disappointment with the man and his music

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Gullivor
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Gullivor » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:42 am

Leonard Cohen is just a man with a touch of spiritial wit.

"Teachers"
"I met a man who lost his mind
in some lost place I had to find,
follow me the wise man said,
but he walked behind.

Oh teachers are my lessons done?
I cannot do another one.
They laughed and laughed and said, Well child,
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?
are your lessons done?"
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Gullivor
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Gullivor » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:45 am

but he walked behind.


are your lessons done?"


Get it?
John Etherington
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by John Etherington » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:02 pm

Hi Brian4muza,

I've no complaint on your voicing your opinions, and agree that the Leonard world of 2012 is very different to the one we knew in the early Seventies. However, I think that your allusion that Leonard is exploiting his devotees is totally misdirected.

I'll try to address most of the points that you raise here, as best I can...re bonus material - as far as I recall the tendency to add bonus tracks has only been with us for twenty years. Leonard has always been a perfectionist, and is not likely to add substandard material just to get his fans to buy the same album twice. Besides, he does not have a surfeit of unreleased recordings like some artists. The fact that he didn't tour for lengthy periods goes against your suggestion that he's in it for the money. Also, the fact that he's allowed himself a proper life has added to his experience and in turn, the quality of his artistic output. I don't remember Leonard having bodyguards...There were certainly none around when I encountered him leaving a theatre in 1976 (and when he very courteously signed my programme). As far as I know, it's always been possible to write to him via his record company or management, and when he's had time he's often been known to respond to letters that he's received. Otherwise, we have to respect his privacy.

I don't recall the exact situation regarding Poland, but Leonard has made some generous gestures in recent years. He donated the proceeds from his concert in Ramat Gan to the peace process in Palestine, and also made a sizeable donation to the relief of the bush fires in Australia.

Understandably, Leonard had to recoup his losses after losing almost all of his savings. The prices charged were most likely determined by the promoters, but were not unreasonable compared to concerts by other top earners (Leonard top prices averaged £75 - £100, while the top price for Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" concert was £200!). Consider also that Leonard's singing was excellent, the band was exceptional, and the performances often lasted for over three hours.

I can't comment on Leonard's new album yet, as I've only heard two songs once so far. But at 77 years old, and with the money he's earned in the last few years, he can hardly be doing this because he wants or needs extra money.

Finally you say "name one thing that Leonard has done for you". Well, I've mentioned this before, but the thing that touched me most was when I wrote to Leonard on Mount Baldy with a question in 1996. Not only did he respond, but six months later when I sent him a thank you card on his birthday, he wrote back saying "thank you for your kind words, thank you for remembering my birthday" (I can't imagine Bob Dylan ever doing that sort of thing)!

By the way, I don't consider myself to be an LC obsessive, and choose my responses to posts very carefully. I've actually given Leonard's music a rest for the past 18 months, but am greatly looking forward to hearing his new work.

All good things, John E
Last edited by John Etherington on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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lizzytysh
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:32 am

So thorough, balanced, and objective, John. You've succinctly addressed the unfairness of the criticisms leveled at Leonard.

Thanks for following up as you did.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
John Etherington
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by John Etherington » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:43 am

Thanks, Lizzie! I didn't really get started on the music...Perhaps Bryan could tell us whether he's followed Leonard's musical process through his great work on "Recent Songs", "Various Positions", and songs such as "Anthem" or those on "Ten New Songs"? The fact that Leonard has only made twelve studio albums in 42 years is evidence that he has always put quality above quantity. I wonder how many other singer-songwriters from the Sixties will still be recording and trying new things at Leonard's age?
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lizzytysh
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by lizzytysh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:35 am

Hi John ~ I returned to read Bryan's initial post before I ventured a guess, and it definitely seems he took a huge leap from the 70s to very recently and began making judgements based on what he saw. He offered no transition language whatsoever, not even a hint of it. So, it's really tough for me to believe otherwise. Quality vs. quantity has been evident in everything Leonard has done. Even when he did a quantity of concerts on his incredible tour, he did it with militant attention to quality detail. Trying new things is a special earmark of Leonard's work, yet not without applying the same level of care that has been his earmark from the beginning.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
Willy52240
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Willy52240 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:31 am

I'm a relative newcomer to this forum, but I like Leonard's music. I thought I would take a few moments and answer a few of your issues as I felt about them.
brian4muza wrote:In the 70s I loved his music and words, inspirational, then I wondered sometimes. His character didn't always fit his projected image, e.g. never any bonus material, no tours for years, was he married or not, bodyguards and no contact address (fans, wake up!)
This is really the one thing I can possibly agree with you, however briefly.
Cohen's early work is phenomenal. So are you offering some kind of kudos for 20 years of work? Most musicians are not relevant that long. I read tonight that there are over 2000 professional covers of his work. For me it is enough that an artist creates even one masterpiece. How many has Leonard created? Hmmmmmmm?

Most of those other concerns for me are non-concerns. Who cares if he is/was married? How would that relate to the quality of his music? If the man has been solitary, as opposed to the attention whores I see of late, I find that a plus. If you want accessibility; try Tiger Beat and Justin Beiber. I don't personally need to be able to contact Mr Cohen in able to appreciate his music. IF he does have body guards during concerts, I can understand. Some people feel entitled and seem to have no boundaries.

We don't own the man. We get to appreciate his music. There are ample places to read, listen or discuss. It seems to me just short of remarkable to show up at a fan type forum and make the kind of posts I am reading by you.

brian4muza wrote: Then in Poland he sold a record amount for a new album. His reaction? A private guest slot for one of his singers (they're always so embarrassing on stage with their doe-eyed expressions, they should keep their bedroom eyes for the bedroom) on radio, not for the public. So much for Poland (where his grandfather came from!), no concerts, just a 'Cheese and Wine party'.
I don't understand; this is how you judge whether Mr Cohen is making art; the earnings of a record or quality of a party? The expression of a back up singer? !
brian4muza wrote: Final nail in the coffin: he needs to tour to get more than his last 100,000 bucks because trusted a crook manager. Incredible! HUGE ticket prices, how obvious, how vulgar can anyone get, especially in these crisis times.
Dude; the man was broke, from what I read. I thought I read that he had to mortgage his home to start a tour at..... 77 years old? I have no idea how many concerts, but yes, they were LONG concerts, some of the best of peoples lives.
....all that I can say is that you and I seem to have far different criteria for judging the man or the man's music. Name someone else doing that kind of world wide tour, with that many dates and with over 3 hour shows; who? I've got a feeling that most people get used to seeing at the most, a 2 hour show. I believe one of his was over 3 and a half hours.
.......That's what I'm talking about. Providing far more than was expected of you, and from what I hear it was because both the band and the audience was having a great time.... That is short of remarkable in these modern times....
brian4muza wrote: Everybody Knows Lennie, Everybody Knows. Do you REALLY think that the song is merit-worthy, a culmination of SIXTY YEARS of writing?! Words from a girl's High-School notebook, out of tune voice. (I agree he was a poet not a singer, but the latter way is how he makes his money.)
Many people hate playing the same music over and over, even though the fans often demand it. That was a good song, and important song when it came out but.....there are so many others. Name a band and I'd wager that one can find a weak lyric or a borrowed melody. I personally think the music and words are first rate compared to the aggregate of music over the past 60 years. Moreover, the world seems to agree.

Who then is your band, your artist? You don't seem to say. They must be very special if they can live up to your standards. :lol:
brian4muza wrote:Such a pity that the creativity died years ago. Is the album for the next million in the savings bank? Fans, ask yourself a simple question: can you name one single thing he did for you, rather than use? So long Cohenman, it's time we laughed, and cried, and laughed about it all again....
Sorry, but I think you have failed if you intended to persuade anyone that Leonard's creativity died years ago. It's fine if you prefer his earlier work. I don't understand your disappointment, but your posts just make you seem angry.
Who pi$$ed in your Cherrios? :lol:

For most people...... it is enough that an artist creates works that people can appreciate; that is what Mr. Cohen has done for me. How much more is required?

LOL; yes..... how vulgar can one get?
Good luck in your journey. :)

willy
sbreen
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by sbreen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:59 am

I am one of those fans! I have at least one copy of every album and a copy most books, I have pre-ordered 'Old Ideas', I am constantly looking for new you-tube clips and read everything I can about the man and his music.
(I am a Leonard Cohen F.A.N. and have been a fan for over 40 years.)

I find that, no matter what my 'mood' is, there is a Leonard Cohen album I can play.
There is a enormous breadth as well as depth in what he has produced.

I have to admit that don't like everything he has released (songs, poems, books). (Why would he approach Greensleeves in that way?) There are enough tracks that I love to listen to that I don't need to worry about the very few I'm not as keen on.

I also know that the songs or poems I am less enthusiastic about I can guarantee that others are passionate about. That is what makes for a diverse society.

Over a very long time, the man himself (through his writings, his artwork and his songs) has given his fans a very intimate look into his personal life. We know him 'warts and all' and I hope we can understand if he wants a little private time. (But please, please, please, let him be planning another tour!)

What I can say is that his concerts are fantastic value for money. The length of the concerts and the obvious professionalism from every single member of the band meant that everyone in the audience should have gone away on a real high.

I am often disappointed with the length of time other artists are actually on-stage - but I cannot believe anyone can leave a Cohen concert feeling that way. There are often more 'encores' than programme.

This is a forum for everyone - but I come here to share with others who enjoy a world with Leonard Cohen as a very important part of it. Leonard has been a huge part of my life even though he isn't aware I exist - and I hope he is knows what a difference he has made to the lives of many, many, many people.
Last edited by sbreen on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vlastik
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Vlastik » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:20 am

Brian just keeps very quiet from his first and last post. I wonder why? Is he done with us?
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lizzytysh
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by lizzytysh » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:24 pm

Well done, too, Willy!
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
depe
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by depe » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:39 pm

I agree that mature people can cope with criticism and work through it so support your rights to your views. However I don't really expect Leonard to "do" anything for me. I like his music, pay to purchase it and to see him perform. I can certainly name one or two things however he might have done for me - amused me, entertained me on long car journeys, been responsible for some fun times when travelling to see him to name but a few. I was fortunate to be in the same hotel in Lille as Leonard - and after I got over the shock, I observed him to be courteous and pleasant with people who approached him, which is more than you can say of many people in the public eye.
Weybridge, Lille, O2, Wembley, O2, Brighton, Dublin, O2, Rotterdam
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Jonnie Falafel » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:26 pm

I am very moved by LCs last few albums and this new one. The old songs, the old chops are still there to enjoy and inspire. As for touring ~ imagine the huge costs of putting on shows like that.... the size of the band... the length of performances. I don't know what LCs personal fee was, but I think he gave good value for money... and as he said himself, "I didn't establish the market".
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lizzytysh
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by lizzytysh » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:39 pm

I never heard that quote, but it sure is true.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by Jonnie Falafel » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:38 am

It was actually at one of the Manchester Opera House gigs in 2008. Forgive me, but this is from memory:

I know some of you have gone to considerable geographical and financial incovenience to be here tonight. I have one thing to say, I'm sorry but I didn't establish the market.

It may have been a response to fuss about high ticket prices. But, as I've said before it's a big band to keep on the road. Pay peanuts and you get monkeys.
scocoh
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Re: disappointment with the man and his music

Post by scocoh » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:44 pm

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Last edited by scocoh on Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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