Category Archives: Anjani Thomas

A Short Subject Before The Next Episode Of The Anjani Chronicles

Coming Attractions and Special Features from The Anjani Chronicles Director’s Cut

The next episode of The Anjani Chronicles1 requires only a final cut and buffing before it goes online, an event now tentatively scheduled for the first of next week.

In acknowledgment of the long wait between episodes and as an aperitif prior to the publication of the next chapter, today’s post offers a few Anjani factoids that are not recorded elsewhere (or if they have been published, they have escaped my notice). This batch comes from a few of our email exchanges that produced data I don’t expect to use in The Anjani Chronicles.


Cute and Cats


DrHGuy
: A blogger’s note read in part, “They [Leonard Cohen and Anjani] are too cute for words. I wish they’d come over for dinner. I wonder if they like cats.” So, do you like cats? (Puppies? Cockatoos? Lizards? …) … As for “too cute for words,” I must admit that “cute” is not the first characterization that comes to my mind but maybe I’ve overlooked something. Do you, for example, dot your i’s with little hearts?”

Anjani:

We are dog people but we can’t have pets because we travel so much. so we lavish love on Lorca’s two: Nova and Toast. They are nicer than most people and a lot handsomer too.No hearts on the i’s. I’m more wicked than cute … ask Leonard.2

Work Habits

Anjani (written in an extended response to a query on another subject):

I’m a procrastinator. Unlike Leonard, who diligently sits and writes/draws/composes every day, I’ll do anything to avoid work. Then, when the deadline looms — or worse — has passed, I go into a frenzied state of action and if I’m lucky, I pull a rabbit or two out of the hat. It never ceases to amaze me how slothful I am, and how productive only when I need to be.On the other hand, I make a kickass carrot cake and I know my way around a garden3

Church

DrHGuy: Were you raised in a church environment? If so, what kind? Did you sing Campbellite hymns, gospel songs, Gregorian Chant, or whatever in the choir?

Anjani:

Well, sorta. They didn’t attend services themselves but my parents sent us kids to a Presbyterian Sunday school. I loved going because I got to sing my little soprano heart out in the choir.

Tattoos

DrHGuy: Do you have a tattoo. If so, where, what, when … ? If not, would you like one? (Christmas, after all, is just around the corner)

Anjani:

Nope. I’ve never thought of doing it although I once had a dream where there was a line of pyramids and the words HERU OR wrapped around my upper arm. Freaked me out when I woke up. Anyway, I have enough distinguishing marks as it is … like I’ve got absolutely HUGE hands. And my feet are size 9.5 — as big as Leonard’s — that’s why I get to wear his old Loro Piana cashmere slippers.

Veggies and Sweets

DrHGuy: I found a blog written by a guy who is very serious about cooking and very hot on Leonard Cohen so he asked the obvious question, “If Leonard Cohen were a vegetable, which vegetable would he be?”

I’m thinking something on the lines of asparagus, but you, no doubt, have a more interesting response.

Anjani:

Definitely a cabbage. First of all, it looks like a brain. Second, it’s got substantial weight, and when you cut it open it has those labyrinthine channels and layers tightly packed together. His mind is like that, his work is like that. And third, coleslaw is his favorite salad.4

DrHGuy: Extrapolating from the veggie quandary, my next question is, of course, “If Anjani were a candy bar, which candy bar would she be?”

Anjani:

Can I be a piece of cake instead? Because I’m not much of a candy eater but I am very big on cake. All kinds, as long as it is great. I won’t sully my love for it by eating less than great cake. I’d have a tough time choosing between fresh strawberry shortcake with whipped crème or the classic chocolate layer with an ice cold glass of milk. And another thing: I had to give up refined white sugar recently, (and this is more information than you asked for, I know) so ideally it should be made with half the amount of Rapadura sugar and with organic ingredients. But in a pinch, if someone’s mother has made it, I’ll just say a prayer and indulge.

I happen to have the easiest recipe for a shortbread that is so divine I had to stop baking it because I will eat half a batch before I can even think of sharing it. So if I were a cookie it would be this one. And just so you don’t wonder the rest of your life what it is, here ya go:

KICKASS SHORTBREAD
2 c. room temperature butter
2 c. sifted powdered sugar (I cut this to 1 1/4 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2c flour

Cream butter and sugar.
Sift other dry ingredients and add to mixture.
Roll into 1” balls and flatten.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 min.
Sift powdered sugar over them if you like.

And don’t blame me if you eat them all.

Links to all currently published posts of The Anjani Chronicles can be found at

The Anjani Chronicles – Posts Published


  1. As ongoing readers know, the Heck Of A Guy Blog recently began publishing The Anjani Chronicles, a sequence of posts based on the content of my recent interviews with Anjani Thomas (“Anjani” and “Anjani Thomas” are, for the purposes of The Anjani Chronicles and the Heck of a Guy blog, synonymous names), the exquisite singer and keyboardist best known for her Blue Alert CD and her professional and romantic relationships with Leonard Cohen. A comprehensive introduction to The Anjani Chronicles is available at The Anjani Chronicles – Introduction. All published Anjani Chronicles posts can be found by clicking on Anjani Chronicles in the links listed under “Categories.” []
  2. This response was posted as a comment on the original blog, which is, I suspect, too obscure to have been read by many folks. Also, I admit that I had hoped for an answer that would have allowed me write something on the lines of “Anjani and Leonard report that cats are perfectly nice although they prefer pumas or puffer fish.” []
  3. The penchant for procrastination has been described before. As far as I know the carrot cake, kickass or otherwise, has not been []
  4. A portion of this was published in The Leonard Cohen Food Files []

From The Cutting Room Floor Of The Anjani Chronicles

The Director’s Cut: Posts From The Cutting Room Floor Of The Anjani Chronicles

As ongoing readers know, the Heck Of A Guy Blog recently began publishing The Anjani Chronicles, a sequence of posts based on the content of my recent interviews with Anjani Thomas,1 the exquisite singer and keyboardist best known for her Blue Alert CD and her professional and romantic relationships with Leonard Cohen.2

The research for The Anjani Chronicles, the interviews themselves, and the subsequent clarifying emails produced a number of items that, for one reason or another, are not used in the final posts. That data detritus was, I’ve always assumed, part of the cost of doing business – if ones business is writing exegeses in Bible College on the ambiguity of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to slaves, explicating Housman’s “The laws of God, the laws of man,” completing a psychiatric diagnostic evaluation – or publishing biographical posts.

At least, that was what I thought until 1:15 this morning when I realized that I was using the wrong models. While seminaries, English post-graduate programs, and psychiatry may be mired in the inefficiencies of the past, the coalition of the movie and DVD industries have solved the same problem I was facing.

That solution is to wedge the leftovers – the excised film clips, the outtakes, the comments, etc. – onto a DVD, along with the movie itself, and market it at a premium price as “The Director’s Cut.”

And thus was born The Director’s Cut of The Anjani Chronicles, posts constructed from materials developed for but not used in The Anjani Chronicles, including Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Supplemental Content, Candid Clips, Raw Takes, Unverified Material, Speculations, Rumors, Gossip, Innuendos, Half-truths, Quarter-Truths, One-Tenth and Less Truths, Flat-out Lies, Fake Items, Slander, Sleaze, Slurs, & Slime

The first Special Feature offered from the Anjani Chronicles Director’s Cut follows.

______________________

The Best Anjani Interview By Another Guy3

In the past few months, I’ve read batches of articles based on interviews with Anjani, alone or coupled with Leonard Cohen, and watched many videos of interviews with her, again alone or paired with Leonard Cohen.

I have not been impressed.

The Anjani that writes snarky comments on my posts and clever email retorts is completely missing in the interviews I watched and those I read. At best, these dispatches are vacuous, hackneyed, and bland; several surpass these standards to meet criteria for classification as “inane.” Almost none broach issues that have not been already been addressed in dozens of other vacuous, hackneyed, and bland articles.

In fact, my disappointment in the lackluster representations of Anjani found in those articles and videos was a prime motivator in the creation of The Anjani Chronicles.4

The PureMusic Aberrancy

At least one interview, however, has proved the exception. The PureMusic Interview With Anjani by Frank Goodman5 is remarkable for establishing an empathic connection between Anjani and the interviewer almost immediately. In addition, the content is intriguing, Mr. Goodman is both knowledgeable and interested, and the exchange of ideas is entertaining and provocative.

The discussion of Leonard Cohen’s influence on the Blue Alert CD and on Anjani herself, the tar pit into which most interviews with Anjani sink and die a deservedly agonizing death, is evenhanded and thoughtful.

Even the photo choices are superior to the usual fare.

Finally, PureMusic offers a PDF version of the entire multi-page article and music clips. While neither of these items are technological marvels, they are nifty conveniences for the reader and show a concern for the audience that is atypical of online and print journals.

While I don’t agree with every point and implication of this piece I cannot fault the process or technique used.

If you are going to read only one pre-20086 article about Anjani,7 make it Frank Goodman’s interview in PureMusic.

This article can be accessed at PureMusic Interview With Anjani

Links to all currently published posts from The Anjani Chronicles can be found at The Anjani Chronicles – Posts Published


  1. “Anjani” and “Anjani Thomas” are, for the purposes of the Heck of a Guy blog, synonymous names which refer to the lovely, dulcet-voiced singer best known for her Blue Alert CD and her long-term relationship with Leonard Cohen. []
  2. A comprehensive introduction to The Anjani Chronicles is available at The Anjani Chronicles – Introduction. All published Anjani Chronicles posts can be found by clicking on Anjani Chronicles in the links listed under “Categories.” My own connection to Anjani began in July 2006 when I posted Music Recommendation That Will Make You Want To Kiss Me, a review of Blue Alert that reflected my captivation with the music. An online flirtation and email relationship between us ensued. These events and the aftermath are described at Anjani And DrHGuy FAQ. I’ve also published a batch of blog entries about Anjani and the Blue Alert album that can be found at Anjani Thomas. []
  3. “Another Guy,” in this case, is any guy other than DrHGuy []
  4. Yep, this is a case of a post evolving from the following statement I muttered to myself: “Heck, I can write something that isn’t much more vacuous, hackneyed, and bland than this stuff.” []
  5. PureMusic, Issue 75, 4/2007 []
  6. Give me a break. After putting the 2008 Anjani Chronicles together, I’m not likely to do the self-abnegation thing and recommend you read something else instead of my piece []
  7. Admittedly, the set of those individuals who are determined to read one – and only one – article about Anjani would seem to be a small and an extraordinarily odd group of readers, but you know what I mean []

The Anjani Chronicles – Growing Up Anjani


Introduction To The Anjani Chronicles1
Anjani2 is the exquisite, exotically featured singer and keyboardist best known for her Blue Alert CD, a collection of elegantly performed songs suffused with evocative lyrics, and her professional and romantic relationships with Leonard Cohen, an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right. My own connection to Anjani began in July 2006 when I posted Music Recommendation That Will Make You Want To Kiss Me, a review of Blue Alert that reflected my captivation with the music. An online flirtation and email relationship between us ensued.3

The Anjani Chronicles are a sequence of posts based on the content of my recent interviews with Anjani. All published Anjani Chronicles posts can be found by clicking on Anjani Chronicles in the links listed under “Categories.”

Today’s post, the first of this series, centers on Anjani’s childhood and adolescence, especially the development of her musical career during this period.

______________________

Anjani And The Fender Rhodes Stage 88

The Fender Rhodes Stage 88

Pictured above is the Fender Rhodes4 Electric Piano (circa 1970s), an innovative instrument that featured a new technology for the creation of musical tones,5 offered an alternative channel for the interpretation of music, and dramatically expanded the potential repertoire of live musical entertainment.

More pertinent to our purposes, one specific Fender Rhodes Stage 88, the virtual twin of the Rhodes Stage 73 shown in the graphic on the right (click on graphic to view larger image) but possessing a longer keyboard6 and proportionately larger size, illuminates some easily overlooked facets of Anjani’s life and connects those seemingly unassociated points.

And that Fender Rhodes Stage 88 may even offer a useful perspective on and insight into Anjani’s understated but resolute determination and resilience in the pursuit of her goals.

Finally, this machine is, if nothing else, a serviceable albeit unconventional Sancho Panza7 to Anjani’s Don Quixote in those portions of her adventure-filled quest presented in this and the next episode of The Anjani Chronicles.

To engage this point of view, one needs three points of information:

1. By the mid-1970s, the Fender Rhodes Stage 88 was not a keyboard instrument – it was the keyboard for serious jazz and rock musicians.8 The Fender Rhodes Stage 88 was heir to a stalwart heritage, evolving from a prototype that produced its 2.5 octaves from aluminum pipes salvaged from the hydraulic system in the wings of B-17 Bombers, cut to xylophone length, and installed in a suitcase size package. Employed as a therapeutic tool for wounded World War II soldiers, the piano was a success, thousands were produced, and the inventor, Harold Rhodes, was awarded the Medal of Honor. By the 1960s, manufacturing, musicological, and scientific progress culminated in the four instruments, the Fender Rhodes Stage 88, Suitcase 88, Stage 73, and Suitcase 88, that became the standard keyboard instrument for amateur and professional artists.9

2. The Fender Rhodes Stage 88 of early- to mid-1970s vintage weighed 65 kilos (143 pounds) or more.10 The total heft varied by model and year of manufacture with earlier versions being markedly heavier. In addition, accouterments such as the tour rig11 could significantly increase the total poundage.

A sense of the size and popularity of the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano can be garnered from the graphic below.

Click on image to view larger graphic

The top left and center images are scenes from the 1980 film, The Blues Brothers, in which Ray Charles plays “Shake a Tail Feather” on a Rhodes piano to convinces Jake and Ellwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) to buy it. In both scenes Ray Charles is seated behind the Rhodes Piano. In the top right image, Tori Amos is seated at the keyboard of her Rhodes 88. The image at the bottom is the layout, drawn to scale, of the keyboard instruments Tori Amos uses on her tours. Her Rhodes Suitcase 88 is on the far left of the diagram.

3. Anjani Thomas persuaded her ambivalent-leaning-toward-reluctant parents to front her the cash for that mass of wood, plastic, metal, and electronics known as the Fender Rhodes Stage 88 when she was 16 years old and weighed 107 pounds. She then repaid this debt by lugging that instrument to a year’s worth of weekend gigs, playing blue-eyed soul and dance numbers (think Earth, Wind, and Fire) for parties, proms, dances, special occasions, and anyone else willing to hire the band.

There is more about this Fender Rhodes 88, and we’ll come back to it, but first, some background on Anjani …

Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Girl In Hawaii

Born the youngest of 2 brothers and 2 sisters on July 10, 1959 in Honolulu, Anjani Thomas inherited a blend of German, French, Okinawan, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch bloodlines that manifest in her exotically handsome appearance and are integral to her alluring style and presentation.

Her father “oversaw logistics activities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. Such activities included property management, air travel, and ground transportation.” Her mother “was a secretary for the Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.”12

When Anjani mentions her parents, her affection for and appreciation of them is patently displayed. Likewise, she appears genuinely fond of her siblings and proud of their accomplishments.

Nonetheless, Anjani admits to wondering, beginning in childhood, if she were adopted.

How else to explain the differences between her and her brothers and sister. She was, for example, the only family member with Rock Fever, that claustrophobic, trapped feeling, usually ascribed only to mainlanders on extended stays in Hawaii, that one must leave the islands. Although other members of her family would spend time on the mainland (e.g., to attend college or law school), they inevitably returned to live in Hawaii. Anjani has reversed that pattern, frequently returning to the family home in the islands but basing her life elsewhere.

Heck, Anjani even confesses to a longing to live in Midwestern climes when she was an adolescent trapped in paradise.

There’s more. For example, while her brothers and sister excelled in school, she had a more difficult experience as a student:

After multiplication and division, I bluffed and stumbled through fractions, percentages and ratios, until algebra simply led me to copy the papers and tests of whatever smarter person I sat next to. And I was better at math than science. Laws and theorems and figures would shimmy off the page of memory where they were only stored long enough to pass a class. Aside from basic math, calculus and geometry had no bearing on my field of interest.13

The critical distinction between Anjani and those around her, however, was her talent and, even more so, her profound and pervasive predilection for and preoccupation with music.

I started as a very tiny girl singing. [My first instrument was] probably ukulele; and then guitar; and then piano. I started hula dancing when I was about seven years old. … I’d wanted to make a record ever since I was a kid …14
I grew up playing viola, guitar, ukulele, & piano before finally settling on the latter in Jr. high school. So I actually listened to as much Beethoven as I did rock, jazz, R&B, funk, Hawaiian and folk music. In high school, my voice teacher really thought I’d become a mezzo soprano–I LOVED singing arias by Mozart. But the road led elsewhere.15
When I was young, I took classical piano lessons for a while. I studied with Clem Low, who worked with Sonya Mendez as her music director. I then studied pop piano when I was around 14, finding another teacher in Clyde Pound.16

Probably because she has been asked the same question a few hundred times before, Anjani has a respectful, matter of fact response to the query, “When did you decide you wanted to be a professional musician?” She simply explains, “I don’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a musician.”

One has the sense, however, that Anjani politely suppresses an “of course” from the end of that response. Music is so central and so encompassing in her life that her career decisions were limited to determining the instruments she would play, the style in which she would sing and play, and how she could earn her living in the field. Consequently, she seems to have difficulty in empathizing with the notion of someone struggling to make a conscientious decision about career paths.

Her penchant for matters musical was a primary aspect of her family life. Anjani describes her parents as supportive of her musical interests,

My parents were so cool. They supported me when I was young with whatever lessons and education were needed, whether it was guitar, hula, piano or viola. My mother chauffeured me, every weekend, to my lessons.17

She also notes, however, that throughout her adolescence, her mother and dad clung to the tenuous premise that her obsession with becoming a musician was, in her words, “a phase I would grow out of.” That they were able to sustain this conviction in the face of her unswerving aspirations and congruent behavior, identifies their belief as another case, like second marriage in Samuel Johnson’s quip, of the triumph of hope over experience.

Anjani, in fact, attributes the purchase of that iconic Fender Rhodes Stage 88 to “my parents’, especially my mother’s, hope [that] playing the Fender Rhodes would get it [the goal of becoming a professional musician] out of my system.”

Like many parental fantasies, that hope was to be unrequited. The Fender Rhodes Piano not only enabled her as a performer but also, because of the need to repay its cost, provided Anjani further motivation and, perhaps more importantly, a rationalization for spending all her weekends with the band wherever there was someone willing to pay to hear them.

Transporting the Fender Rhodes Stage 88 to those jobs was no small matter. Nor is it without a certain entertainment value. Consider Anjani’s own description of loading the instrument (I suggest picturing it as an updated version of the famous Laurel and Hardy piano moving scene):

Often but not always, my brothers would help me load it. I would lift one end onto the back seat of my dad’s Pontiac LeMans and shove it in maybe 3 – 4 inches, then run around to the other side and pull it in, going back and forth pushing and pulling, inch by inch, till the monster was in there. It was a helluva lot easier to pull it out than load it in.

As it turned out, more extensive travels were ahead for both Anjani and her Fender Rhodes Stage 88.

First Calgary, Then Carnegie

At age 17, Anjani was within weeks of graduating from Roosevelt High School in Honolulu when she had the opportunity to sign onto a musical act working in Canada. In short order, she convinced her parents to grant her permission to take the job, closed down her sideline business giving piano lessons to 11 students (Anjani jokes that teaching piano made enough money that accepting the full time job meant taking a pay cut; she also volunteers, more somberly, that she learned that she “wasn’t a teacher.”), arranged to finish her high school course work in order to graduate on time although she would be on another continent when the graduation ceremony took place, and shipped out to entertain the citizens of western Canada.

The Fender Rhodes Stage 88, of course, came with.

It’s instructive to consider the Canadian episode from Anjani’s perspective:

It’s 1977. Jimmy Carter is the President of the United States. The big event on TV is Roots, Fleetwood Mac releases the Rumours album, and Star Wars opens in the cinemas. The electrical blackout leaves New York and much of the East Coast without power for 25 hours. The first oil is transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Reggie Jackson hits 3 home runs to lead the New York Yankees to World Series victory. Elvis Presley dies. Flared pants are fashionable. Saturday Night Fever is a hit and so is disco.

One moment that spring, you’re a musically talented seventeen year old Hawaiian girl who, despite feeling out of place, is part of a caring family, preparing to graduate from high school, and playing in a band on weekends.

The next moment, you, accompanied only by your Fender Rhodes Stage 88 that outweighs you by at least 40 pounds, are appearing on stage in the western Canadian urban outposts of Edmonton and Calgary as a member of Kimo & The Sands, a full fledged professional musician.

Anjani’s own description of her North American debut, which set the standard for the six months she spent in Edmonton and Calgary, nicely evokes both the shows she, Kimo, and the other Sands put on and the venues in which they played:

The first hour of the show was a Polynesian music and dance revue – in Calgary – at a Chinese restaurant that specialized in greasy fried rice with mystery lumps covered in green goopy sauce. We played island songs and I did a Tahitian dance. After the first hour, we played contemporary dance music.

Ah, the glamor of show biz. And what about the riotous offstage shenanigans legendary among professional musicians?

We shared a car and there wasn’t much to see in those Midwest towns days. you could see the sights in a week. So we slept in, watched TV, did laundry, cooked, hung out.

Bummer. So, what was Anjani’s take in her Canadian sojourn?

I loved every minute. I was sure I was on my way
First Calgary, Then Carnegie

And Anjani was on her way – although she didn’t know at the time that “her way” would entail many flights across the the Pacific, a few missteps along the path to love (missteps that were not without certain benefits), a year spent in school in Boston, several years of playing in New York clubs, the singing of far too many jingles, a move to L.A., a departure from L.A., a return to L.A., visitations to Canada of a significantly different sort than her first trip, a few years of hiatus from music (and life as she knew it) in Austin, a mysterious figure clad entirely in black who isn’t Johnny Cash, and, as I am fond of noting, much, much, more.

Coming Attractions: Stay tuned for the next episode of The Anjani Chronicles, featuring the misadventures of our heroine, the lovely and talented Anjani, and her beefy electromechanical companion, Fender Rhodes, in the lounges of Waikiki and the concrete canyons of The City That Never Sleeps, The Town So Nice They Named It Twice, That Place Where, If One Can Make It, One Can Make It Anywhere, the Big Apple itself – New York, New York.

Previous Anjani Chronicles Post:
Introduction

Next Anjani Chronicles Post:
Anjani Does Waikiki, Boston, and The Slough Of Despond

Links to all currently published posts from The Anjani Chronicles can be found at The Anjani Chronicles – Posts Published


  1. A more comprehensive version of this introduction was published in The Anjani Chronicles – Introduction []
  2. “Anjani” and “Anjani Thomas” are, for the purposes of the Heck of a Guy blog, synonymous names which refer to the lovely, dulcet-voiced singer best known for her Blue Alert CD and her long-term relationship with Leonard Cohen. I include this clarification on posts about Anjani-Anjani Thomas in part for the purpose of what the folks at Wikipedia call disambiguation (i.e., to positively identify for the reader and remove any doubts the reader might have about which “Anjani” of all the possible “Anjani’s” is referenced) and in part to aid and abet the search engines. While a rose is, famously, a rose is a rose, a “tea rose,” for example, is not exactly the same as a “rose” – especially to a search engine. Searches that include “Anjani” as part of the search terms may not produce the same results as the same search terms other with “Anjani Thomas” substituted for “Anjani.” Should any other Anjani, say one who has not produced a CD called “Blue Alert” or one who has not been associated with Leonard Cohen for the decade, I promise to do my best to make that identification clear as well. []
  3. These events and the aftermath are described at Anjani And DrHGuy FAQ. I’ve also published a batch of blog entries about Anjani and the Blue Alert album that can be found at Anjani Thomas. []
  4. The sharp-eyed, detail-minded reader may already have noted that the text on the nameplate of the keyboard is “Rhodes” rather than “Fender Rhodes.” The explanation of this apparent discrepancy lies in a short chapter of corporate history. The company that manufactured these instruments was Fender Rhodes for 15 years of its history. In 1974, the name was changed to simply Rhodes but at that time no changes were made other than the one on the nameplate. The “Fender” referenced, incidentally was Leo Fender, who created, in a five year period during the 1950s, the Telecaster, the Precision Bass the Stratocaster, and a line of amps, all of which have become classics. In any case, for many, the 1974 name change is irrelevant and even now, more than 30 years later, it is common to find “Fender Rhodes” used to reference all Rhodes Electric Pianos. Fender Rhodes Super Site. []
  5. See discussion at Wikipedia – Electric Piano []
  6. The “73″ in “Rhodes Stage 73″ and the “88″ in “Rhodes Stage 88″ indicate the number of keys in each instrument’s keyboard. Other than the 15 keys difference, the two models are nearly identical []
  7. I don’t recall, for example. Cervantes describing Sancho’s need for an AC power source []
  8. More comprehensively, “The Fender Rhodes Stage 88, along with its stablemate, the Fender Rhodes Suitcase 88 and their older siblings, the Suitcase 73 and Stage 73, was the keyboard for serious jazz and rock musicians.” []
  9. Wikipedia provides a non-exhaustive but rich list of artists and songs linked to the Rhodes piano in one or another of its forms, The first known use of the Rhodes piano on a mainstream recording was by Joe Zawinul with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet in 1967. This inspired Miles Davis to have Herbie Hancock play it too. In fact Herbie had never even heard of the Rhodes piano and thought it was some kind of toy. However he admits to being blown away by the big, rich sound of the instrument,[citation needed] and would go on to be one of its most recognizable exponents. The Rhodes was particularly popular from the early ’70s-mid ’80s, and many of its signature songs date from this period: “I Wouldn’t Want to Be Like You by The Alan Parsons Project, “Freeway Jam” by Jeff Beck and the Jan Hammer group, “Just the Way You Are” and “James” by Billy Joel, “Ride Captain,Ride” by Blues Image, “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon, “Babe” & “Don’t Let It End” by Styx, “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Peg” by Steely Dan, “Just You ‘N’ Me” & “Call On Me” by Chicago, “Gotta Serve Somebody” by Bob Dylan, the intro to “Sheep” by Pink Floyd, “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “New Kid in Town” by The Eagles and the theme from Taxi by Bob James. Also, Billy Preston played one on the Beatles’ “Get Back”. The Rhodes also features prominently in the song “Incommunicado” by Jimmy Buffett. Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers also played a Rhodes on, to name just a couple of hits, “You Belong To Me” and “Minute By Minute.” The instrument was also featured in Peter Frampton’s best-selling Frampton Comes Alive album. Other songs include “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Jewel and “Dig” by the Christian band Adam Again. Ray Charles played “Shake a Tail Feather” on a Rhodes during the music store scene in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, and was seen playing “What’d I Say” on a Rhodes on a late 1970s Saturday Night Live appearance (although he played a Wurlitzer electric piano on the original 1959 recording). The Rhodes was also used in jazz-fusion throughout the late 1960s and ’70s. Chick Corea’s album Light as a Feather and Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew featured the Rhodes throughout the whole album. Joe Zawinul of Weather Report, Jan Hammer of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Herbie Hancock also used the Rhodes. Donald Fagen of Steely Dan uses the Rhodes on many recordings such as “Hey Nineteen”, “Kid Charlemagne”, “My Rival”, with a phaser on “The Fez”, and on most of their newer recordings. On tour he brings five of them, and always has his MXR phaser in reach to add when needed. Bill Evans used the Rhodes (often together with a grand piano) on different recordings (including “The Bill Evans Album” and “From left to right”). []
  10. I’ve used numbers from several sources such as Selling & Shipping A Fender Rhodes Piano: “I weighed my Mark 1 88 Stage just before taking it on the road with me around 1974 and it was approximately 200 pounds. That was totally packed, with the legs and pedal in the top and the top attached, ready to go.” and “ready to ship my Rhodes Mark II Stage Piano 73 weighed 66 kilograms.” I have, on the other hand, excluded from these calculations the many claims along the lines of “My Fender Rhodes weighed at least 2,000 pounds.” In any case, according to Answers.com, the lightest Rhodes Piano produced in those models was the Mark V, weighing in at 45 kg (100 lbs). The Mark V was not produced until 1984, a decade later. []
  11. A tour rig typically included a road case for the keyboard, an effects pedals (delay, tremolo, phaser), Quiklok stand, Rhodes sustain pedal and rod, and the road case for holding effects, stand, sustain pedal and cords []
  12. These job descriptions were provided by Anjani’s father, who responded to my query relayed to him via Anjani. I appreciate his help. []
  13. From Anjani’s Web Site []
  14. From Anjani Thomas – Stirring The Heart by Jamie O’Brien, PopMatters. April 15, 2003 []
  15. From Anjani’s Web Site – News []
  16. From The Long Way Home By Gary C.W. Chun. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. June 30, 2006 []
  17. From The Long Way Home By Gary C.W. Chun. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. June 30, 2006 []

The Anjani Chronicles – Introduction

Prologue To The Preface To The Foreword Of The Introduction Of The …

The title, “The Anjani Chronicles,” and the recurrent invocation of Anjani’s name throughout this post notwithstanding, the specific entry before you has less to do with Anjani Thomas than with writing about Anjani Thomas.1

One of the perks of blogging is learning, in the process of writing and publishing posts, a new skill, discovering a new fragment of information, and, if one is very lucky, reaching a new understanding about how the world works.

Another perk of blogging is wielding absolute authority in the decision to share said skill, information fragment, or understanding with readers.2

And, in fact, a more accurate if less alluring heading for today’s post would be “How I came to interview Anjani and what I consequently learned about the journalism of interviews along with an ambiguous promise that the material from those interviews will actually be published someday soon.”

Consider yourselves warned.

Interviews With Anjani That Will Make You Want To Kiss – Well, Anjani, Of Course

I suspect that The New Yorker, to name a publication renowned for publishing extensive profiles of important individuals, has never in its 82 year history felt it incumbent to preface a biographical sketch or interview with a notification of this sort:

The Anjani Chronicles are composed from real data garnered in real interviews with the real Anjani.

Really.

The Anjani Chronicles are not another in the series of satirical pieces, fictional conversations, extended jokes, fake news stories, or other snark-infested exemplars that populate much of the Heck of a Guy Blog.

The Anjani Chronicles are, instead, character sketches and biographical illuminations that, one hopes, provide insight into Anjani Thomas.

Again, the Anjani Chronicles are the results of real interviews.

This is not a drill.

To be fair, I also suspect that no New Yorker interview has opened, as did my interviews with Anjani, with “So, what are you wearing?”3

As the astute reader will have inferred, the Anjani Chronicles do not precisely follow the standard template for Biographic Articles About Musical Artists, Jazz Singers, Female.

The Making Of The Anjani Chronicles

Anjani is a singer and keyboardist best known for her Blue Alert CD, which features elegantly performed songs suffused with evocative lyrics, and her professional and romantic relationships with Leonard Cohen, an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right.

My own connection to Anjani began in late July 2006 when I was captivated on first hearing the tracks from Blue Alert and immediately posted a review on my Heck of a Guy blog that reflected my fascination with the music, Music Recommendation That Will Make You Want To Kiss Me.

What happened next is described in this excerpt from Anjani And DrHGuy FAQ:

For a brief shining moment,4 Anjani Thomas, she of the dulcet tones, exotically lovely visage, and long-term relationship with Leonard Cohen, and DrHGuy, he of the facile wordplay, Ozarks-bred charm, and infamously jejune sexual fantasies, carried on an outrageously outré, energetically eroticized flirtation in the Heck Of A Guy blog open to anyone who cared to read the exchanges.

To obviate responding individually to the continued emails from viewers curious about the relationship,5 I’ve consolidated the pertinent blogobits. I wrote the posts; Anjani’s remarks are in the Comments sections.

Otherwise, there isn’t much to explain. I was wild for Anjani’s CD, Blue Alert, and wrote a heartfelt, adoring review – that also included allusions (also heartfelt and adoring as all get-out, if arguably tinged with a tad of smart-aleckedness) to my simultaneously bedding Anjani and two other female vocalists, the nature of the connection between “Lenny & Anji,” and the similarity between my serendipitous discovery of the Blue Alert album to the blind date that led to the catastrophe known as my first marriage.

Anjani graciously responded with an unsolicited comment that sweetly acknowledged my endorsement of Blue Alert without admonishing me for the less respectful portions of the post.

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, I posted a rejoinder to her comment, much of which was an elaboration of the theme that, well, “upon reading my post, Anjani was instantly infatuated with me.”

I also claimed that [ahem] “She was also totally turned on by the notion of the foursome and wondered how I would feel about mixing and matching with Tina Turner and Joan Jett.”

She responded to that post as well, giving as good as she got.

The rest is, as they say, history.

Since then, I’ve published a batch of blog entries about Anjani and the Blue Alert album6 and enjoyed a sporadic email correspondence with her that is as predictably exhilarating and bedazzling as one might expect from this type of asymmetric communication between a fan and the object of the fan’s adoration.

But don’t get me wrong, I’m probably as gratified by the connection as she is.

Two months ago, a flurry of email between us was occasioned by my plan to bulk up the somewhat perfunctory entry on Anjani in Wikipedia, which then did not even show her likeness. After Anjani sent photos and signed the waiver to allow their use by Wikipedia, I nudged them through the Byzantine system of safeguards that insures that graphics on that site are not in violation of copyright. In the course of checking the accuracy of references and content for the anticipated changes in the Wikipedia text entry with Anjani, I pointed out that Wikipedia’s “No original research” policy7 precluded verbatim use of information I garnered directly from her in Wikipedia unless it could be supported by other references. “Even if I were to do an extended interview with [her],” I wrote,” I wouldn’t be able to use it in a Wikipedia entry.”

It was a short step from that exchange to the deferral of the Wikipedia project in favor of completing an interview with Anjani for the Heck of a Guy blog.

Two long telephone conversations and several clarifying emails between Anjani and me followed. The completion of the interviews and the publication of this material was delayed by logistics (e.g., time zone conflicts and parental visitations, in Hawaii for Anjani and the Ozarks for me, over Thanksgiving), other obligations that competed for my time, and my pondering and fretting about how one goes about this business of writing a competent interview.

The Publishing Format

The material from my interviews and email with Anjani could have been forged into a single post, but both writing and reading it would have been massive tasks, its length dwarfing that of the longest reader-daunting New Yorker Profile – and many novellas.

And, the publication date would have been shortly after New Years Day – but not New Years Day 2008.

Instead, I’m publishing the interviews as The Anjani Chronicles, a series of posts focused on one theme, time period, or episode.

The Perspective Taken By The Anjani Chronicles


Sometime after my interviews with Anjani, I read a number of articles and a book or two on the journalistic aspects of writing biographical material that would have been helpful – had I read them prior to those interviews. One of the most thoughtful and insightful was “The New Yorker Profile: People and Place,” by Larissa MacFarquhar,8 which is the source of the following excerpts.

What editors all really want, if your writing about a movie star for a magazine like Premier, is to know about a movie star’s sex-life. I hate asking about it. The movie star knows the question is coming: “How did you lose your virginity?”. And if you can imagine asking a total stranger this question when you are pretending to be a professional adult, nothing is more humiliating. So thank God I now work for the New Yorker.

Well, for what it’s worth, I didn’t ask Anjani when she lost her virginity so those of you hoping to find that information will have to wait until Premiere does its own interview.

I did ask her about pet names she and Leonard Cohen have for each other, but I suppose that’s not the same thing.

The first thing is that it [writing a Profile] is a kind of love affair. At least for me. Even before I meet my subjects, I immerse myself completely in their work. If they are writers I read everything they’ve written. If they make movies, I will see all their movies. I will try to learn as much as I can about them. I’ll read everything that’s been written about them. Little by little I become genuinely obsessed with them. I will be thinking about them all the time.

Yep. That sounds about right.

_____________________

In many ways, when you interview [the subjects of the Profiles], it feels like a date in a very strange and sometimes creepy way. Often you’ll be talking to them over a meal, and often — at least, with The New Yorker, though a lot of other publications who don’t have the luxury of this — I have the luxury of spending a lot of time with someone. I will sometimes spend five or six days non-stop in their company. That’s a lot of time; you almost never do that with anybody.

I can think of no better use of a New Yorker expense account than funding five or six days non-stop with Anjani. The Heck of a Guy Blog budget, however, is such that Anjani insisted on paying for the second phone call.

_____________________

Most importantly, you are asking them the type of questions that are only socially acceptable to ask on a date or in an interview. You are asking them to really evaluate their life in a sense. You are asking them what horrendous mistakes they’ve made, what they regret, how they feel about their families, what their beliefs are, what they were like when they were young and how they’ve changed since then. Do they feel that they’ve abandoned their younger self? You are asking them really to examine themselves in a way that people don’t usually do when they are with each other. All of which makes for a very intense interaction. Meanwhile, I will be just hanging on their every word, riveted by everything they say — because somehow for that time that I am writing about them, I just find them utterly fascinating.

Anjani specified that no areas of her life were off limits.9 While she may well have felt there was limited risk that I would go Janet Malcolm on her, writing a devastating article that dissected her life to reveal that she is, say, emotionally frigid, an abuser of illicit substances, amoral, and sexually perverse,10 there were, interspersed throughout the interviews, uncomfortable moments of self-examination such as those MacFarquhar describes, and responses that, I believe, indicate traits and behavioral patterns that explain, in part, how Anjani became the person she is today.

_____________________

Also, I don’t talk about myself, which is partly to remind them that this is not a friendly conversation. I am not their friend. In that sense because it keeps them aware of what is going on. In another way, it also gives me an advantage, I’ve discovered. The less I talk about myself, the more mysterious I become. It becomes more like therapy. Because they don’t know anything about me, and because I’m making them talk about themselves, it’s as though I’m a sort of blankness they have to fill. There’s a term called transference, they start to project all kinds of emotions and authority on me which would not be there normally if I would be more forthcoming. So I am aware that while the part of not talking about myself to make it clear that this is not a friendly conversation, it also does give me an emotional advantage as well.

Oops. I heartily agree with MacFarquhar’s premise, that the best interviews are those in which the interviewer disappears from the article. I tend, in fact, toward apoplectic reactions to journalists who use their proximity to the famously talented for self-aggrandizement.

But, beyond those occasional email exchanges between Anjani and me, this blog proffers more than enough information about me, including my scribblings about Anjani, to disqualify me as a blank screen of the sort MacFarquhar outlines.

Since the optimal interviewer role is not possible in this situation, my contention is that the next best option is making the relationship clear to the audience up front and using the access afforded by our limited familiarity to explore beyond the usual interviewer’s queries (e.g., “Who were your musical influences?”) and draw conclusions beyond those found in the final paragraph of the usual articles (“Anjani sings real good.”).

_____________________

… when I sit down to write about a person, I am very aware that I failed to capture this person completely — because they are a complex human being and I’ve spent only a few days with them. What on earth can I possibly know? And I find myself jealous of the position of the fiction writer who knows everything about the character — or at least everything he needs to know.

These may be my favorite lines from the essay. I find it heartening as well as endearing to think of a writer saying to herself, “What on earth can I possibly know [about the interviewee]?” and then writing a moving, discerning, acutely perspicacious Profile about that interviewee.

That is certainly the way I’ve approached the upcoming posts about Anjani.

The Anjani Chronicles Graphic

The graphic atop this post is based on “Lady With Organ,” a much reproduced tapestry from the late 15th century featuring a Mille Fleurs background. The original is now displayed at the Andgers Castle. I’ve reordered the elements and, of course, added the legend, “The Anjani Chronicles.” The figures and the portable organ, however, are unchanged from the original design. Note the smaller figure behind the organ pumping the bellows.

Next Anjani Chronicles Post: The Anjani Chronicles – Growing Up Anjani

All published Anjani Chronicles posts can be found by clicking on Anjani Chronicles in the links listed under “Categories.” Also, links to all currently published posts from The Anjani Chronicles can be found at The Anjani Chronicles – Posts Published


  1. I should first inform those readers asking themselves “Who the heck is Anjani?” that Anjani is an outstanding jazz vocalist, whose best known work is the “Blue Alert” album, which I reviewed in Music Recommendation That Will Make You Want To Kiss Me. This post is about my interviews with Anjani.

    I should also inform those readers searching for the Anjani who performs traditional Indian dance or the Anjani who makes Bollywood movies, those attempting to make reservations at the Anjani Hotel, those hoping to land a job with Anjani Etech Solutions, Inc., and those looking for any Anjani other than the dulcet voiced, sexy, and enchanting singer and keyboardist, Anjani Thomas that This is not the the destination you intended – which is not necessarily the same as “the wrong place.” You can re-Google to navigate to your Anjani of choice but you may find it a pleasant and gratifying experience to take advantage of the serendipity that brought you here and spend some time with this Anjani. []

  2. Regrettably, a blogger’s absolute authority to proffer such content does not extend to coercing viewers to read that content or, even if they read it, buying into the blogger’s premise. []
  3. On the other hand, “The Genome Warrior,” a New Yorker Profile published June 5, 2000 about J. Craig Venter, the biologist who was instrumental in mapping the human genome, did open with this quote from an unnamed scientist: “Craig Venter is an asshole.” []
  4. In non-metaphorical terms: August 5-17, 2006 []
  5. These queries typically take the form of Anjani? You? Huh? I don’t get it. Why you? or Who really wrote that? []
  6. All posts dealing with Anjani can be found at Anjani Thomas []
  7. Wikipedia: No original research fully explicates the concept of “No original research” which is summarized thusly:

      * Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought, nor a forum for promoting one’s own point of view; all material must be verifiable
      * Facts must be backed by citations to reliable sources that contain these facts
      * Interpretations and syntheses must be attributed to reliable sources that make these interpretations and syntheses

    []

  8. “The New Yorker Profile: People and Place” is a transcript of the presentation given by New Yorker staff writer Larissa MacFarquhar at Northwestern University’s “Literature of Fact” Lecture Series on November 17, 2003 []
  9. Anjani did request, without insisting, that I not include two of her responses: her one line critique of another performer, which was, at worst, unenthusiastic, and (2) the specific nature of one of her projects, lest someone else appropriate her idea. []
  10. There was, on the other hand, the all too real risk that I could go Hunter Thompson on her, describing her as, say, emotionally frigid, an abuser of illicit substances, amoral, and sexually perverse – which, in a gonzo journalistic context, could be considered high praise. []

Yet Another Cohen – Anjani Duet You Have (Probably) Never Heard

A Different Duet




The Location: Barcelona

The Date: January 13, 2007

The Concert: Acords Amb Leonard Cohen

The Song: Take This Waltz

The Language: Spanish

The Cohen: Adam


The Barcelona Concert, January 13, 2007

Almost a year ago, at Acords Ambs Leonard Cohen, a tribute concert to Leonard Cohen featuring Spanish and international artists, Anjani sang Half A Perfect World and Thanks For The Dance from her Blue Alert CD and Adam Cohen, Leonard Cohen’s son, performed Bird On The Wire.

But the highlight of the night may well have been Anjani and Adam Cohen joining voices in a duet1 of Take This Waltz (in Spanish).

The video of the duet recently made it to YouTube, and it is something special.

The potential downside inherent in a conjoint appearance on stage of Leonard Cohen’s son and Leonard Cohen’s paramour at a concert honoring Leonard Cohen is that the performance itself can become lost in the preoccupation with the concept that this is a performance by Leonard Cohen’s son and Leonard Cohen’s paramour to honor Leonard Cohen.

This risk is especially acute for Leonard Cohen fans, but the situation is even more complex and conflicted for those of us who are simultaneously Cohenthusiasts and and Anjani admirers.2

If one can, however, deal with those distractions sufficiently to focus on the performance itself, the rewards are gratifying. While the performance (or, at least, the YouTube version of the performance) seems, to my ears, uneven with a few ragged portions, there are moments that are nothing short of captivating and, indeed, there are instances in which – and this is a line I never anticipated writing – their voices fit together more musically than those of Anjani and Leonard in their duets.

I hasten to add that “fit together more musically” is not synonymous with “produce a better song.” I remain steadfast in my allegiance to Leonard Cohen; if, for example, I’m ever in one of those hypothetical situations in which I can save either Leonard or Adam but not both from death, well, Adam, you’re on your own. I’m just saying that I expected to be recommending the duet by Adam and Anjani as a “respectful and respectable tribute to Leonard Cohen,” but after watching the video, the results are far more impressive.

Adam Cohen & Anjani – Take This Waltz (Spanish)

The Concert’s Core Players

Left to right: Adam Cohen, Alberto Manzano (Concert Artistic Director), Anjani - Photo by Conxieta Molist

Bonus Adam Cohen Videos

Adam Cohen shares many aspects of his father’s appearance but little of his singing or songwriting style. Consequently, Adam’s rendition of Take This Waltz is not altogether characteristic of his repertoire. For a sense of Adam’s more typical work, I recommend the videos of Cry Ophelia, from his 1998 CD, “Adam Cohen” (the track is also found on the “Dawson’s Creek Soundtrack” CD) and Tell Me Everything, also from the “Adam Cohen” CD.

Those videos, which unfortunately cannot be presented on an embedded player, can be found on YouTube at
~ Adam Cohen – Cry Ophelia ~

~ Adam Cohen – Tell Me Everything ~

Coming Attractions: There will be more about Adam Cohen in future Heck of a Guy posts.

  1. The term, “duet,” may be misleading. I’m unsure of the musicological connotations of “duet” but while this song features two performers, Adam Cohen’s role is clearly primary. He sings more of the song and sings many of the most expressive portions alone. On the other hand, the portions they sing together, as noted later in this post, are those that most capture my interest. []
  2. My efforts to construct a neologism for “fans of Anjani” remain unrequited. In this case, lured by the vaguely similar terminal structures, I tried to parallel “Cohenthusiasts,” with “Anjanists,” but on re-reading the complete sentence, the images “Anjanists” conjured up were (1) the condition or state of being without Janists and (2) a secretive Roman Catholic order dedicated to the proselytism of natives indigenous to the Ozarks and zealous enforcement of healthcare compliance, neither of which was quite what I was going for. []

If You Want I'll Wear A Leonard Cohen Mask For You

The Leonard Cohen – Phil Spector Masked Ball

If you want a lover
I’ll do anything you ask me to
And if you want another kind of love
I’ll wear a mask for you

From Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man”

The Horror Story

By this time, it seems, as the astute Mr. Cohen himself sings, “everybody knows” about the chaos and weirdness that marked the production of The Death of a Ladies’ Man, the album on which he and Phil “Wall of Sound” Spector collaborated. Those who somehow haven’t heard the story (and those who are just into nostalgia and gunplay) may wish to read the account of the grand finale provided in Item #8 of my post, Ten Items About Leonard Cohen:1

The Evocation

What better time than Halloween to commemorate such an event?

And what better way to celebrate it than with genuine, way cool, certified, high quality Heck of a Guy Halloween masks of Phil Spector and Leonard Cohen?

And, if you order now, I will throw in – at no extra charge – the Anjani mask as a one time bonus. (Scroll down to see masks)




Printing Instructions:

To print a full size mask on a sheet of US Letter size (8.5in x11in) paper,

  1. Click on the thumbnail of the mask you wish to print
  2. From your browser window, click “File-Print Preview”
  3. Adjust the printing settings to prevent printing of headers and footers
  4. Depending on the browser, turn on “Print Wide Pages” or set the print size at 125%
  5. Click “Print”

Enjoy your trick or treating

end3
Credit Due Department:
The graphic of the Phil Spector mask is from Forbes.

  1. Those jaded to the re-telling of this tale and those with an appreciation of the macabre may prefer the following version, which was Item #10 of my post, 10 Fake Items About Leonard Cohen:

    New evidence has come to light that contradicts Cohen’s description of the Phil-Spector-With-A-Gun episode. The following account is representative of the several similar renditions previously published:

    Cohen would later recall how on one occasion in the studio Spector approached him with a bottle of Manischewitz (Jewish ceremonial wine) in one hand and a pistol in the other, placed his arm around Cohen’s shoulder, shoved the gun in his neck and said: ”Leonard, I love you.” Cohen, with admirable aplomb, moved the barrel away, saying: ”I hope you do, Phil.”

    A sound technician who reports being present during the confrontation and claims to have been paid to remain silent has now come forth with his story, apparently because of the publicity generated by Spector’s murder trial. In this version of the incident, Spector, frustrated with the lack of progress being made on the album, had fired several shots at windows and furniture and then approached Cohen with a gun pointed toward the singer. Cohen, rather than retreating, took a step forward, executed a devastating flying knee strike, dropping Spector, now barely conscious, to the ground and disarming him. Cohen then, according to the alleged witness, “picked Spector up like a rag doll, applied a chokehold, and, just before Spector passed out, quietly said, ‘Phil, you don’t point guns at people you love. If you ever do anything like that again, I’m going to seriously fuck you up.’” Careful questioning of the witness, however, reveals that Cohen, indulging his predilection for speaking in Mock Swedish, actually said, “Pheel, yuoo dun’t pueent goons et peuple-a yuoo lufe-a. Iff yuoo ifer du unytheeng leeke-a thet egeeen, I’m gueeng tu sereeuoosly foock yuoo up.” This linguistic idiosyncrasy may explain the confusion in the previous accounts of the incident.) After Spector regained consciousness, the official story was concocted and the witness paid off to maintain everyone’s public image

    . []