Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:17 am

B4real post wrote: My handmade book included the 49 additional songs.
I love that you did that! Thank you for the pictures! You are definitely crazy (about Leonard), haha. I have just placed the Little Black Songbook in my cart on Amazon. I like that it has chords for the guitar. I can't say that I play the guitar, but I know a few chords, and I lucked into getting an Ovation Legend years ago that I have held onto, and I think I saw a picture of Leonard with a very similar guitar. This is mine....
Guitar2 (337x500).jpg
Loved this... what a riot! This quote from that link reminded me of the upcoming trip to Montreal in November... "You finagle two tickets to see Leonard Cohen perform at Sligo, book hotel and ferry reservations, and arrange kennels for your dogs; then – and only then – do you ask your husband if he would “fancy going to Ireland for summer holiday.”" Too funny!

And yes, I do remember the video with the audience not looking at Leonard! Thank you for sharing it again. In my opinion, anything worth seeing is worth seeing again! Editing to add that the 'picture' I recalled of seeing him with a guitar similar to mine wasn't a picture but this video. My Ovation is a dark sunburst design but otherwise very much the same. I am glad I have never succumbed to the offers to buy it.

And Phillip, thank you for posting! We are discussing The Window currently... do you have any impressions you want to share?

Thanks!
Vickie
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:14 am

Vickie,
Glad you liked my 49 Songs book and I’ve just now realised how appropriate the front photo of it is for this discussion on The Window and guitars because the photo is of him sitting by the window with a guitar!

And another coincidence! Some years ago I drew a portrait of Leonard with that same Ovation guitar (and leather jacket) you see in the video and sent it to Germany as a gift to a friend. He had been so generous in sending me many LC concerts and I knew he loved this era too so it was my way of re-paying that thoughtfulness! I think he still reads the forum so hello F.... :D

Of course, you know that there isn’t much about LC that is not discussed on the forum and that includes his guitars - viewtopic.php?t=3420#p208581

And an RIP from Ovation Guitars -
https://www.facebook.com/OvationGuitars ... S_TIMELINE

Well, seeing that you already have that excellent guitar, (thanks for the photo!) when you get the songbook maybe you’ll increase those chords you already know to become many more! You could start with Ballad Of The Absent Mare – it only has three chords A, E and D – but you said you know a few and maybe these are they ;-)
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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B4real
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:11 am

vlcoats wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:17 am
B4real post wrote:
http://cohencentric.com/tag/you-may-be- ... en-fan-if/
vlcoats wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:17 am
Loved this... what a riot!
ah Vickie, If you loved that from cohencentric, well I suggest you, 4, AlanM and everyone else who has contributed to this discussion might like to check out the link below and see what the good doctor has written today ;-)

http://cohencentric.com/2017/08/14/uniq ... ns-albums/

Thank you, Allan!
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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AlanM
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby AlanM » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:01 pm

Ah Vickie,
You picked a tough one this time. Every time I think I have gathered my thoughts and log on to reply, something else has been posted, to make me reconsider, either to avoid repetition, or because of some new thought.
This whole album is enthralling highlighted, as Bev has written, by Raffi Hakopian's violin.
A lot has been written elsewhere about The Window in regards to deep meanings, but as with most if not all of Leonard's songs we are free to make our own interpretations, and that is what this thread is about.
Abandoned to beauty and pride - I see this as overwhelming vanity and selfishness but tortured by self doubt Lost in the rags of remorse.
The darling of angels, demons and saints needs the soul to be made gentle.
The second verse says to me; "Time to move on with no regrets, there's a better world out there and it is not a self centered one.
The last verse outlines the healing process that is available. Then lay your rose on the fire the rose being the source of the rages of fragrance in verse 1, as well as the attraction at the top of the ladder of thorns in escaping the old Jerusalem of the former life of being Abandoned to beauty and pride.

I had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Raffi (and Leonard, of course) in 1980. The experience still resonates with me and I cannot hear this album without being transported back all those years in my mind. I mentioned to Bev previously that when he wasn't playing, Raffi would be caressing his violin with a soft cloth. I thought he was taking precautions against humidity, but Bev suggested he was removing rosin from the instrument. Anyhow, irrespective of the reason, he was caressing it rather than just dusting it off.

Re friends and social contact, I am of the opinion that there are several, maybe many, levels of friend.
The American comedian, Rich Hall, many years ago said a friend was someone who would come round and help you move, but a good friend would come round and help you move a body. I've never had the need to test any of my friends to that degree. I guess a friend is someone that I am happy to socialise with and there is reciprocation. Now living on the opposite side of the planet from where I grew up, there are some people that I rarely see, but if the geography was different, I would see a lot. They are still my friends. The same applies to Australia, there are some people that are 2 - 5 hours away by air but I still consider them to be friends. We may not talk for weeks but a telephone conversation can be started like we had seen each other yesterday. Re close friends in my current home city, they are all parents of children that were at school with mine. We celebrate each other's birthdays with a meal and extended vigorous conversation, a movie night once a month, and otherwise just an occasional phone call.
So, 4, I think you are a real socialite.
Vickie, I imagine you sometimes seeing your donkeys in silhouette on the great western sky. Sometimes the company of animals can be more rewarding than that of humans.

A nice thing about this thread is that we post in turn, we are not interrupting or talking over each other, much better than face to face sometimes.

Phillip, we would love to read an opinion from you.
Allan, thank you for your kind words.

I think I have finished now.
Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Wow, that was a surprise. I forget that others might be reading our posts. I nearly choked on my coffee this morning as it was a little jarring to see us mentioned under the familiar Cohencentric webpage heading. How very nice of Allan... Thank you.

B4- Do you still have a copy of the picture you drew of Leonard and the Ovation and the leather jacket? I’d like to see it.

Thank you also for the links regarding Ovations on the website and on FB. I like the look on Leonard's face in the photo with the equally handsome guitar on the Ovation FB page, although a few words from them would have added to their short tribute and kept it from appearing self-serving, which I doubt it was intended to be.

I do hope to increase my guitar playing with The Little Black Songbook! And yes, I do know A, E, and D, so I look forward to learning The Ballad of the Absent Mare! Since I had been wanting to pick it up again, I had taken my guitar to our music teacher at work before school let out this year to ask about getting nylon strings (if it’s good enough for Mr. Cohen…). He said that my guitar is best with the metal ones. What does he know—he is the one who only knew ONE Leonard song, and he calls himself a music teacher for Pete’s sake.

Alan- I loved the description of Raffi Hakopian caressing his violin. It must have been a noticeably touching gesture, as I think I remember B4 also saying something about this when we first discussed Recent Songs. I tried to search for more info about Raffi because I wondered why he stopped playing with Leonard.

I liked what you said about the rose in The Window. I have always loved the line “lay your rose on the fire”. I had thought of it as an offering more than a symbol of getting rid of something. But I can see what you are saying, in that he is turning from self-centered pride to a better way. Either way, roses have never been a favorite flower of mine as flowers go, but their use as a symbol especially by Leonard has redeemed them!
AlanM post wrote:...a friend was someone who would come round and help you move, but a good friend would come round and help you move a body.
That quote made me almost lose my coffee for the second time this morning! Funny stuff!

I liked what you said about friends who you might not talk to for weeks or months and then when you do, it's like you saw them yesterday. That is so very true! I have at least one friend and a couple family members that I click like that with.

You are right about my donkeys. Their companionship can indeed be better than some people I know. As for your quote from The Absent Mare it reminded me of a picture I will try to post below. As silly as they look, donkeys are the most sincere creatures. People often think of them as stubborn, dowdy, and dull as compared to a horse, but since I have begun this journey, I have often thought that the difference between a horse and a donkey is like the difference between Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Only someone who understands donkeys would understand what a compliment that is to Leonard Cohen. ;-)

Vickie (below are are 2 of my donkeys, Sam and Cha-Cha)
Donkey sillouette.jpg
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:27 pm

vlcoats wrote: As silly as they look, donkeys are the most sincere creatures. People often think of them as stubborn, dowdy, and dull as compared to a horse
My horses love donkeys.
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:38 pm

Jean Fournell wrote:My horses love donkeys.
Jean-
Your horses are most clever and kind! :)
Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:25 pm

Vickie,

they most certainly are.

Galloping on the roads every day, with quite a lot of tourism around here (in addition to the local vehicles) two horses, one man, and two halters (no saddle nor bridle nor anything) if they weren't, that would pretty soon lead to dire consequences... :)
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:57 pm

Jean Fournell wrote: two horses, one man, and two halters (no saddle nor bridle nor anything)
That would be something to see!
B4real post wrote: The Window is on the next live album you will be (or already are) listening to!
B4- I forgot to comment on this... but I am still waiting for Field Commander Cohen to get here! I try not to complain about Amazon but every once in a while I think they like to torture me.
Vickie
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby B4real » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:32 am

Vickie, yes it is easy to forget there are many people reading everything we write. In fact, this thread has over 11,800 views so that should tell you we are not alone! But that’s the way it goes on the net and we all do it – mostly look and sometimes reply. I think it was so nice of Allan S to write those thoughtful words about us! Personally, I’m more than happy to share any info about LC that suits the situation. But about my LC portrait, because it was given as a personal gift I feel ethically I shouldn’t share it with the whole world because it’s not mine anymore. I do have a photo of it and I would happily show it to you in person – maybe I’ll make it to Montreal in November but living in the tropics I have absolutely no suitable clothes for that climate but they are apt for Hydra ;-)
Vickie wrote: I tried to search for more info about Raffi because I wondered why he stopped playing with Leonard.
As far as I know, Raffi last played officially on the Dear Heather album 2004 on the song The Faith but unofficially it seems to have been as below in this excerpt from an Interview with Alexander BUBLIŢCHI - Author: Larisa TUREA, Valeriu V. TUREA. I think it was in 2012. Alex was the violinist for the last long word tour. I can’t find the whole interview on the forum or on line anymore. It has been google translated into English and some meanings may literately be a bit confusing. LC had been auditioning many violinists who were classically trained and none seemed to have the improvising aptitude he was seeking for the tour. Alex (read ‘play’ instead of ‘sing’) says:

Unfortunately, many musicians practicing classical music know just to read the notes ... I got you, got lost ... They accepted it, but over two weeks already since the song was not satisfied with it, Cohen said, "Thanks, but we do not need" ... It was a tremendous blow, and I already signed in and given that subsequent trial. Finally, it was resolved, they called old violinist, an Armenian famous Hakopian Rafi who sang with Cohen in the '70s and '80s. Curious is that Armenian not speak a word of English, while living in Los Angeles for about 40 years, came with his son, who was his translator, and sing what he wanted, as available. He prayed: "Look, we can here an arrangement, please do not sing here and here to sing," he said, "Yes, yes" ... and sing everywhere. Over two weeks, again: "Thank you, but it's not what we need" ...

On another note not musical, your donkeys are so full of character! I’m sure that Sam is smiling! And that almost silhouette of Cha Cha against that beautiful background - I know I’ve said this before but I love your sunrises and sunsets on the great Western sky :D

And now I’m off for a while, got to do some “can’t ignore anymore” house renovations and other royal duties ;-)
Be for real. Free yourself to find the real Self ~~ Me
Happiness is like learning the violin, the more you practice it the more it comes to you ~~ Me
Without the heart, there can be no understanding between the hand and the mind ~~ Gore Vidal
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby AlanM » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:58 am

I tried to search for more info about Raffi because I wondered why he stopped playing with Leonard.
Because Leonard toured infrequently and didn't record many albums (until recently), there was no "permanent" Leonard Cohen band.
I get the impression that musicians were chosen from who was available and suitable at the time of recording or touring. Sometimes new people, sometimes old faithfuls.
Bass player Roscoe Beck is a long term friend and collaborator, as you would/will know from the band intros on Live in London and Live in Dublin. He organised the players for one tour but was unable to tour himself. One of my dogs is named Roscoe. We chose him while we were in Sydney for the 2010 concert.

Bob Furgo has played violin on tour with Leonard and has recently played with Perla Batalla.
Leonard postponed one intended tour because Julie Christensen, who sang with Perla on the 1988 and 1993 tours, had just given birth. He said he didn't want to penalise her for bringing a life into the world. Interestingly, Julie took her son to the Coachella concert, the one where Hallelujah on the Songs From The Road album was recorded.
So as Bev has shown, Raffi was considered for the tour, but didn't make the cut.

Your donkeys are lovely. Please give them a big hug from their (new) uncle Alan!
My wife and I would love to live on a small country property where the neighbours had equines in their paddocks. i.e. we would have the enjoyment of seeing, talking to and touching them, with no responsibility for their care! How's that for being self-centered? Maybe we need to travel to the new Jerusalem.

Best wishes,

Alan
Too much Leonard Cohen is never enough.
London 1972, Adelaide 1980, 1985, 2009
Sydney 2010; Adelaide 2010
Sydney 2013 X2; Melbourne 2013; Adelaide 2013
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:09 am

Oh happy day! I have just received both the live CD Field Commander Cohen and my Leonard Cohen; The Little Black Songbook. Now, how am I supposed to get anything done around here tomorrow? (My apologies to Amazon for any ill thoughts I voiced regarding our relationship, you know I couldn't go on without you!)
AlanM wrote:Your donkeys are lovely. Please give them a big hug from their (new) uncle Alan!
My wife and I would love to live on a small country property where the neighbours had equines in their paddocks. i.e. we would have the enjoyment of seeing, talking to and touching them, with no responsibility for their care! How's that for being self-centered? Maybe we need to travel to the new Jerusalem.
Thank you Uncle Alan ;-) for the kind words. I liked your reference to the new Jerusalem, I have been looking that up since listening to one of Leonard's songs.
Your dog is lucky to have such an inspired name. Thank you also for the info on Raffi.

B4- I could not make heads or tails of that translated quote regarding Raffi :? , but it sounded like someone was disappointed in not being hired for the big tour, and Alan clarified that Raffi "didn't make the cut". I haven't been able to find much info about him online so thanks!

Vickie
PS- Are we to call you HRH B4 now?
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby its4inthemorning » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:51 pm

I am not very familiar with "The Window" because (1) when I rediscovered Leonard and bought the albums I didn't have willy-nilly, I neglected to buy "Recent Songs." and (2) "The Window" was never played at any concert we attended.

I had seen the video of Leonard playing "The Window" on a cheap tape player in his kitchen, with Irving Layton and some charming woman sitting mesmerized as it played, and that is the image I always get when I hear the song. How wonderful would it have been to be associated with Leonard and to sit in his kitchen listening to one of his songs? In that video it is interesting to watch the poet Layton take in the work of the poet Cohen. I wonder how one poet interprets another's poem? Has anyone read Layton's poetry? Can anyone suggest a book of his poems to buy?

The feeling I get when I listen to the words is that, like "Waiting for the Miracle," it is telling the story of unrequited love. In both songs the spawned lover is outside looking up at his/her lover inside. Compare these lines:

"I know it must have hurt you,
It must have hurt your pride
To have to stand beneath my window
With your bugle and your drum"

From "Waiting" with

"Why do you stand by the window
Abandoned to beauty and pride"

from "The Window."

However, the two songs look at the situation from opposite perspectives.

In "Waiting," the story teller is the one inside the window, and he is lamenting that the unrequited love is his own fault; he could not acknowledge and reciprocate the love from the woman outside because of his misplaced pride (he was waiting for the miracle of perfection).

But in "The Window," the story teller is outside looking in, and he is placing the blame for the unrequited love on the woman inside the window (who has abandoned herself to beauty and pride).

Favorite lyrics are:

"Oh tangle of matter and ghost" (a very poetic way of referring to a human being)

"The New Jerusalem glowing, why tarry all night in a ruin" (the equivalent to "Ah baby, let's get married, we've been alone too long" from "Miracle")

4
2010 DECEMBER 10 - CAESARS COLOSSEUM, LAS VEGAS / 2012 SEPTEMBER 28 - L'OLYMPIA, PARIS
2012 OCTOBER 3 - PALAU SANT JORDI, BARCELONA / 2012 DECEMBER 13 - K-ROCK CENTRE, KINGSTON
2013 APRIL 6 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY / 2013 JULY 9 - PIAZZA NAPOLEONE, LUCCA
2017 NOVEMBER 4-8 - MONTREAL "TOWER OF SONG" CELEBRATION - RIP, YOU GOT ME SINGING!
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vlcoats
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby vlcoats » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:38 pm

4-
Thank you so much for your thought on The Window! I love that the song is new to you also. Your take on it was truly refreshing. So many interpretations of The Window focus on religion and the intellectual concepts of the symbols and imagery. Yes, I do think that the phrases, symbols, and imagery he uses in this song (and others) were drawn from ancient religious and mythological wells including Persian poetry, so I can certainly see why people go that route. But maybe we are missing something more obvious, and who can say that they were not just devices to express a more earthly emotion. The biggest draw to me regarding Leonard is that he is so ROMANTIC! It is what got to me from the very beginning. It is what I find so irresistible about him.

I liked that same video you talk about, with Leonard playing the song for Layton and the blonde, and yes how cool it would be to sit there with them! I have seen tons of references to Layton in the biographies I am reading and wondered the same thing as you... which of his books would be a good introduction? Let's hope someone has a good suggestion. While we are at it, I've wondered the same thing about Lorca!

Thank you again for your thoughts!
Vickie
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Jean Fournell
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Re: Along the way... Discovering Leonard's albums

Postby Jean Fournell » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:43 pm

vlcoats wrote:
Jean Fournell wrote:
— two horses, one man, and two halters (no saddle nor bridle nor anything) —

That would be something to see!
Vickie,
this most definitely is a challenge!

Never did video stuff before, with so many tiny electrons everywhere, which are simply too fast for my clumsy old fingers. And then I had to find out how to upload to youtube.
Cutting out useless scenes with a video editor was beyond my capacities, though: "I tried, I failed".


Here's what the camera accepted to record on today's ride (we kept to small roads with little traffic, for this first attempt), in spite of its six buttons; and if you accidentally touch one of them, everything is in a mess. (And you never really know where the eye of the camera may be looking, so it's never more than haphazard approximation and guesswork.):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oInFLJJDVv4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7CAOxMafwc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2598SDZblY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p50CnqWGF3U
On this one, between 4:19 and 4:23, there is a reproduction of an old postcard showing, pretty well recognisable if you stop the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLXJ-hebb90
There's a circus freshly arrived in that village (but the camera didn't film their vehicles).

In what concerns the artistic talents of my horses, maybe just have a quick look at this page:
http://leonardcohenforum.com/viewtopic. ... 9&start=30

Enjoy, Jean
___________________________________________________
Therefore know that you must become one with the bow, and with the arrow, and with the target
to say nothing of the horse.

... for a while
... for a little while...

(Just a filthy beggar blessing / What happens to the heart)

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