Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
RichBoston
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Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby RichBoston » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:28 am

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit I've 'discovered' Mr. Cohen fairly late in life. As I've slowly been catching up with his remarkable career I've had such an amazing time and been filled with such reverence that I must refer to Leonard as 'Mr. Cohen' out of deep respect. How I wish he would come to Boston but I'd travel most anywhere in the USA to see a performance. How is it possible to not have been aware of Leonard Cohen's work all these years? I can't answer that but I have introduced his body of work to many others and will be a fan for life. Mr. Cohen - should you ever browse these boards, thank you so much for sharing your gifts with the world. While I may be late to the party - I'm grateful to have discovered your work. Your writing and music means so much...
GinaDCG
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby GinaDCG » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:15 pm

Join the club. I did. Late as well. I was aware that I was hearing a common voice behind the words of a lot of songs I most enjoyed: Suzanne, (of course,) Dress Rehearsal Rag, So Long Marianne, , The Future. When I heard the umpteenth version of "Hallelujah!" I turned to my daughter and said "This is one of those songs whose lyrics are more like poetry. Reminds me of 'Suzanne' and some others I really like." "That's Leonard Cohen Mom. Given your age I'm surprised you haven't connected his name to these songs yet."

That was about 18 months ago. Fortunately, I got on board in time to get tickets to his concert in Columbus, Ohio a few months ago. I couldn't believe: 1, how I had missed this artist for so long, given the size of my LP collection and my music obsession; and 2, the luck of not yet having missed a life performance from an artist who was 75 years old!

Better late then never. I'm 54 going on 55, and despite having many opportunities to connect a composer name to the songs I enjoyed, I didn't until my 24 year old daughter clued me in. I strongly suspect that additional performance(s) in the US or Canada are in the future. At least from Boston it would be easier to drive north to Montreal if needs be.
MaryB
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby MaryB » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:34 pm

Hi RichBoston,

There is no such thing as having 'discovered Mr. LC fairly late in life'. What is important is that you have found him. You are not the first to find yourself in this position, but once there, what a ride it becomes!

Hope you continue to post and visit here. This is the definitive place to learn so much about LC. It will also take you to a number of other related valuable sites as you continue on your journey of discovery. Welcome to the forum!

Best 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
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Cheshire gal
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby Cheshire gal » Tue May 04, 2010 12:54 am

Hi RichBoston.

I too am in the Boston area and had never heard of L.C. till I saw the Live in London performance on PBS. I could not believe that I had not been aware of him, although of course, I had heard some of his songs by other performers. I also am very late in getting 'there' but will also forever be a fan. He was in Boston last year.... too late for me. I really hope he comes this way again.

Marie
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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humbled
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby humbled » Tue May 04, 2010 2:37 am

There are probably a number of reasons you haven’t heard of Cohen. First, most people either LOVE his music or HATE it -- I don’t know anyone who can “take it or leave it.” Most people just do not like his music or voice. Since his music is eclectic it doesn’t fit into any neat category and most songs are over 3 1/2 minutes long so they don’t fit into 99% of radio stations’ play lists. Even now there is no telling what category any particular music store might carry his CDs under. His music is deeply meaningful not meaningless with a catchy riff; most people aren’t interested in working that hard to listen to music.

He came into the music scene when so many good things were happening he was easily overlooked. He lost, I believe, a significant number of fans in the ‘80s when he got sidetracked into techno-nonsense on an album or two. I had listened to him for ten years before he appeared on anything (I am aware of) with a wide audience appeal (Austin City Limits) in the late 80's. Even there, unless you know that particular show was eclectic in its choice of acts you would only be tempted to tune in if you were a country fan and not many country fans outside of Austin probably joined the Cohen train after that show. I only found out on this site that he did a cameo appearance on Miami Vice. I may be prejudice but I don’t see a lot of the fan base for Miami Vice knowing who he was let alone liking his music. I think many “recent” new fans, especially other “artists” are fans because he is au current rather than they particularly enjoy his music. It doesn’t hurt to be seen liking his music today even if you don’t.

I think the real reason is that Cohen has not sought fame per se. He has been working things out that are personal to him. I am sure he is pleased that others are interested and appreciates the fans but I don’t think he measures his success or self worth by mass appeal or number of album/book sales. He seems to be comfortable in his own skin and if you’d like to come for the ride he doesn’t mind but he is not going to do anything special to convince you to join him.

I hear people in California starting to get on the death sentence band wagon once again. I am just wondering if it has to do with a problem with crime or the fact many Cohen fans never forgave Phil Specter for Cohen’s wrong turn into the 80’s techno-pop :-)

P.S. Would it be worth less to find El Dorado at 50 then at 15? The gold would still be just as precious and at the greater age you just might be wise enough to understand its true worth.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby LisaLCFan » Tue May 04, 2010 5:13 am

Pardon my minor hi-jacking of this thread, but, Mr./Ms. humbled: "techno-nonsense"!?!?!?!?! As a devout Cohen fan who discovered Leonard in the late-80s thanks to his "techno" I'm Your Man" album, I suggest that your comments are rather misplaced. "I'm Your Man" was one of Leonard's most popular albums, and surely it gathered him legions of new fans. How dare one refer to any of Leonard's artistic endeavours as "nonsense"! "Brilliance" is more like it!

And, back to the topic of this thread, WELCOME!!! to all of you who have recently discovered Leonard's (or Mr. Cohen, out of reverence)'s absolutely stunningly superb body of work. It is very exciting to discover an artist of Mr. Cohen's calibre, to be touched so deeply by his rich lyrics, to be moved by his perfect melodies, to feel the intensity of emotion in his voice. He is unique, his songs are timeless, his voice speaks to each of us as if he is speaking only to us, which gives his music a rare intimacy. There is no-one else like Leonard, there is no music quite like Leonard's, and those of us who have been fortunate enough to have stumbled upon it know that we have found something--and someone--very special.
holydove
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby holydove » Thu May 06, 2010 12:27 am

Lisa, thank you for your post (hear, hear!) - I found your description of Leonard (or Mr. Cohen, out of reverence) & his Art, very moving!!

Yes, experiencing The Man's Art, through whatever medium he chooses, equals "massive transfusions" of Divine Light. There never has been, & never will be, anyone like Him!! If I may quote Lou Reed, "we are very lucky to be alive at the same time as Leonard Cohen". . .

And I echo the "welcome" to all discoverers of Leonard Cohen, at whatever moment it happens - if there is a God, it is surely Leonard Cohen.
swan13
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby swan13 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:27 am

I myself am not a "late discoverer" of LC (I discovered him in South of France at 19, I'm now 51) however my parents are and in particular my Mum! My Mum is 78 and Dad is 81.

I had been chatting to Mum and said we were going to a Leonard Cohen in concert in Dublin (June 08). She asked who's he? I told her a few of his songs than mentioned X factor winners song Hallelujah oh yes she knew that but still didn't know who LC was. Some time passed and again chatting to Mum told her LC was coming to Belfast and that we were going to see him again. She asked why, had we not just seen him in Dublin, he must be really good to want to see him again :roll:

I explained a little more about his music and the sort of following he has and when I told her his age her reply was, "what, 74, your going to a concert to see a 74 year old man sing, he must be good". I promised to lead her some cd's just so she would see that her daughter was not entirely mad.

Before I got around to the lending bit she phoned me one Saturday morning and asked "Liz, what did you call that man you went to see sing in Dublin and Belfast? I told her and she said "yea that's him". She then went on to explain what had taken place the previous evening. My parents like to watch different tv programmes, so Mum is in one room and Dad is in another, Dad comes into Mums room and says "Dette turn over to channel xxx you've gotta see this man that's singing, he is just brilliant. Mum turned over and Live in London was being aired. They both watched the whole show and were enthralled by this "old" man playing for three hours. Mum not knowing the names of the songs just kept saying to me " and the one were the girls just sang, and the guitair player that was sitting down, and the sax player, and I just love that one about a waltz". I could tell she was really exited about what she had just experienced and promised to lend her the DVD.

The bit that will always stick in my mind is what she said at the end (even now it's bringing tears to my eyes as I write this). "Do you know when that programme finished I never felt so at peace, I can't tell how restful I was and I had the best nights sleep I have had in months, I think that man is just great and I can see now why you would go and see him again".

I had planned one day to post this but until now no other thread seemed appropriate, thank you for starting it.

Liz
"Should've got in the car"
MaryB
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby MaryB » Mon May 10, 2010 8:14 am

Liz,

That is one of the most beautiful and poignant experiences I have read on this forum. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Best 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
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B4real
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby B4real » Mon May 10, 2010 8:20 am

MaryB wrote:That is one of the most beautiful and poignant experiences I have read on this forum. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

Yes :D
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to B4real ~ me
Attitude is a self-fulfilling prophecy ~ me ...... The magic of art is the truth of its lies ~ me ...... Only left-handers are in their right mind!
Vicomtesse
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby Vicomtesse » Mon May 10, 2010 6:37 pm

Hi Swan 13,
I had a very similar experience with my mum a couple of weeks ago; she is 75years.
I've been a fan for nearly 40 years and over the years when my Mum has visited we have played Leonard Cohen and she has always enjoyed the music but I've never given her anything by LC much to my shame.
For Mother's day my brothers and sister gave her a laptop (her first ever computer). I showed her a few things to do with emails and getting on the web then how to get onto YouTube.
We spent most of the evening looking at Leonard Cohen, she thinks he's so sexy. She was so happy after and gave me a huge kiss. I think my Dad was getting a bit jealous though.

I don't know about LC being as God as Holydove described him. I think he is slightly wicked but also compassionate and very Human. All his songs are about Human emotion and experience; love, desire, hate, need, greed, passion, heartache from lost love and death; to me a very Human and complex Man!! and with ability of a great poet!

Vicomtesse
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kwills
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby kwills » Mon May 10, 2010 7:16 pm

Hi swan 13 and Vicomtesse great stories and as Mary B said thank you for sharing them.
Manchester 19th June/Cardiff 8th Nov
imaginary friend
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby imaginary friend » Tue May 11, 2010 4:21 am

I agree, these are lovely stories Swan and Vicomtesse. We hear lots of stories of children coming to love Leonard because of their parents, but not so many the other way round!

Swan I loved reading about Leonard's tranquilizing effect on your Mum 8)
holydove
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby holydove » Tue May 11, 2010 3:47 pm

[quote="Vicomtesse"]

I don't know about LC being as God as Holydove described him. I think he is slightly wicked but also compassionate and very Human. All his songs are about Human emotion and experience; love, desire, hate, need, greed, passion, heartache from lost love and death; to me a very Human and complex Man!! and with ability of a great poet!

Vicomtesse, I appreciate your comments, & I actually agree with what you say; it's just that in my view, God is something that is all-inclusive, it is the essence of all existence, & it includes all the emotions/experiences that you mention; it is all that, & it is also something that transcends all that (as does humanness); in my view, god & humanness (& even wickedness) are not mutually exclusive. (I know this is different from the conventional meaning as per western religions - I apologize if I created confusion for anyone).

And in my experience, Leonard Cohen, along with expressing all of the emotions etc. that you have mentioned, also very often expresses some very, very mystical insights/experiences, & has the ability to convey, & even transmit, those insights through his music & poetry (a very rare gift, indeed!) The content of his Art & the manner in which he expresses that content, cause me to feel that he has intimate interaction with, or even dwells (like all True Prophets) in a realm that is very, very close to, or even at times within, the Source of Creation (whatever that may be) - a realm that few of us ever even get a glimpse of; and I am eternally in awe of his generosity in sharing glimpses of that realm with the world - through his brilliant art, he has opened doors in my mind that, if not for him, I might not have known existed; he has changed my perception of reality. Perhaps Prophet would be a more accurate term than God (but only because of its conventional western meaning). Actually the only time I ever use the word God is in the context of Leonard Cohen, because his unfathomable Greatness is just so beyond any words my inadequate mind can summon up. . .
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: Late Discovers of Mr. Cohen

Postby TipperaryAnn » Thu May 13, 2010 1:27 am

Vicomtesse wrote:

I think he is slightly wicked but also compassionate and very Human. All his songs are about Human emotion and experience; love, desire, hate, need, greed, passion, heartache from lost love and death; to me a very Human and complex Man!! and with ability of a great poet!

Vicomtesse
Vicomtesse, I love your description of Leonard and his songs! :razz: We love him for what he is - not angelic, not saintly, not godlike, but human.
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