Hi Lizzy, good to “see” you!
Vickie, I’m glad to know your grazing in another paddock was most nourishing
As the artwork cover suggests this album was a collaboration with Sharon Robinson and she was the official producer. During the last world tour Sharon has sung a couple of the songs from it soulfully by herself - Alexandra Leaving, Boogie Street and In My Secret Life as a duet with LC. He holds the longest note ever when he sings live in concert “to the wisdom of oooooooold” and it gets longer and lower as he gets older! I really like this song. Thank you Henry, for the excellent video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUq5vQiyFXQ
It’s been nine years since the last studio album - time and circumstance shows a way of seeing the world from another point of view. LC was mainly living at the Buddhist Zen centre on Mt Baldy for approx. five years in the nineties. Many of the songs on this album were conceived and concluded there and naturally have a certain Zen quality. This record is dedicated to Roshi, the head monk there. In fact, while he was at this monastery it was Leonard who contacted Jarkko when The LC Files was just a fledgling site and he saw it online in the early days of the internet with only dial up connection. I remember some years ago Jarkko telling me that it took over half an hour for Leonard to upload a drawing or photo etc. This is one of the earliest and possibly the first site totally dedicated to an artist.
My favourite from this album is A Thousand Kisses Deep but as a recitation in its many varied verses. This song on the album is listed in memoriam to Sandy Merriman, a member of the early News Group here who unfortunately committed suicide in 1998. How kind and thoughtful of Leonard to remember her this way.
Here’s the last time I saw Leonard recite this version live on the last tour in Australia at Adelaide 2013. Video once again courtesy of my friend Alan M: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZecgBo9YWlo
If you want to read some of the different verses of A Thousand Kisses Deep just click at the LC Files link, then Blackening Pages and A Thousand Kisses Deep. When he says below that he published 12 verses on the internet he’s referring to those on the LC Files:
2001 Magazine Mc Lean's -
“There are about 30 verses of it that I've done and hopefully they'll work their way into other songs. I think there are six verses in this version. On the Internet, I published 12 verses of the song. It's taken so long to write and it was so much of my ordinary day even when I was in the meditation hall spending long hours. I suppose I was supposed to be calming my mind or directing it to other areas, but I was working on the rhymes for A Thousand Kisses Deep. I found the mediation hall was an excellent place to work on songs. I could concentrate on a verse, work out the rhymes and the ideas would come.”
2001 Toronto Globe and Mail -
"We don't write the play, we don't produce it, we don't direct it and we're not even actors in it. Everybody eventually comes to the conclusion that things are not unfolding exactly the way they wanted, and that the whole enterprise has a basis that you can't penetrate. Nevertheless, you live your life as if it's real. But with the understanding: It's only a thousand kisses deep, that is, with that deep intuitive understanding that this is unfolding according to a pattern that you simply cannot discern."
I used one of the lesser known verses of A Thousand Kisses Deep in conjunction with the song A Thousand Winds (a Zen-like Japanese translation Sen no Kaze ni Natte of the poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep) in my post when Leonard passed away.
You know, it has been proved that it gives a sense of release and direction to write down how you feel about events in your life...As you say, I wish he was still here too...and so does every living soul on this forum and many others around the world!