First, The Photo For Sale Listing
Like the image featured in The Sunday Leonard Cohen Pictorial – The Bomber Jacket Photo, the Leonard Cohen photo shown below was found on eBay this morning 1 under the description “1967 Leonard Cohen Poet Musician Lyricist Artist Profile Closeup Press Photo.” The photographer is Bob Cato.
Then, The Back Of The Photo
As Maarten Massa once pointed out to me, sometimes the back of these photo pages contain interesting notes, stamps, scribbles, … And, indeed on the reverse side of this photo are a few markings.
That smudged clipping, dated “Sep 22 1970,” caught my interest.
Then, Google X2
A Google search for a few words from the clipping, “Cohen a poet who sets some of his poems to music” (in quotes), turns up two hits, both of which go to the same URL. The first link is Poet’s Words Make Music.
That link goes to page 39 of the September 22, 1970 St. Petersburg Times in the Google News Archive.’
Then, The Manchester Guardian
The pertinent article in the September 22, 1970 St. Petersburg Times is Poet’s Words Make Music by Hugh Hebert, which transmigrated to St Petersburg, Florida from the Manchester Guardian, where it was originally published.
And, Finally The 1970 Article – With The 1967 Leonard Cohen Poet Musician Lyricist Artist Profile Closeup Press Photo
This re-discovered article contains no startling revelations or never before published insights into Leonard Cohen, but Cohen rarely gives an interview without bestowing a small gem or two upon the reporter.
In this case, for example, the the Canadian singer-songwriter explains the his writing process in “Beautiful Losers” with his declaration “I am a documentary” and, as a bonus, quotes a friend to the effect that “The revolution should make people fly into one another’s arms.” Not bad, eh?
The scan of the text has been isolated below for easier reading (click on image to enlarge). Cohen’s Royal Albert Hall concert to which the article refers is the May 10, 1970 show – Leonard Cohen’s first performance at that venue.2
St. Petersburg, Florida – 1970
The St. Petersburg Times also offers a convenient means by which to put this point in the career of the then 34 year old Leonard Cohen in context.
Just adjacent to the Cohen profile, for instance, is this ad for the popular TV police drama, Mod Squad.”
The news on the front page may also be helpful in establishing the nature of the time.
And the contemporary grocery prices are noteworthy.
- I now see that Marie posted this photo at A Leonard Cohen Minute on June 29, 2012. [↩]
- Cohen’s band musicians in 1970 were Bob Johnston (who was also Cohen’s Nashville-based Columbia A&R staff producer) and Nashville-based musicians Charlie Daniels (electric bass, fiddle), Ron Cornelius (lead guitar), and Elkin ‘Bubba’ Fowler (guitar, banjo). Backup singers were Corlynn Hanney and Susan Musmanno (aka Aileen Fowler).
The set list for that Royal Albert Hall appearance follows:
1. Bird On The Wire
2. So Long, Marianne
3. You Know Who I Am
4. Dead Song (poem)
5. Lady Midnight
6. One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong
7. The Stranger Song – solo
8. For E.J.P. (poem)
9. Avalanche – solo
10. Joan Of Arc
11. Tonight Will Be Fine
12. The Partisan
13. Sisters Of Mercy
14. Diamonds In The Mine
15. Story Of Isaac
16. Famous Blue Raincoat
17. Sing Another Song, Boys
18. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye
20. Please Don’t Pass Me By