Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Post Reply
User avatar
david birkett
Posts: 302
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:05 am

Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

Post by david birkett » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:11 pm

Has anyone referred to the similarity in mood and instrumentation of this piece to the sublime music Angelo Badalamenti created for Twin peaks?
The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.
User avatar
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:51 pm

Re: Tacoma Trailer

Post by kwills » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:41 pm

This was a quote from tomsakic.

by tomsakic » Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:49 pm

I read that it was made as the soundtrack for some theatre play which was never made, so Leonard used its main theme as bonus track to the album. It's very "Twin Peaks" to me...
Last edited by kwills on Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Manchester 19th June/Cardiff 8th Nov
User avatar
Posts: 601
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:55 pm
Location: London

Re: Tacoma Trailer

Post by lightasabreeze » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:18 pm

Before seeing your message, I was about to ask if anyone knew what inspired Leonard to write Tacoma Trailer. I really like it, but I never watched Twin Peaks so can't comment on that at all.
Somebody must have died for you
A Thousand Kisses Deep

London 02 x 3..... Radio city New York... Wet Weybridge..... Wembley Arena... Brighton..
User avatar
Posts: 2293
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 11:51 pm

Re: Tacoma Trailer

Post by kwills » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:26 pm

Sorry about my previous link up I made a bit of a mess of it!

This should give the answers to both of your questions.


You'll find another link there provided by Brightnow as well.
Manchester 19th June/Cardiff 8th Nov
User avatar
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:03 am
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: Tacoma Trailer

Post by Stranger » Mon May 24, 2010 3:47 pm

In another thread quite some time ago I read someone saying that he/she liked TT because it was full or European sickness.... Somehow I remembered that when I listened to Tchaikowski's Arabian Dance from the Nutcracker Suite yesterday. Maybe it is me, but I do hear a similarity in tone and atmosphere.
" ........... if one can describe as serious the confused comedy of our lives". Graham Greene, "The Comedians".
User avatar
Posts: 5255
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 2:12 pm
Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Re: Tacoma Trailer

Post by tomsakic » Wed May 26, 2010 11:29 am

Funny thing, just yesterday I was doing CD compilation (or we can use the old-fashioned word "mix-tape"?) for the road (travel CD), and I decided to put Tacoma Trailer as the final track. Then I decided to replace it with Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks theme.

The fact is that I didn't listen to it or saw Twin Peaks for 18, 19 years or so. I was just the kid back then. So I was really struck while I was listening Tacoma Trailer and Twin Peaks Theme one after another. The opening is very similar, it has the resemblance on both sides.

I took Twin Peaks Theme from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oDuGN6K3VQ
Tacoma Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_rLVXD55BA (with amazing shots of clouds)
And here, somebody put Leonard's Tacoma Trailer over Twin Peaks shots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqocxaARz0s
User avatar
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:23 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

Post by somewhat_nifty » Thu May 27, 2010 9:24 pm

That's odd - I love the Twin Peaks music (I have the soundtrack), but had never noticed the similarity before, but now it's pointed out, I can really see it. And I suppose they both had their genesis around the same time (late 80s/early 90s) - maybe something in the air!
I'm chained to the old masquerade...
2008: London O2 14th Nov, RAH 18th Nov; 2009: NY RCMH 16th May, Weybridge MBW 11th July, Barcelona 21st Sept; 2010: Sligo 31st July, Lille 25th Sept, Las Vegas 11th Dec; 2012: Wembley Arena 8th Sept, Dublin 11th Sept 2013: London O2 21st June, London O2 14th Sept
Eddie Willers
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:10 am

Re: Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

Post by Eddie Willers » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:57 am

Responding to david birkett's original post: "Has anyone referred to the similarity in mood and instrumentation of this piece to the sublime music Angelo Badalamenti created for Twin peaks?" - that's just what I was going to ask!

I got to this thread by googling "leonard cohen angelo badalamenti". The comments you all have made are the only connection I can find other than "I'm Your Man" is part of the soundtrack for a movie called "Secretary" which was scored by Angelo Badalamenti. There were some various artists and reviewers among the google results who seem to especially enjoy both artists. Not much else. Even the youtube video linked in tomsakic's post above has zero comments attached to it. I bet Leonard Cohen was inspired (consciously or unconsciously) by the Twin Peaks music since (as "somewhat_nifty" just said) the Twin Peaks soundtrack was 1990 and The Future was 1992. Also, Tacoma is in Washington as was the fictional Twin Peaks. Maybe the inspiration was more conscious than unconscious?

Anyway, Mr. Cohen is alot more musically adventurous than he gets credit for, what with all the focus on his words. If he didn't have a pretty good knack for the musical side of a song's equation he would have just stayed a poet!
User avatar
Posts: 6678
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:49 am
Location: Q'ld, Australia

Re: Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

Post by B4real » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:49 pm

Hi Eddie,

Welcome to the forum :) Maybe this will help you.

Some of this information comes from an interview in 1992 "The Future Radio Special"
from a special CD released by Sony music.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10371&p=252270&hil ... er#p252270
B4real wrote: Leonard’s quote about Tacoma Trailer:
"This was designed for a theatre piece by Ted Allen. It was part of long suite and I kept playing the music when I was in this trailer in Tacoma. That part of the suite attached itself and started to sound better and better".

Some technical aspects of “Tacoma Trailer” include that it is written in a 4/4 meter, in the key of D flat major, and its playing instructions are cantabile e legato. One of Cohen’s signature songwriting styles is the presence of minor chords. From a songwriting standpoint, Cohen has said, “I think the juxtaposition of a major chord with no seventh going into a minor chord is a nice feel. I like that feel.” With that in mind, “Tacoma Trailer” contains a friendly mixture of major and minor chords.

During the time period when Cohen wrote The Future, he was dating actress Rebecca De Mornay. In 1991, Rebecca De Mornay was shooting the thriller “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” which was filmed largely in Tacoma. It is well known that during a film shoot, actors are often supplied with personal trailers. Also, Rebecca De Mornay co-produced and co-arranged elements of The Future album. It is, therefore, fairly likely that spending time with Rebecca De Mornay in perhaps a literal Tacoma trailer helped to or fully inspired the title, the mood, and the overall sound of The Future’s final and mysterious track.
That should help clarify some things.
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!
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:24 pm

Re: Tacoma Trailer & Twin Peaks

Post by uberhund » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:27 pm

Thanks for all this info. I have to admit I'd always imagined it was about happiness in reduced circumstances, and I'd imagined a liaison with a single mom living in a trailer in Tacoma! You know, the kind of understanding, marvellous mature woman that LC loves to write about, holding it together and creating a home in difficult conditions, hence the 'sad but homely' feel of the song.

Slightly disappointed to hear that it might be an actor-style trailer, but it works. Still like my version better.
Post Reply

Return to “Leonard Cohen's music”