24 Years Of Separation – Leonard Cohen Plays Bergen
Leonard Cohen’s concert scheduled for August 28, 2012 in Bergen has already reaped one benefit – the re-publication of a 1988 interview with Bård Oses, a former journalist for BA and now a presenter on NRK. that was previously unknown to me.
Establishing a rationale for publishing this piece required no more than the newspaper linking the anticipated Bergen stop on the 2012 Old Ideas World Tour with the last time Cohen played Bergen, which was during the 1988 “I’m Your Man” Tour, when, as it turns out, he was interviewed by Oses for a series called “Women And Madness.”
The contemporary article, Bård Oses intervju med Leonard Cohen by Linn Gjerstad (BA: March 26, 2012) withstands the Google Translation decently and provides worthwhile reading. I’ve included a few excerpts below:
Leonard Cohen On Women
Women! Any woman acquaintance is worth a poem. Think about it yourself: you hit a girl, think she is exciting, but can not seem to express yourself properly. Something going on inside you, and you would like to provide an answer to it. The easiest way is to write your feelings down on paper.
Leonard Cohen On Synthesizers
I am not afraid that synthesizers to destroy the heart of today’s music. When used properly, will synthesizers be a very fine instrument. I find it fascinating to use for composing, but think it is foolish to use it as a replacement for the instruments that already exist. Violins and saxophones, for example. They sound completely wrong on a synthesizer.
Leonard Cohen On Joe Cocker
I am always intrigued when someone else record my songs. Especially if they are in foreign languages. I have heard my songs in Finnish, Japanese and Polish. Incredible. But Joe Cocker version of “Bird on a Wire” is my favorite. That man is one of the best singers the world has ever seen.
DrHGuy Note: I’ve embedded a video of Joe Cocker’s version of “Bird On A Wire” below.
Leonard Cohen On Elvis
I have plans to sing an Elvis song on stage soon. … – I was a huge fan of Elvis! I was in town until today and bought a compilation LP of the man. Soon you will hear me sing “Don’t” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – but not at the plate. My voice is too deep. 20,000 cigarettes have led my tone of voice three to four notches down too far.
DrHGuy Note: While I am unaware of any recordings of Leonard Cohen singing “Don’t Be Cruel” or “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” he did cover “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. He sings a bit of it, in fact, during this 1988 BBC interview.
A full version of Leonard Cohen singing “Are You Lonesome Tonight”is available on The Other Leonard Cohen Album.