Synopses & Reviews
The legend behind such songs as “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Hallelujah” andthe poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers
and Book of Mercy
, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life — sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan — “ordinary silence” — is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary.
I'm Your Man is the definitive account of that extraordinary life. Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of research that includes Cohens personal archives and more than a hundred exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen — from his lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians to his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne Elrod and Suzanne Verdal — and most important, with Cohen himself, whose presence infuses these pages.
Starting in Montreal, Cohen's birthplace, where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, Simmons follows his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the sixties, where he launched his music career. From there she traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat in the mid-nineties — when on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop above Los Angeles — and finally to his reemergence for a sold-out world tour almost fifteen years later. Whether navigating Cohen's journeys through the back streets of Mumbai or the countless hotel rooms where he has stayed along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex, contradictory strand of Cohen's life — from the halls of academia to the arenas of rock 'n' roll — and presents a deeply insightful portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth and talent continue to move people like no one else.
Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years — and one of the most elusive. In I'm Your Man
, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock 'n' roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen.
I'm Your Man is an intimate and insightful appreciation of the man responsible for “Suzanne,” “Bird on a Wire,” “Hallelujah,” and so many other unforgettable, oft-covered ballads and songs. Based on Simmons's unparalleled access to Cohen — and written with her hallmark blend of intelligence, integrity, and style — I'm Your Man is the definitive biography of a major musical artist widely considered in a league with the great Bob Dylan.
Readers of Life by Rolling Stone Keith Richards and Patti Smith's phenomenal Just Kids will be riveted by this fascinating portrait of a singular musical icon.
The history of New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel,and#160;whereand#160;artists of all stripes, legends themselves,and#160;have lived and loved and workedand#160;for more thanand#160;a century.
Winner of the Marfield Prize, National Award for Arts Writing
andldquo;Tippins tells riveting stories about the Chelseaandrsquo;s artists, but she also captures a much grander, and more pressing, narrative: that of the ongoing battle between art and capitalism in the city.andrdquo; andmdash; The New Yorker
Since its founding by a utopian-minded French architect in 1884, New Yorkandrsquo;s Chelsea Hotel has been a hotbed of artistic invention and inspiration. Cultural luminaries from Bob Dylan to Sid Vicious, Thomas Wolfe to Andy Warhol, Dylan Thomas to Dee Dee Ramone andmdash; all made the Chelsea the largest and longest-lived artistsandrsquo; community in the world. Inside the Dream Palace tells the hotelandrsquo;s story, from its earliest days as a cooperative community, through its pop art, rock-and-roll, and punk periods, to its present transformation under new ownership. By exploring what it takes to maintain a creative community and how artists have enhanced and informed New York City life, Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivers a lively and masterly history of the Chelsea and those who cohabitated there.
andquot;Not only essential to the understanding of this crucial New York City andmdash; and therefore American andmdash; cultural landmark, but as majestic and populous as the edifice itself, and completely entertaining.andquot; andmdash; Daniel Menaker, author of My Mistake
andldquo;With her lively Inside the Dream Palace, literary biographer Sherill Tippins succeeds where other historians studying New York landmarks have failed: She understands that even the most splendid buildings are mere settings for the personalities that inhabit them, and wisely bypasses rote chronology for the vigor of cultural excavation . . . The Chelsea Hotel may face an uncertain future, but Tippinsandrsquo;s enchanting book guarantees its renown for generations to come.andrdquo; andmdash; Time Out New York
About the Author
Sylvie Simmons is an award-winning writer and one of the foremost music journalists working today. Born in London, she moved to Los Angeles in the late seventies and started writing about rock music for magazines such as Sounds, Creem, Kerrang! and Q. She is the author of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including the biography Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes and the short-story collection Too Weird for Ziggy. She has lived at various times in England, the United States, and France, and she currently lives in San Francisco, where she writes for MOJO magazine and plays the ukulele.