Lovely Leonard Cohen

We are waking to the sad news today that lovely Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.

As he will always have a great many fans here, David and Polly included, I hope you won’t mind me taking a moment and a little more white space to give thanks for that gravelly baritone, his humour and his wisdom.

How very privileged I feel to have seen him perform. There was so much love and affection emanating from the audience that evening, and every evening, and so warmly was it received by the shy gentleman on stage; it was something very special indeed. As Hardeep Phull writes today in the New York Post, ‘he offered up a show that ripped out hearts, left grown men and women crying, and, even in the biggest arenas, made it feel as if he were whispering in your ear.’ To say it was one of the most beautiful and spiritually uplifting moments I’ve ever experienced would not be a silly exaggeration made for the sake of memorialising someone who has just died in this fickle age of social media. It was truly magnificent, as I know many of you reading this will agree because many times we have fondly reminisced together.

Here’s a New Yorker piece discussed in the chatroom recently, by David Remnick, which you might appreciate today as you listen to that gift of a golden voice. Warning: it will reduce you to tears.

And if you don’t know, his fourteenth studio album – You Want It Darker – was released last month and is certainly worthy of your time, precious as that is as death reminds us.

Rest in peace, lovely Leonard.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

106 thoughts on “Lovely Leonard Cohen”

  1. Just learned of Leonard Cohen’s passing.

    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.”

    Peace, love and healing to all of you.

  2. First We Take Manhattan by the great late Leonard Cohen:

    Ah remember me, I used to live for music (baby)
    Remember me, I brought your groceries in (ooh, baby, yeah)
    Well, it’s Father’s Day and everybody’s wounded (baby)
    First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

    Tough week. Trump wins and Leonard dies.

  3. The only one song I can think of today is “The Future” from one of the best I know.

    R.I.P. Leonard, and thank you.

  4. In this year of losses, so many sad losses…..it starts with in my opinion; the devastating loss of the mercurial David Bowie! Today we hear of another giant loss.This line from the great man may never have come at a more appropriate moment in time…..!

    “This world is full of conflicts and things that cannot be reconciled but there are moments,” he said, “when we can embrace the whole mess.”

    RIP….Leonard Cohen

    Shine on……
    John

    1. Well said JC, nice to hear from you sir. I know that lately things haven’t been too good for you, health and emotional wise.

      Can we all please either say prayer if that way inclined or spare a thought for JC and wish him all the best and hope he returns to rude health soon.

      I was not a huge aficionado of Leonard; excuse me if I don’t quote any lyrics, though liked his work. However IMHO he was more deserving than Bob for the Nobel Literature Prize. Leonard was a poet who put music to his words whereas Bob is a fantastic lyricist, again not an aficionado but, possibly the best in my lifetime.

      Please keep Neil, Stephen, David and Graham going a bit longer, not forgetting Roy and messers Lees and Holroyd (all former label mates of Mr G et al) and Mr Hackett and please keep Ozzy, Geezer and Tony going ’till end of next year’s shows. Finally we need the three remaining guys of a former psychadelic underground band whose name is taken from two jazz musicians’ forenames to remain with us.

      Finally a request to the Floyd people: an Animals extended edition with at least the extended POTWs à la cartridge edition and hopefully a live set maybe Dortmund radio show or London, with added card Battersea Power Station flat pack and miniature Algie. Also a later years set à la the superb awesome Early Years that arrived yesterday. There are box sets, then there’s this set!!!

      Carl

  5. It’s not only the loss of a great poet, and singer, and a really free man. What is really hurting me deeply, is the loss of the Beauty around us…

    Who can replace (pass the term) the great people that passed away this year?

    F**k you 2016.

  6. Such sad news FEd.

    I remember you posting about Leonard many times throughout the blog history, and in fact it was one of your posts that drew me to one of my now favourite lyrics of all time… “There’s a crack in everything… That’s how the light gets in.” I think it may have been a post about favourite lyrics, or similar…

    Beautiful. I too have been privileged (no other word for it) to be in the crowd at one of his shows. It was a performance and an atmosphere that will never be repeated. My dad and I became great fans after his resurgence in 2008, and have great memories of both the shows and discovering his back catalogue.

    Didn’t David provide a quote for inside the “Live in London” album? I’m sure it’s in there somewhere…

    As sad as I am, I can only imagine the self deprecating comments Leonard would make about his own death, which does make me smile a little.

    Like the others this year, we are left with the memories and the music. It’s tough, but as someone said earlier this year… Think how lucky you were to live at the same time as these artists. These weren’t just historical figures that you read about in books. These were artists who continued to create, and to influence the world right up until the end. And what a fitting end that is for an artist like Leonard, to have that opportunity.

    I think You Want It Darker may be a tough listen today… Maybe I’ll listen to one of his lighter songs. 🙂

  7. Yes, let’s forget Trump for a while, let’s remember and pay tribute to much more interesting, important people today:

    – November 11, Remembrance Day

    – The victims (and their families) of the Paris terrorist attacks on November 13th, just one year ago.

    – And of course Leonard Cohen who wrote such a moving and (today) appropriate song: ‘The Partisan’.

    Love you, Leonard. Thank you.

  8. I`m so sad!!!

    We were lucky to see him 2 times. These concerts were so amazing. I love his music and his songs will remain forever in my heart.

    RIP
    Ina

  9. My old girlfriend loved him, and his music was a early part of my teen years in the early 70s.

    RIP Mr Cohen.

    Gary Hurley.
    London England

  10. Beautifully said.

    I was lucky enough to see him a couple of times in 2008. Especially loved the Glasgow concert as it was in the Clyde Auditorium and the sound was perfect. Obama had just won the presidential election and the crowd cheered very loudly when he sang ‘Democracy’, much to his amusement.

    “You Want It Darker’ is stunning, heartbreaking and comforting at the same time.

  11. What can I say? We all get older and have to face the fact that our heroes are leaving us one after the other… How lucky we are to have at least some movies, records or books to remember them.

  12. Hallelujah. A song that springs to mind, and if I’m honest I know little more about this man, but anyone who could write a song like Hallelujah must have been special.

    Damian

  13. I work with homeless people and often when I reinforce how beautiful they are and that they have a choice beside pain and addiction, they say “don’t worry Kim, I just have to reach my bottom first”. I take Leonard’s words to mean, is it dark enough? How low is low enough? When will people “hineni” twist and turn to rise to their best possible self?

    Enjoy the light Leonard you deserve your peace.

  14. Mr. Cohen gave the world a beautiful parting gift. Even as he struggled with pain he created beauty.

    His pain is over. May he be at peace.

    May we all take special care of ourselves and one another,
    Suzy

    1. I’ve always been of the view that David comes out of retirement to do live shows, record albums, etc.

      1. Hi FEd,

        Based on the article I read, Tim’s question would seem very relevant, and true, as David confirmed that at 70, he’s announced his retirement and very happy to do so! None of us can carry on forever, so I’d like to thank him for the magic he’s sprinkled over the years; especially over the past 12 months and wish him an enjoyable and healthy retirement!

        I’m sure he’ll be very busy with his family, although hopefully at some point next year; he’ll feel the need to perform live again????? We can but live in hope!

        Shine on…..
        John 🙂

  15. My wife and I heard the news on Thursday of Leonard’s passing and were deeply saddened.

    We had never attended any of his concerts.

    True Story: One day in the early 80s, I happened to be at Bay and Wellesley St. in downtown Toronto at the Sutton Place Hotel after a gym/sauna session deal that I received. As I left to go home I saw a familiar face and without being rude 30 feet or so away, I exchanged a cursory glance and nod to this gentleman with no words spoken, it was was just as good as a hello or handshake. I will never forget that moment.

    RIP Mr. Cohen, we will miss that Baritone voice.

    TY FEd!

    1. Well I for one wish him a very happy retirement. And I wouldn’t blame him whatsoever. I’m getting too old for just going to a concert, LOL. But I very much doubt this means he will stop creating new material. They say writing music is very addictive.

      So if it’s true, you rest easy David, don’t have too many 99’s on that promenade and above all I hope you’re proud of what you have given your fans around the world as we are proud of you.

      Damian

    2. Now, does the Daily Mail have any credibility? Isn’t it just a sensationalist tabloid de merde?

  16. Friday’s news broke me into a thousand pieces. I couldn’t really do much at work. By the time I got home, I knew I had to sing, so I recorded and posted my take on “In My Secret Life”, the first song of his I ever heard 15 years ago. I was lucky to have seen him live 3 times. It was always a treat.

    I’m Christian Orthodox by baptism, parishioner in the Church of Cohen by choice and between the two I’m happy to report I spent much more time in life spreading the mission of the latter. May his soul rest in peace…

  17. BBC Radio 6 – Kate Bush is giving an interview talking about new material and her last concerts, Sunday 13.00pm.

    Damian

      1. It’s so good to know there are still fabulous artists out there still creating magic for us humble peeps. I still remember vividly Wuthering Heights playing on the radio back when I was working on Blackpool Pleasure Beach as a school skiving 13 year old. Fabulous memories.

        Also BBC2 Radio 2 folk hour played Leonard Cohen, and wow, yes, I can feel the loss for his fans, sounds so much like Bob Dylan.

        Kind regards
        Damian

  18. It’s really a sad year for we have lost so many this year. My best friend passed away a few weeks ago and then people we have loved in music like Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell and David Bowie. But they will all be remembered either by song or poetry.

    Take Care, Thomas.

  19. Hello Fed and Blog Friends 🙂

    After eight weeks, my relative finally came home from hospital on Thursday. It was a very anxious time for us all, the crash team were called to him three times. Thank goodness it’s over. Thank goodness for our wonderful National Health Service and their expertise.

    ash

    PS. Thank you to my friends here who asked after us and sent us good wishes. 🙂

    1. So good to read this! 2016 must have some ups to be remembered for, not only the amassed bad news…

    2. It is good to hear that your relative returned home Ash.

      Hoping that you can spend some time relaxing.

      Your country is fortunate to have a good health system.

      Take Care, Suzy.

  20. I cannot join the chat today, I am sorry. Greetings to everyone and I hope to hear some good news then.

    Have a nice week FEd and everyone.

    Hanno

  21. Well I’m covering 1600 miles a week and with that I have hammered my entire Pink Floyd and DG collection. So today I went and bought The Best of Phil Collins. Not much of a collection in Morrisons but we all love Phil. Didn’t he look so frail a few weeks ago on Jonathan Ross?

    Sorry for my post, totally of topic. Any news on a DVD FED?

    Kind regards
    Damian

      1. Then Xmas is on hold until a release date. Though I imagine a mammoth task putting it all together.

        Just on my way back from Dunkeld Scotland, oh my what a stunning place.

        Damian

        1. Do you mean the task of peaking up the best pieces to put them all on one DVD (Then, yes, I imagine, Xmas can well be on hold till next Xmas)? Or collecting 25 discs into a box set?

          1. Well as I always said, it’s all good to me, I can’t think of any bad points whatsoever. So I would guess that’s the reason it’s going to take some time to put it together i.e. too much good material.

            Also was Pompeii the only gig filmed? I don’t really know, but hey, that will do very nicely.

            Damian

            1. The same. Too much good material. A hard task, and on the other hand, I imagine, so interesting and pleasing one that really could be lasting for a year. 🙂 They have some deadline though I think. The only “bad point” I can’t stop to think of is that I can’t afford it all, if it’ll come as a boxset of Live at Pompeii, Live at Rome, Live at Paris, so on, with a CD+DVD+BluRay+something else in each set.

              1. If I were David, I would probably still be in my pit sleeping soundly after all that travel around the world. Then I would want to spend some time with my family doing bugger-all. I would defo be on that beach fishing though. So the DVD can wait… may come out in time for my Birthday, worth waiting for.

                Kind regards
                Damian

    1. When I travel I also like to listen to my collection of David Gilmour/Pink Floyd, Damian. They are good tunes for a road trip.

      I am looking forward to David’s new releases from the tour. Can never get enough.

      Take Care, Suzy.

      1. I missed my stop, twice, listening to Pink Floyd while going by train. If I drove, by myself, I could have missed a turn or ignored lights perhaps.

  22. If memory serves me well; it’s your Birthday today, Ralph.

    Joyeux anniversaire!

    Tchin! Champagne ou Duvel? C’est comme tu veux… 🙂

        1. …and jailed them for being “too” religious, or homosexual, or loving rock-n-roll (well, not jail, for that crime, just special camp, but not much difference I guess).

          Was the latest from socialist leaders who admitted Soviet invasion to Czechoslovakia, though. It speaks something. Not a simple person was, the Commandante.

          1. I thought he condemed persecution of gay folk, and transgender sex reassignment was paid for by the government. I would go with the positive stories rather than the negative stories. After all, it aint easy banging your head on some mad bugger’s wall.

            Damian

            1. The worst thing about “negative stories” is they tend to repeat themselves if been forgotten easily.

              “After all, it ain’t easy banging your head on some mad bugger’s wall.”

              Oh yes, that’s right. If you mean Pink, I think he needs more your heart rather than your head, though. 🙂

  23. To clarify first of all. . . I don’t normally watch the TV programme I’m about to talk about below. 😀

    So, there are these kids somehow getting superpowers on a programme called “The Flash” . They have an enemy called “Shadow” and Flash is pitched against him outside somewhere at night. His pals with powers are in a vehicle near by watching him get battered by something none of them can see. Flash asks them to get some lights on. . . apparently they have computer control of all the cars in the area. 🙂

    One of them says, “Let’s light this place up like a Pink Floyd concert” ! ! ! It’s all so ham but that made me laugh. 😀 Obviously the writers of this programme are PF fans.

    ash

    1. That is funny Ash.

      I have noticed references to Pink Floyd in shows too. Also various actors in movies or on TV shows wearing Pink Floyd T-shirts.

      But it does not surprise us as we have always known that Pink Floyd/David Gilmour have a culture of their own that will go down in history.

      Thanks for sharing that.

      Take Care, Suzy

  24. Sorry, waffle head on.. Jeff Healey Band – I Think I Love You Too Much. Wow, I think it’s probably one of the greatest songs I have ever heard, I know you’re saying ‘Been around for years’ but I think it’s the first time I heard this foot tapping, head nodding, skin shifting beauty. And what cave have I been hiding in?

    I was just reading about this man to find out he lost his sight as a one year old, and suffered later in life with cancer and really sad to see he passed away in 2008. What a talent. Blimey, life can be so cruel.

    Sorry again and good night.

    Damian

  25. Vinyl sales overtake digital downloads in the UK. And a company wants to put Pink Floyd style pigs up to hide the Trump Towers logo. It’s all true.

    Damian

    1. I think putting Pink Floyd-like pigs up to hide anything Trump is a great idea.

      All of USA need to have the pigs above it to hide what is now the funny farm. Except it is not funny.

      But in life one either laughs or cries…

      Hilary received 2.5 million more votes than Trump. Strange how democracy works. Just hope I do not lose my housing. It would be time to walk into the river.

      1. What we observe is not democracy. It’s a fine example of plutocracy, though and bitter for all non-(bi/mi)llioners…

        1. Don’t worry, indeed. If after Brexit you could think the part of the world went crazy, now you see it’s all dark.

  26. I was talking with a friend the other day about the best Xmas song ever. I said Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas. i could normally blame my age and all that, but not true. That one song was so up there with all the other great Xmas songs. And even now when I don’t really care much for the festive year, whenever it came on the radio it always gave you that Christmassy feel.

    Rest easy Greg.

    Damian

  27. Sorry I missed the chat.

    The time before the Christmas holidays is always very busy.

    I hope I can be there the next time.

    If there won’t be another one this year have a merry Christmas everyone!

    What a year this was!

  28. Late for the chat, sorry, but I hope it’s not late to wish you all and FEd good weekend!

    Ciao!

  29. Sad to hear Greg Lake’s passing. I remember Exhibition Stadium many, many moons ago when a newly up and coming band called Journey opened up for them. Carl Palmer does not get the credit as a great drummer with them as well. I dread these times today. We are seeing too many great musicians leaving hasn’t been here yet.

    I hope and wish everyone a peaceful Merry Xmas and New Year.

    Trump is going to be interesting next year. Wonder what the heck he is gonna do to screw it all up for us in North America. Maybe we should build a Wall to keep him away from Canada.

    Peace All.

    1. I think that would be prudent, building a wall. While we’re at it, let’s make Pink Floyd pay for it. 😉

      Greg Lake, Leonard Cohen, Lemmy, Glen Frey, Prince, David Bowie, Maurice White, Paul Kantner. 2016 has seen some tragic losses.

      Fortunately, America, freedom of speech and the global environment won’t pass until Jan 20, 2017. I still ask myself every day, “is this happening?” and frequently can’t face the news first thing in the morning. I need to build up a callus first. Also, I’m sorry for those of you who have seen my twitter feed. I do know more words than just the f-word. I’m exercising extreme self control, even though it doesn’t seem that way. I haven’t yet accused kellyanne Conway of being the after picture of meth addiction.

      Anyway, I digress. Be at peace sweet angels. You are remembered with love.

      Wishing everyone on the blog very happy holidays. Much love to you all.

  30. Trying to be positive about 2016. Too many losses happened.

    But I can think of one huge positive event that took place and that was David’s Tour. That made the year memorable.

    May we all have a safe and happy holiday.

    That 2017 will be kind to us all.

    Take Care, Suzy

  31. Unfortunately I cannot join the chat on Wednesday because I have to go to a lecture. 🙁 So…thank you FEd for your permanent input this year, this is a great blog and David can be so glad to have this very special web page, unrivaled.

    I wish all the bloggers a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2017. 🙂

    Take care everyone, Hanno

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Hanno. Thanks for your company in the chatroom throughout 2016.

  32. I hope you have a lovely Christmas Fed. I’d like to send Seasons Greetings to everyone here and look forward to us all having a Happy New Year.

    Love from Ash and Pixie X X X

  33. Hi FEd

    I’d also like to add all good wishes for a very Merry Christmas and Happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for all your work throughout the year and very best wishes to David, Polly and the entire band and behind the scenes staff for giving us a wonderful couple of years.

    Enjoy, have fun and stay safe.

    Best wishes
    Heather

  34. Another year comes to its end… Despite of all the trouble and loses we should (and we will) celebrate!

    Enjoy the holidays if you have them or the odd day off! I wish you and yours, FEd and fellow bloggers health and peace!

    Taki

  35. My last day in the office today, and I will be away from a computer until the New Year so Happy Holidays to you FEd and all staff in your office (bedsit) and us bloggers around the world.

    Gary Hurley.
    London England.

  36. Seasons greetings to one and all.

    Not been the greatest year for both Mrs Pete, myself and our grandaughter born last April who had her issues which, at last, look like being behind her.. Lots of things, that I wont bore you with, just seemed to collide at once.

    On the plus side I am more familiar with the roads in Birmingham than I have ever been. I personally, can now see a light at the end of tunnel and that will hopefully now be the end of January.

    The thing with episodes like this is that you don’t really feel like chipping in with posts.

    But I have really enjoyed reading all of yours. Particularly all the gig related stuff. So thanks a lot for the smiles.

    1. The thing with episodes like this is that you don’t really feel like chipping in with posts

      Oh Pete, I know what you mean. I found I felt miserable, physically and emotionally and was scared to say anything for fear of bringing everyone else down. I’m glad to hear things are looking up now Pete. 🙂

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you and yours.

      ash 🙂

      1. Thanks Emilio. Been positive most of the time. But every now and again it all just gets to you. But seriously, it’s amazing how listening to music and reading some of these posts lifts you. Light at the end of the tunnel now.

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