Oana Maria Cajal, whose evocative, Leonard Cohen-themed videos have been cherished features at 1HeckOfAGuy.com & DrHGuy.com (see list of previous posts below), provides this description of herself:
I am a poet, a playwright, a painter. I believe the poetry created the world. My hobby: Survival! My message is urgent: In the Spotlight of Death, Life shines in its brightest colors. Celebrate! This very second! Right Now!
While her previous videos, reflecting that urgency, have been fast-paced, almost hectic, today’s offering is less dramatically driven but equally intense and compelling.
Leonard Cohen In The Magic Garden Of Hat Productions
Autumn was never more beautiful to our souls, tired of death.
For Balcica and Teo, Oct. 14, Saint-Sauveur.
“It has to be sung right or it’s no good”
When I read the above clipping of a review of the March 19, 1972 Leonard Cohen Glasgow concert by Drew McMahon (Journal and exact date unknown), I was taken with the report that Leonard Cohen re-started a song twice because “It has to be sung right or it’s no good.”
Forty years later, I was in the audience at the March 30, 2013 Louisville show to witness the same phenomenon as Leonard Cohen began and stopped “Closing Time,” twice before getting it right on the third try.
So, how many artists are willing to suffer the potential embarrassment of re-starting a song during a concert – not once but twice – rather than bluff their way through a subpar performance? That choice is especially striking given that at least the Louisville audience had already determined that the Canadian singer-songwriter could do no wrong. We would have applauded Leonard Cohen singing gibberish in any of those five chords he claimed knowing.1
It is even more heartening to note that the high standard of quality to which Leonard Cohen has held himself has persisted over his entire career.2
Video: The 2013 Louisville Re-start
Happily, Henry Tengelsen was also on hand at the Louisville Palace to capture the event on video.
Leonard Cohen – Closing time + Famous Blue Raincoat Louisville: March 30, 2013
“Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m a great musicologist, but I’m a lot better than what I was described as for a long, long time; you know, people said I only knew three chords when I knew five.” [↩]
There are more dramatic demonstrations of Leonard Cohen’s dedication to “deliver the gift” (Have You Heard The One About Lenny In The Sandwich Bar? by Andrew Tyler. Disc: September 2, 1972) to concert-goers. He has, for example, walked off stage before completing a performance at least twice – at his first singing gig with Judy Collins and at the final 1972 Jerusalem show – but it is difficult to tease out the combination of possible motivating factors in these cases. On the other hand, his craftsmanlike willingness to re-start a song twice, while less spectacular, is clear evidence of his commitment to his music and his audience. [↩]
Careful listening to the outro of “Memories,” released as a track on the 1977 Leonard Cohen-Phil Spector collaboration, Death of a Ladies’ Man, reveals Cohen singing1
You cheated, you lied,
You said that you love me.
This YouTube recording of the album version of Memories starts just before those lyrics begin.
Those lines from “Memories” are significant because they are taken from the lyrics of the 1958 single, “You Cheated” by the Shields, a musical allusion2 the implications of which have been discussed. Three examples follow:
The heightened atmosphere also inspired one of Cohen’s finest vocal performances, as he abandons all restraint to scream, moan and plead his case over the outro [of Memories], the song fading away to the strains of You Cheated, You Lied by The Shields – a nod to one of the song’s musical inspirations.
“You cheated, you lied; you cheated, you lied,” sings Leonard Cohen, almost inaudibly, over the long fade of “Memories,” a characteristically ambivalent track from his shambolic 1973 album Death of a Ladies Man. These lines, lifted from a canonical doo-wop hit, are ostensibly directed at a high school flame, two-and-a-half decades after the fact, for failing to be true. The wounds over the furtive, frustrating efforts to achieve some sort of sublime contact at a high school dance remain fresh for the man in his 40s singing the song. But he might just as well be singing about old songs themselves, the ones that promised more than he ended up getting. His jaded disappointment can’t fully conceal how stunned he continues to be that the yearning so palpable in love songs never quite translated into a lasting unity, that listening to those songs yields only a fleeting connection that’s already dissolving into a dubious memory before the record ends.
Take the album’s best-known track, “Memories”: It’s a grand doo-wop anthem, and it ends with a snippet from The Shields’ 1958 hit “You Cheated, You Lied,” which it closely resembles. Hearing the newer song melt into the older one delivers a brutal jolt of emotion. Here is doo-wop, two decades later, its promises all soured. It is sung now not by the sweet-voiced youths that Spector was so good at finding and cultivating (and sometimes destroying) but by a raspy-sounding middle-aged man. The Shields’ song conveyed the genteel sadness of broken-hearted teenagers who grieved for an affair gone bad but who sensed, however unconsciously, that they had their entire lives ahead of them to fall in love all over again. Working with more or less the same tune, Cohen sounded desperate as he sang about walking up to the tallest and the blondest girl and asking to see her naked body. He cast himself as the same doo-wop crooner, 20 years older, realizing that heartbreak wasn’t a sweet and passing sorrow but a permanent state of being, now seeking not romance but meaningless sex. The melody is louder and more frayed, almost hysterical.
Hear The Original (Kind Of) “You Cheated”
You Cheated, You Lied by The Shields
The Original Original “You Cheated”
Less has been made of the fact that the Shields did not release the original version of “You Cheated.” Rather, the song was first performed by The Slades.4
Hello, Two groups The Slades and The Shields had big hits with a classic hit from 1958. The Slades were a doo-wop trio from Austin, Texas, members included Don Burch-lead, Bobby Doyle, Tommy Kaspar and John Goeke. Jimmy Davis was added to their second recording, which was there only Billboard Top 100 hit. On August 4, 1958 The Slades hit of “YOU CHEATED” on Domino Records entered the pop chart. The Slades version of the song is the original version. “You Cheated” climbed the Top 100 and reached #42 just missing the Top 40, it remained on the chart for 12 weeks. The “B” side of their hit was a tune entitled “THE WADDLE”, it did not chart. The Slades would not have another charted hit record as many follow-up recordings sold as well as their hit. Domino Records was a small label that didn’t have the distribution of the larger labels, making it hard to get their records to DJ’s for radio rotation and to record shops for retail sales.
The Shields were an R&B group formed by Los Angeles producer George Motola to cover The Slades original version of “You Cheated”. Members were Frankie Ervin-lead, the great Jesse Belvin, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Mel Williams and Buster Williams. Ervin sang lead for Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers from 1953-1955. Jesse Belvin had hit records with “GOODNIGHT MY LOVE” which he co-wrote, in 1956, “GUESS WHO” in 1957. He is a co-writer of The Penguins classic, “EARTH ANGEL”. On August 25, 1958 The Shields version of “You Cheated” made it Billboard Top 100 debut, just three weeks after The Slades version. The Shields cover was released on Dot Records, so there was no problem with distribution. Their version climbed the Top 100 to #12 and remained on the chart for 16 weeks. On September 1, 1958, a week after charting on the Top 100, The Shields debuted on the Billboard R&B chart. The record climbed to #11 and remained on the chart for two months.
The Shields would not chart any other hit records.
The Slades – You Cheated
While most articles mention only Cohen singing these words, at least one listener reports Bob Dylan singing along: “Bob Dylan chimes in at the end of Leonard Cohen’s Memories, first harmonizing and then singing a few bars of ‘you cheated, you lied.’ he’s mixed down pretty low, too.” [↩]
The outro also includes a reference to singer Frankie Laine, but that’s another post. [↩]
This brings up the query, “Was ‘You cheated, you lied, …” Leonard Cohen’s shout-out directed to The Shields or The Slades? All the references I found designate the Shields but none offer any evidence other than the lyrics and tune themselves, which are all but identical on both 1958 records. There may be an interview in which Mr Spector or Mr Cohen specifies one group or the other, but I haven’t come across it. [↩]
Leonard Cohen: Oakland March 2, 2013 (Photo by Art Siegel)
Best Of 2013 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist
As ongoing readers know, this list comprises the best available video of each of the 42 songs performed in concert during the 2013 Leonard Cohen Old Ideas World Tour. As noted previously, this is a dynamic list; today’s selections may give way to superior versions tomorrow.
The current Tour hiatus has provided an opportunity to review and reassess the Best Of 2013 Leonard Cohen Tour Video Setlist. While the process is not yet completed, significant changes have already been made as recent and previously overlooked recordings are discovered.
In the past three days alone, at least five
new recordings have been introduced to the list.
Now, it turns out Leonard was packing heat on at least one stay at the Chelsea.
The following excerpt is from Leonard Cohen Is A Poet Who Is Trying To Be Free by Marci McDonald (Toronto Daily Star: April 26, 1969):
Note: While the graphic atop this post is a .22 pistol, it is only illustrative and is not intended to represent the specific pistol to which the article alludes. Pistols of this caliber are available as revolvers and as semi-automatic or automatic handguns and are produced by many manufacturers in many formats.
Credit Due Department: The Toronto Daily Sun article was found at the incomprehensibly comprehensive Speaking Cohen site.
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
The Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet of Silent Night with Raffi Hakopian on violin was performed and recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert. Hear the song with a complementary video montage 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