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Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen (Musicians in Their Own Words)by Leonard Cohen
Synopses & Reviews
Leonard Cohen, one of the most admired performers of the last half century, has had a strange and eventful life. Now, for the first time, he tells his story in his own words, via more than fifty interviews conducted worldwide between 1966 and 2012.
In Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen—which includes a foreword by singer Suzanne Vega and eight pages of rarely seen photos—the artist talks about “Bird on the Wire,” “Hallelujah,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and his other classic songs. He candidly discusses his famous romances, his years in a Zen monastery, his ill-fated collaboration with producer Phil Spector, and his long battle with depression. He also comments on his classic poetry and novels, the financial crisis that nearly wiped out his savings, and his remarkable late-career resurgence.
Here you’ll find interviews that first appeared in the New York Times and Rolling Stone, along with conversations that have not previously been printed in English. Some have been broadcast but never published. And some of the material has not been available until now in any format, including the many illuminating reminiscences that contributors supplied specifically for this definitive anthology.
"The past two years have been good to the enigmatic and sometimes mysterious Cohen. He released Old Ideas, his first studio album in eight years, to wide acclaim, and Sylvie Simmons published a highly praised biography of Cohen, I'm Your Man. Now we get to hear the man himself in these interviews that music writer Burger gathers from various music magazines and newspapers — some hard to find and others not previously published in English — from 1966 to the present. On his musical predecessors: 'I am very much aware of where I stood in a long line of singers or poets... and to be one of the figures that allows the tradition to continue is very gratifying.' In an early interview, Cohen comments that he doesn't 'go around looking for joy. I don't go around looking for melancholy either... I'm not on an archaeological expedition.' In the most recent interview, from 2012, Cohen reflects on the nature of song: 'Song operates on so many levels... it addresses the heart in its ordeals and its defeats but it is also useful in getting the dishes done or cleaning the house.' Every collection like this has its uneven and repetitious moments, but Burger's discerning editorial hand selects those conversations with Cohen that offer insights into his music. For longtime and fans as well as newcomers to Cohen's work." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Offering fans an extensive look at the artists own words throughout the past four decades, Springsteen on Springsteen brings together Q&A-formatted articles, speeches, and features that incorporate significant interview material. No one is better qualified to talk about Springsteen than the man himself, and hes often as articulate and provocative in interviews and speeches as he is emotive onstage and in recordings. While many rock artists seem to suffer through interviews, Springsteen has welcomed them as an opportunity to speak openly, thoughtfully, and in great detail about his music and life. This volume starts with his humble beginnings in 1973 as a struggling artist and follows him up to the present, as Springsteen has achieved almost unimaginable wealth and worldwide fame. Included are feature interviews with well-known media figures, including Charlie Rose, Ted Koppel, Brian Williams, Nick Hornby, and Ed Norton. Fans will also discover hidden gems from small and international outlets, in addition to radio and TV interviews that have not previously appeared in print. This collection is a must-have for any Springsteen fan.
About the Author
Jeff Burger is the editor of Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches, and Encounters. He has contributed to Barron’s, Family Circle, GQ, the Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest, and more than seventy-five other magazines, newspapers, and books, including many national and international music periodicals. He has published interviews with such leading musicians as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Tom Waits, the Righteous Brothers, and the members of Steely Dan. He lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
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