Freaky 1980s Leonard Cohen TV performance

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/16/freaky-1980s-leonard-cohen-tv.html

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maybe the coolest man to walk the face of this earth. boingboing (and the world) needs more leonard cohen.

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Not bad, not bad… but the definite yardstick for 1980ies music videos is Stanard “Stan” Ridgway’s Camouflage.

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Curious song in that the backup singers take over for a full verse, twice, and both times it happens after the chorus, like an optional 2nd chorus. This performance amplifies the oddness too–the first time they crowd him out of the spotlight, the 2nd time they threaten to dance away and leave Cohen sitting alone with his manila envelope.

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I have to admit, he’s a singer I haven’t looked into very deeply, in spite of really enjoying the sound and lyrics of Everybody Knows. I have to change that.

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I’m not sure I admit that, but he’s a poet and a performer at least.

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Love that he nearly cracks himself up at 1:20. Long live Leonard.

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As I understand it, he was an awfully big marine.

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There are many Cohen works for you to explore, and there’s something in just about all of them that will reward you on repeated listens. He was brilliant. Enjoy!

Here’s one of my favorite songs of his:

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I never imagined I would get to see Leonard Cohen lip-sync. Not that I’m complaining.

I was going to say “artist” but either way, I’d still call what he does “singing” even if his range doesn’t vary much. He’s more of a singer than I am.

The video cut off, but I liked it up to that point.

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Leonard Cohen: wrote perfect songs, was desired by all women, died on Election Day, 2016. Well done.

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No doubt you know Hallelujah, which Cohen said everyone should just give a rest for a while. :grin:

But there’s so much to choose from:


It’s coming from the sorrow in the street
The holy places where the races meet

We played this in November 2008. How young we were.

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As a Montrealer, let me state that Leonard Cohern is a national treasure and one of our greatest poets. I was devastated when Bob Dylan got the Nobel literature and not him. Then again…
The man deserves not just a beautiful mural but something more. I want one of the metro stations to be renamed Leonard Cohen. I’ll give up the French-Canadian bigot Lionel-Groulx over Cohen anytime. And the whole station could have areas changed according to some of his songs. A reading spot named Marianne… A sculpture named Sisters of Mercy. A hologram of a tower of his songs…

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I saw Leonard Cohen once, in 1990 pr 91.

It was about the first really nice spring day that year. I was walking along, and the bar at the corner of St. Lawrence and Marianne had garage door like windows (they flip.up) and I just happen tp look in. There was Leonard Cohen, sitting at a table alone. He noticed, and nodded in my direction.

Leonard Cohen acknowledged my existence!

And later, I figured it was a deliberate action on his part. If he nodded, then I wouldn’t go over and ask him “are you Leonard Cohen?”. Instead, I have this really great story to tell thirty years later.

he lived near that bar. But when he died, people talked about how friendly he was. And I wondered if I misinterpreted it. Maybe it wasn’t a deflection, him wanting to not be bothered, but it’s slightly possible he’d seen me around and reacted because suddenly I noticed him.

Famous people don’t want to be bothered all the time by people who seek them because they are famous, but famous people are people too, so anything “normal” is normal to them. So maybe it was just because for him, he’d seen me around. I don’t kniw.

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leonard-cohen-drinking

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from a story about dylan and cohen on a drive together:

Dylan went on driving. After a while, he told Cohen that a famous songwriter of the day had told him, “O.K., Bob, you’re Number 1, but I’m Number 2.”

Cohen smiled. “Then Dylan says to me, ‘As far as I’m concerned, Leonard, you’re Number 1. I’m Number Zero.’ Meaning, as I understood it at the time—and I was not ready to dispute it—that his work was beyond measure and my work was pretty good.”

of course an alternate interpretation could be that dylan was being uncharacteristically self-deprecating.

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a better example of his range would be found in his earlier material. check out “so long marianne.” if that’s not singing…

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My personal favorite album is Death of a Ladies’ Man. He was never afraid to go to dark places, but this album is just dripping with regret, uncomfortable, gross sex and just a deep creepiness that can’t be topped for me. I can’t think of any other record that delves into the real-deal thoughts and emotions that surround the subject. Plus, it’s just a damn fine sounding album.

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This left me inspired.
In 2010 or 2011 I took a group of ESL students, all armed with cameras, to a Christmas Tree exhibit at the Four Seasons Hotel.
I looked to my right and saw Leonard Cohen in the lobby. After leading all the students up the escalator, I bowed out to pay my respects to the poet. He sat there on the couch with cane between his legs. He tipped his hat with one hand. We both looked to the southern entrance of the hotel and saw two women storming the gates.
The ladies still love Leonard.
Legendary.

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