Scanning my Google Alerts last night, I noticed that Leonard Cohen had turned up in London to talk up his Old Ideas album with fellow musician Jarvis Cocker, a long time admirer who has frequently covered Cohen’s songs.1 While I have already posted one result of this event at And What The Press Said Leonard Cohen Said In London About A 2012 Tour, there is additional interesting material to be gleaned. I have included a few other excerpts from Leonard Cohen shows there’s life in the old dog yet with launch of new album by Alex Needham (The Guardian, 18 January 2012), but the entire piece is worthwhile reading for Cohen fans:2
“How is it for you to listen to your own records?” asked onstage interviewer Jarvis Cocker after the album, Old Ideas, had been played.
“I wasn’t listening,” said Cohen. He went on to say that he did keep an ear out to see whether he had “ratcheted it up to the right degree of excellence. But mostly I was wondering if I myself could be swept along with it. This particular
He [Cohen] persistently rebuffed Cocker’s attempts to decode his songwriting, warning him: “We’ve got to be careful analysing these sacred mechanics because somebody will throw a monkey wrench into the thing and neither of us will ever write a line again.”
Cocker asked that as Cohen’s publishing company was called Old Ideas, was it something he’d always wanted to call an album?
“You know, I don’t have that many ideas,” jousted Cohen.
Update: A small portion of Cohen’s interview as well as Cocker’s commentary can be heard at Jarvis Cocker On Leonard Cohen
Credit Due Department: The photo by Alex Sturrock was also part of the same Guardian article.
- Jarvis Cocker talks about Cohen’s influence in the I’m Your Man documentary. Also see Listen To Jarvis Cocker’s Dance Cover Of Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche” [↩]
- The London event was also covered, albeit less extensively, in The Wisdom Of Leonard Cohen by Kevin Perry (GQ, 19 January 2012) and Leonard Cohen to Jarvis Cocker: ‘I’ve always felt I was scraping the bottom of the barrel’ (NME, 18 January 2012) [↩]