived at this Hotel in NYC. I was a frequent rider of the elevator on this Hotel. I will continuously leave my room and come back. I was an expert on the buttons of that elevator. One of the few technologies I really ever mastered. The door opened. I walked in. Put my finger right on the button. No hesitation. Great sense of mastery in those days. Late in the morning, early in the evening. I noticed a young woman in that elevator. She was riding it with as much delight as I was. Even though she commanded huge audiences, riding that elevator was the only thing she really knew how to do. My lung gathered my courage. I said to her "Are you looking for someone?" She said "Yes, I'm looking for Kris Kristofferson "I said "Little Lady, you're in luck, I am Kris Kristofferson." Those were generous times. (…)

Reijkavik 24/06/88
(…) A couple of years later, after this young woman had passed from this vale of tears, I found myself sitting at a Bar in a Polynesian restaurant in Miami Beach. It was a Bar where they served cocktails in ceramic coconut shells.This was a mystery I could not penetrate, because the very trees in Boulevards were lined with coconut trees, bearing true and authentic coconut shells. Why they would choose to serve their drinks in ceramic coconut shells escapes me until this very day.As I say I was sitting at the Bar of this Polynesian restaurant when the presence of this young woman came upon me very strongly. And upon a napkin I began that song, for Janis Joplin at the Chelsea Hotel.

Everybody knows

Amsterdam April 1988
Here's a terrible new song. Yes, it embodies all my darkest thoughts. Here it comes.

First we take Manhattan

Antwerp 17/04/88
It's a curious song. I used to know what it means but I don't remember what it means anymore. And I think it was just a moment ago that I wrote it. I think I intended to take Manhattan and then Berlin.

Hamburg 14/4/88
Yeah, these are new songs, huh? Maybe lots of people think I didn't write anything after "Suzanne." But I wrote one or two songs after "Suzanne." Here's a song I wrote 20 years after "Suzanne." I had been driven over the edge and I had decided to take matters into my own hand. This is a geopolitical plan. People have asked me what it means. It means exactly what it says.

Hey that’s no way to say goodbye

1976 Backcover of "Greatest Hits" ("Some notes on the songs")
This song arises from an over-used bed in the Penn Terminal Hotel in 1966. The room is too hot. I can't open the windows. I am in the midst of a bitter quarrel with a blonde woman. The song is half-written in pencil but it protects us as we manoeuvre, each of us, for unconditional victory. I am in the wrong room. I am with the wrong woman.

I’m your man

Wien 11/05/88
I don't know if you know this song, but it's a new song. It's a song that is a response to a question that has been perplexing men for 5 or 6,000 years. That is the question:"What does a woman want?". I really was taken by this question,and I devoted twenty years of research to discovering what a woman wants and finally I didn't find out what a woman wants and I abandoned the question. It is with a certain sense of vindication now that I see that women are asking the question "What does a woman want?". I feel now we are truly in the same boat. None of us knows what a woman wants. I myself have decided to abandon the inquiry. I have decided to surrender. I'm ready to be whatever I must be in order to deserve her voluntary caress. That is why I say without shame and unconditionnaly: I'm your man.

Jean of Arc

Paris 20/10/74
This song was written for a German girl (*) I used to know. She's a great singer, I love her songs. I recently read an interview where she was asked about me and my work. And she said "I was completely unnecessary". Anyhow.... I hope she's not here. This song came through her.

Sisters of Mercy

Interview Dec. 4th, 1974
I always remember to dedicate this song to the girls for whom I wrote it. And like a lot of my material it's just completely documentary. It doesn't concern high metaphysical questions but an accurate reportage as authentic and precise as I can make it, a description of exactly what happened on the interior landscape. And I was in Edmonton during a tour by myself of Canada, I guess this was around 67. I was walking along one of the main streets of Edmonton, it was bitter cold ; and I knew no-one and I passed these two girls on a doorway. They invited me to stand in the doorway with them. Of course I did. And some time later, we found ourselves in my little Hotel room in Edmonton and the three of us were gonna go to sleep together. Of course I had all kinds of erotic fantasies of what the evening might bring. Interviewer: How old were you ? Oh I was an adult. I guess I was around my early 30's. And we went to bed together and I think we all jammed into this one small couch in this little Hotel and it became clear that it wasn't the purpose of the evening at all. And at one point, in the night, I found myself unable to sleep, I got up, and by the moonlight - It was very very bright, the moon was being reflected off the snow, and my windows were very bright - I wrote that poem by the ice-reflected moonlight while these women were sleeping and it was one of the few songs that I ever wrote from top to bottom without a line of revision . The words flowed and the melody flowed and by the time they woke up the next morning, it was dawn. I had this completed song to sing to them.

1979 reported in the Harry Rasky's book "The Song of Leonard Cohen - Portrait of a poet, a friendship and a film"
The Sisters Of Mercy were actually two young women that I met during a snow storm in Edmonton, Alberta. And they came to my Hotel Room and there was something oh, very agreeable about their company. And they had no place to stay and they fell asleep on my bed, and I stayed up and I remember there was a full moon. And I felt like having something to say to them when they woke up, and that was one of those rare and graceful occasions when I was able to write a song from beginning to end in the space of a few hours. And while they slept I worked on this song. And when they woke up I sang it to them. It was compleetely full and finished, and they liked it. Barbara and Lorraine were their names.

Nuremberg 18/06/76
Long time ago, two girls named Barbara and Lorraine took me out of a snowstorm in Edmonton, Alberta. Anyhow, it doesn't matter but if I don't mention their names, they visit me with humiliation every time I sing this song for them.

So long Marianne

Frankfurt 06/10/74
This is a song of forgiveness

Story of Isaac

Stockholm 03/04/72
I sing this song for the butchers and the victims.

Take this waltz

Wien 11/05/88
Last year I had the great honour to translate into English a poem by the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca,a man who effectively ruined my life when I was fifteen. I found a book of his in a secondhand bookstore. I read the lines, "I want to pass through the arches of Elvira to see your thighs and begin weeping." And for the next thirty years, I was looking for the arches of Elvira, I was looking for those thighs, I was looking for my tears. I'm glad I've forgotten all that and I could revenge him with this act of homage, by translating one of his great poems into clumsy English. Take this Waltz,take this waltz.

The future

Interview Magazine "LA Weekly" September 2001
I think I meant the end of privacy as it developed in the West, which was the real feature of our civilization. The notion that there was private space, which wasn't really terribly available in the world until we in the West started establishing private rooms and studies and walls. So I think I felt at a certain point that this was beginning to reverse itself with a very potent mass culture. This notion of a private space in which to develop certain ideas and cultivate certain aspects of the psyche. I felt that was disappearing, and that we were moving into a kind of mass mind.

The Tower of Song

Nurnberg 10/05/88
This is my story. It's a dismal story. It's a shabby story. It's a funny story. But it's my story.

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(Y haré esto todas las veces que lo considere necesario, no soy más que un nodo primario, un amplificador...)


  • En este post he ocultado información de forma premeditada. Sólo quería dejar constancia, por si algún día me descubren.

    By Blogger Danae, at 15/4/06 00:30  

  • Cuando escribo cosas como esta de aquí arriba, es cuando realmente soy consciente de las dimensiones de mi ingenuidad.

    By Blogger Danae, at 15/4/06 00:31  

  • A veces todo es muy extraño.

    By Blogger Danae, at 15/4/06 00:39  

  • Qué maravilla, ¿no? Gracias mil.

    By Blogger innes, at 15/4/06 01:27  

  • Y sí, a veces es todo muy, muy extraño.

    By Blogger innes, at 15/4/06 01:28  

  • De nada. (guiño)

    By Blogger Danae, at 15/4/06 02:11  

  • Y yo viniendo de Alemania...
    Gracias, Danae.

    By Anonymous Oscuro, at 15/4/06 12:58  

  • De nada... (pero tú no me habías hecho ninguna petición...)

    By Blogger Danae, at 15/4/06 21:19  

  • En esta pagina encontrareis la discografia completa de cohen entre otras cosas.

    By Anonymous Amplifier, at 19/4/06 00:17  

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