What is the origin of the cover art on The Sacred Names album?
I didn’t want my photo on the front cover, so we were searching for an idea that felt celestial and soft. After looking through many images of angels, Leonard came across a beautiful old painting (sorry, don’t remember the origins), scanned it, and worked with Photoshop to get the cover. He made many versions with different colors and stronger lines; and he also added the Hebrew letters and more iconology.
Anjani and Anjani Thomas are, for the purposes of the Heck of a Guy blog, synonymous names, both of which refer to the exotically lovely, dulcet-voiced singer best known for her Blue Alert CD and her long-term relationship with Leonard Cohen. [↩]
Although Anjani sang “Innermost Door” on the Jools Holland Show as part of the promotion of the Blue Alert album two years ago, this video only recently surfaced online.1
Anjani On Jools Holland, The White Stripes, And Anjani
When asked about about this performance, Anjani responded,
I was so honored to do on this show. Jools’ love for music and musicians is so real and supportive, and he’s a such a versatile artist that he played keyboards for The White Stripes in the same show!
This was filmed in a cavernous studio that was refrigerator cold. I could actually see my breath in the dressing room and had to wrap myself up in a towel and jump up and down to stay warm.
I was really happy that Jools’ played piano for me so I could focus on the vocal and not worry about my shivering hands.
When Meg and Jack came on the decibel level went off the charts. I have never heard a band make so much music out of guitar, bass and drums…
There was so much energy in the room it seemed to encourage the other bands on the show to play even louder to make an impression.
Talk about feeling old — I had my fingers in my ears for most of the filming! But it was a thrill and definitely the highlight of that tour.
Best Of Anjani
In light of the production values of the recording and, frigid environs notwithstanding, the quality of Anjani’s own performance, this may be the best video (so far, at least) of her work.
Anjani-The Innermost Door (Jools Holland Show 2007)
Unsurprisingly, the video I found was uploaded by a1000kissesdeep, AKA Tom Sakic of A Thousand Kisses Deep. who has a knack for finding and contributing extraordinarily rare and extraordinarily wonderful videos. [↩]
To celebrate Anjani’s birthday, I’ve put together segments of a few of her performances (especially her work with Leonard Cohen on the Blue Alert album) as well as some photos of her and screenshots from Heck Of A Guy posts about her.
A number of rarely seen Leonard Cohen performances and interviews videos have been uploaded to YouTube lately. Most of them are taken from documentaries about Cohen, but some, such as the recently posted Leonard Cohen In Rare Performance Of Un As Der Rebbe Singt are films of live performances that, as far as I can determine, haven’t been widely distributed in years, if ever.
The video featured in today’s post, Leonard Cohen – Night Comes On, falls into the latter category.
The original was part of a film of the complete 1985 Warsaw concert that was never broadcast. This video copy is clearly imperfect. The colors, for example, never approaches hues found in nature. Leonard gives off a red aura while Anjani, who sings backup and plays keyboard on the video, is tinted blue.1
Anjani - Unretouched screenshot from Night Comes On
Anjani - Screenshot from Night Comes On after application of industrial strength Photoshop
The sound quality, however, is good.
In any case, the video is worth watching because (1) recordings of live performances of Night Comes On are rare and (2) it’s a fine song that somehow didn’t quite qualify for the Most Beloved Songs Of Leonard Cohen classification. Consequently, even many Cohen fans are not familiar with Night Comes On, which makes this video a special treat.
…In men’s life the mother represents an authentic sense of protection, the life that strengthtens. In the second verse, there is that fight and this idea, “I’d like to pretend that my father was wrong. But you don’t want to lie, not to the young”…the father represents this idea of a war forever fought. Then there is the marriage, which develops from a romantic idea, which we can’t make last forever, to a human responsibility towards children, an ineluctable responsibility, even if these very children will move away. Then the verse, “Now I look for her always…” is in fact, and concerning my case, about a songwriter’s work. Here there is this vision of the woman, neither the mother nor the wife, but another feminine presence that touches all the others and is responsible for the songs. “I lie in her arms, she says, When I’m gone, I’ll be yours, yours for a song.” It’s the feminine Muse. The last verse deals with the street, with “going back to the world,” with friends. I like this passage, “Yes, and here’s to the few who forgive what you do, and the fewer who don’t even care!” But obviously this cannot protect us from the idea of what has been lost and will never be back. So the singer is trying to come back his way but the mother, by saying to him again and again, “Go back, go back to the world,” keeps him alive.
Do I Have To Dance All Night Surpasses 70,000 Views
"Do I Have To Dance All Night" was performed many times in concerts but was never released in the US.
As part of my crusade to popularize this song, I've cobbled together 2 videos - one for the semi-funky 1976 version with Laura Branigan and one for the 1980 more gypsy, less disco version - that kinda sorta fit the music.
As of Dec 19, 2012, the video of the 1976 version of Do I Have To Dance All Night has been viewed 70,152 times.
Leonard Cohen’s Elegy For Janis Joplin – Chelsea Hotel #1
This video features the first version of the song Leonard Cohen would later revise into "Chelsea Hotel #2" along with images of Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin - whose liaison with Cohen at the Chelsea Hotel led to the creation of the song, the Hotel itself, and other associated people & places.
Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen had a fling in the 1960s that, for unspecified reasons, was short-lived, with Cohen instigating the parting.
It was then and is now a complex connection. In 1988, Cohen said, I'm still very friendly with Joni - I had dinner with her before the tour, and I have the same admiration for her as you do. But I think it was Noel Harrison who came up to me in the LA Troubadour and said "How do you like living with Beethoven?"
Photos of or related to Leonard Cohen that fall into specific themes have been among the ongoing features at DrHGuy, HOAG's sibling site. Galleries displaying collected images of 3 of these themes are now available at
And We’re Still Making Love In My Secret Life – Julie’s Story & Video
... I never had a chance. I was - and this is the only word that fits - smitten. I still am.
She was smart and quick-witted, although it would take me 3 years to recognize that she was, in fact, much smarter than me, and then another 2 years to forgive her for that. She was also good-looking and unabashedly sexy.
And, we fell madly, irredeemably, unflinchingly in love.
Complementing the unlikely story of how Julie and I met, fell in love, and - 9 years, 2 husbands, 1 wife, and 2 careers later - got together to spend an outrageously wonderful 20 years together before her death, a video, set to the poignant "In My Secret Life" by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, is now available that evokes the role Julie, who died 10 years ago, continues to play in my life.
This Heck Of A Guy compilation includes unreleased Leonard Cohen performances over a 30+ year period.
Track List: Vol 1
1. Feels So Good (The Other Blues Song)
2. Book Of Longing
3. The Darkness
6. Do I Have to Dance All Night (1976)
7. Blues By The Jews
Track List: Vol 2
1. Red River Valley
2. Never Got To Love You (Duet with Anjani)
3. Can't Help Falling In Love
4. Ride Around
5. The Union Makes Us Strong
6. We Shall Not Be Moved
7. To Love Somebody
8. The Hypnotist (Poem)
9. Chelsea Hotel #1
10. There's No Reason Why You Should Remember Me
11. Streets Of Laredo
12. Do I Have To Dance All Night (1980)
Now, Another Other Leonard Cohen Album, the second collection of unreleased Leonard Cohen songs joins the popular The Other Leonard Cohen Album to offer fans of the iconic singer-songwriter a total of 3 CDs of musical treats. Another Other Leonard Cohen Album includes the following tracks plus liner notes by Sylvie Simmons.
1. Je Veux Vivre Tout Seul
2. Kevin Barry
3. Die Gedanken Sind Frei
4. Store Room
5. As Time Goes By
6. Don’t Go Home with Your Hard-on
7. Blessed is the Memory
8. Silent Night
9. Dead Song
10. Another Saturday Night
11. Ballad of the Absent Mare
13. The Butcher
14. Un As Der Rebbe Singt
15. Song to the Machines
16. If It Be Your Will
17. Thirsty for the Kiss
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep
19. I Tried To Leave You
20. Whither Thou Goest
21. Mr Cohen Must Be Going