LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

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paddieu
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by paddieu » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:12 am

I wonder if his handler was the same person who ensured the DVD would not be captioned ? 8)
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by rgraff » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:24 am

A lesson on putting your life in perspective:

"JG: What do you consider your darkest hour?

LC: Well, I wouldn’t tell you about it if I knew. Nothing comes to mind. No, I dare not. Even to talk about oneself in a time like this is a kind of unwholesome luxury. There’s so much suffering right now. To talk about my darkest hour in the face of what’s going on in most of the places in the world now seems to be an area that leaves me quite indifferent. I don’t think I’ve had a darkest hour compared to the dark hours that so many people are involved in right now. I mean large numbers of people are dodging bombs, having their nails pulled out in dungeons, facing starvation, disease –- I mean large numbers of people. So I think that we’ve really got to be circumspect about how seriously we take our own anxieties today."
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by honeyrose » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:46 pm

I thought the interview was OK but it didn't bring any really new or significant insights. Leonard is very adept at just delivering the same old answers to variations on the same old questions and that was what we got here. I should have like to hear more about the creative process, what inspires him, when he writes, where he writes, how he composes - by himself and with collaborators like Sharon. How he comes up with the arrangements.

I should also like to know more about the strains of living on the road on tour and whether that imposes limits on his creativity. For example I assume he has to be very disciplined and take care of himself to maintain his health and in particular his voice. This must cut down interactions with other people, and being at the theatre and then at sound checks, or just travelling, must mean life on the road is very restricted. Lots of artists have explained how prolonged touring cuts you off from everyday life until all you can write about is touring. How does Leonard guard against this? Maybe he doesn't. Maybe he isn't writing while he is on the road. And who looks after him? How often does he see Anjani? Do they miss each other.

I don't think any of these are particularly personal questions but they don't seem to get asked much, its mainly about his past life all the time.

Also I see on the producer's blog, she said how unpleasant the concert promoter's rep was, and how rude, when just clarifying basic details about the interview. Was that someone from AEG? It's amazing how jumped up these music business types get.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by UrPal » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:26 pm

st theresa wrote:Just an aside--some physical commonalities between the young Leonard and Jian--I think. 8)
I don't see it. Jian looks and sounds more like a hybrid of a young Michael J Fox and a young Mike Myers.
honeyrose wrote:... its mainly about his past life all the time.
I think you hit the nail on the head there, honeyrose. The interview is fine in terms of the way it runs its course, but (and oddly enough this is coincidentally a theme that crops up a couple of times in the interview) you can't help feeling at the end it reads LC as a résumé.

The "three acts" theme sets up an interview format which deals with LC's life as if it's already done. There are no questions about where he's at right now or his plans for the future - the next record, his remaining ambitions as a 74 year old kid with a crazy dream etc. Not wishing to seem like the sloganeer political correcto-type that LC identifies in the interview, but I think the absence of those sort of questions verges on ageism as it treats the subject of the interview as if he's got nothing more to add from what remains of his life.

Unless the "fourth act" question was intended to be about LC's plans going forward? - in which case, the interviewer doesn't seem to be familiar with the fact that plays traditionally have three acts so the "fourth act" question is therefore understandably interpreted by the interviewee as one which must be inviting him to speculate on the prospects of an afterlife.

At one point Jian asks LC what he has learned from the last 15 months touring. What possible answer is there to that? "Well, I've learned that the inside of most hotel rooms and dressing rooms around the world look the same, but then I've been pretty familiar with that concept from my past half life spent on the road before the present tour anyway" :D . Or, more profoundly, "I've learnt that life in a monastery and life on the road aren't actually all that very different".

I'm not suggesting that the interview wasn't entertaining and ultimately it provoked some interesting revelations. However, anyone who regards it as an exceptional interview must have missed out on some better ones.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by tinderella » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:07 am

rgraff..... thanks for making us aware of that lesson... sometimes the written word is much more powerful than the spoken one in that it stays in our memories longer I think when we see it in black and white... Thanks
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by MaryB » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:22 pm

honeyrose,

I thought it was a fantastic interview until I read your post and realized :oops: :o that, yes these are the questions that should have been put to LC. You would have done a much better job interviewing and gotten information that we all want, but didn't know we wanted :roll: .

Kindest regards,
Mary
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by MaryB » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:29 pm

honeyrose,

I think I just get bowled over by seeing any LC interview and am happy with everything that is being said :D , so I forget to intelligently analyze (as you did :D )the content while in my euphoric state :( . Will have to do better in the future ;-) .

Kindest regards,
Mary
1993 Detroit 2008 Kitchener June 2-Hamilton June 3 & 4-Vienna Sept 24 & 25-London RAH Nov 17 2009 NYC Feb 19-Grand Prairie Apr 3-Phoenix Apr 5-Columbia May 11-Red Rocks Jun 4-Barcelona Sept 21-Columbus Oct 27-Las Vegas Nov 12-San Jose Nov 13 2010 Sligo Jul 31 & Aug 1-LV Dec 10 & 11 2012 Paris Sept 30-London Dec 11-Boston Dec 16 2013 Louisville Mar 30-Amsterdam Sept 20
rgraff
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by rgraff » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:27 am

tinderella wrote:rgraff..... thanks for making us aware of that lesson... sometimes the written word is much more powerful than the spoken one in that it stays in our memories longer I think when we see it in black and white... Thanks
You're welcome, tinderella. LC's words struck a chord in me regarding the indulgence of self-pity. I transcribed them for exactly the reasons you note. There are very few who when given the opportunity to talk about their darkest hour will instead reflect on suffering in the world, and note the "unwholesome luxury" of indulging in self-pity. I need that message some days . . .
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by somewhat_nifty » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:36 pm

Having seen the whole 40 minute interview now, while it's always interesting to hear Leonard talk, I don't think the interviewer asked particularly groundbreaking questions, and I still think he was focusing on death a bit too much - it's rude to keep on pressing Leonard for how he feels about the prospect of his own death! It sounds like Honeyrose and UrPal would have had some much more interesting questions to ask, and not act like he has one foot in the grave already. I did think it was interesting to find out what Leonard thought about Hallelujah in its many versions, and it's always great to hear him talk about his long career, but I came away feeling like the interviewer had somewhat wasted this amazing opportunity.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by LisaLCFan » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:05 am

I think that the best thing about that interview (which has been mentioned briefly) is how tremendously humble Leonard Cohen is. Here is this musical giant, this poetic genius, the pride of Canada (he makes me happy to share a homeland with him), and yet, he is gracious, down-to-earth, and so warm and human. There was no ego on display, just a man who seems perhaps slightly bemused--and yet thrilled at the same time--by all of the attention he gets. I love that about Leonard Cohen, and that interview showed his wonderful personality to the world.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by howthelightgetsin » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:38 am

Great interview, Leonard being so honest again. I really admire how down to earth he is with people. What you see is what you get. So rare with famous people.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by bridger15 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:05 am

I am surprised to read all the criticisms about the "death" aspect of the interview. Actually, it is LC himself, who introduces the topic of death near the beginning of his concerts.
To paraphrase,
"When I celebrated with my teacher a few years ago on his 97th birthday, he clinked my glass and said, 'Excuse me for not dying.' I sort of feel the same way."
There was only a smattering of applause and a few titters. Most of the audience, including myself, felt awkward and sat silently.

I enjoyed the interview immensely and second all the wonderful positive comments posted by other Forum members.
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Post by wakeupmartin » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:41 pm

bridger15 wrote:I am surprised to read all the criticisms about the "death" aspect of the interview. Actually, it is LC himself, who introduces the topic of death near the beginning of his concerts.
Why do people have a problem talking about death? I'm always interested to hear what anyone (regardless of age) thinks about death, especially their own. So it's great to hear Leonard wax lyrical on the topic. Is it 'ageist' to ask Leonard a death question? If it is, it's a pity the question is not asked of younger people too, as if we're an exception. Anyway, hope this doesn't sound too much like a rant, or preachy. :D

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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by Lota » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:51 am

[quote="Sochijava"]I must agree with UrPal, there were a number of 'stupid' questions. I generally enjoy Jian Ghomeshi's interview style, but I found the questions to be entirely unoriginal. While I of course enjoyed hearing LC speak for some 40 minutes, I learned nothing new, gained very little new insight. I think Jian could have done better. And enough with the aging and death questions, just because someone is over 60 ... .

I winced a lot when I watched this interview. IMO it should be shown in journalism schools how NOT to do an interview. And the comment about Cohen's "spartan house" - entirely inappropriate and out of place.
The journalist does not even seem to realize what kind of a giant is sitting across from him.
The interview held my interest only because of Cohen's endless grace and kindness and a sense of forgiveness of what seemed like childish, naive questions.
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Re: LC interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC - aired this morning

Post by sturgess66 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:34 am

Sochijava wrote:Another interesting short read about LC's recent CBC interview. This piece is the producer's take on the whole process of interviewing Leonard Cohen - the difficult handlers, trying set-up and of course the immense pleasure at actually meeting and speaking with the man himself, at his Montreal home no less.

http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/a ... ick_1.html
That link no longer takes you where you want to go - but I found another one - and also thought I would print out the article here -
http://www.2solitudes.com/articles/101/ ... n-CBC.html

I love the part about Leonard's "handler" (a Captain or Lieutenant for Field Commander Cohen?) allegedly screaming at them - setting the ground rules - the rules of engagement. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: 8)

I don't think anyone mentioned this about the interview - but I really enjoyed watching Leonard work the Komboloi - or Worry Beads. :lol: 8)

I had hoped that another interview might occur in this break between tours - but I guess we will just have to wait ...
Leonard Cohen in Three Acts...

Field Notes by Lani Selick, Producer of "Leonard Cohen in Three Acts"

"Please come in, friends” he says, opening the door to his home in Montreal. “How do you do? I’m Leonard.”

There are six of us altogether, a combined CBC production crew from “The National” and radio program “Q”, here for an exclusive Canadian interview with the famously media-shy Leonard Cohen. We introduce ourselves individually and he shakes hands with each one of us in turn, repeating “How do you do? I’m Leonard”. Then, “Would anyone like a coffee? I’ve just made a fresh pot.”

We hadn’t known what to expect of the man. Negotiating the interview with Cohen’s concert promoter had been extremely tough – often unpleasant. This “handler” had given us a time, date, place and city but was vague on details. What was the specific address? How much prep time would we get before “roll”? What sort of room was on offer, and was it large or small? When we emailed a list of basic questions and mentioned what conditions would work best for optimum quality broadcast – all standard stuff - he phoned and screamed at us, then dictated a bunch of rules ranging from a nearly-impossible-to-achieve time “window” for set-up (cut corners!) to technical constraints (not a lot of cables!) to crew conduct (don’t talk to Cohen!).

So what did it mean? Was Leonard Cohen, a man who represents himself to the world as a humble Buddhist monk, really a prima “don” who demands to be treated like celebrity-royalty?

As it turns out, definitely not! Leonard Cohen is unpretentious, accommodating, and gracious before, during and after the interview.

He has owned the same house in Montreal for some 35 years, located in the old Jewish neighborhood where he grew up. It is a modest, “just folks” kind of place, the opposite of upscale and trendy. The furniture looks unremarkable and from an earlier time. There are no fancy electronics. Kitchen cupboards may well be original. The living-room door-handle needs repair. The washing machine is well used: The entire street does their laundry at his place, he says. I ask Cohen about not being here much: he owns another house in Los Angeles, where he spends much if not most of the year, plus he travels a lot, especially lately with his concert schedule. He tells me he considers this place his true home, a place that connects him to his roots and to his family. “Who takes care of it when you aren’t here?” I ask him. “My neighbours”.

Cohen’s dining room table holds two candles and a cloth with the words “Shabbat Shalom”, meaning good Sabbath, suggesting rituals for a Jewish meal on Friday evening. I ask him about this. (From my research, I know that he does not see any conflict between practicing Zen Buddhism, which he considers to be a method of inquiry, a way of investigating the “self”, and practicing Judaism, which he considers to be his religion.) He tells me that this is a tradition he likes to keep.

Overall, Leonard Cohen treats us more like guests he has invited over for an afternoon of socializing than a group of strangers who have invaded his private domain, here to do a job. After the interview is over, he offers us more coffee, olives and “hamentashen”, a Jewish pastry traditionally served at this time of year during the holiday of “Purim”. Several people have brought digital cameras. He poses for picture after picture without complaint.

I have brought a copy of “The Book of Longing” with me. I ask him if he would mind signing it. He writes: “To Lani, thank you for coming over, warm regards, Leonard Cohen, Montreal 2009.”

The poet and singer/songwriter speaks about his distinguished career with the host of CBC Radio's "Q", Jian Ghomeshi, from his home in Montreal...
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