Thursday, March 12, 2009

Leonard Cohen - He's My Man!

I am a fan of Leonard Cohen’s have been for the longest time. In the last month he has been in the news lots as he starts a new cross Canada tour. Leonard is yet another aging musician still touring and still appreciated by his fans. I am sure many older musicians are out there because they love making music and being on the road, but I would expect that for the most part they are out there at least in part because they don’t have enough funds for retirement. I am sure that is not be the only reason Leonard is still touring at age 75 but for sure he is still putting money aside for his retirement.

Leonard’s story is a little bit different than Willie Nelson’s – unlike Willie it is not an issue with back taxes which caused him to need cash. In 2005 he alleged that his long time manager had misappropriated song rights and more then 5 million dollars in funds. Many years of court cases and lawyers he decided he just needed to move on and hit the road again. I am sad for his misfortune, but I am glad he is still touring. Maybe I will get to see one of his concerts.

Cohen considers himself primarily a poet, although it is his music is what has made him famous. He published his first book of poetry when he was at McGill. He also did a year at law school before living a fairly reclusive life of a writer for most of the 60s, publishing both novels and books of poetry.

He started his folk singing career in 1967. His sometimes dark songs were more popular in Europe than in North America. A couple of his more famous songs – Suzanne and Hallelujah are covered by countless musicians.

Leonard spent 5 years in the 90s in seclusion at a Monastery in California and has been ordained as a Zen Buddhist Monk. He re-entered the music scene in 2001 with a new album and has been touring and producing records since.

To read more about this fascinating man go to

CBC Radio 2 is doing a contest to win a trip for 2 to see Leonard Cohen at the Radio City Music hall. You have to listen each day and can enter the contest each time you hear a song by Leonard played. I have so far managed only 2 entries. I just can’t manage to listen to the radio for much of the 6-9 and 3-9 timeslots in which the songs are played. It would sure be great to win the contest. If any of my readers are listening to radio 2 during these hours and hear a Cohen song being played please email/twitter/facebook or blog comment me with the name of the song and the date and timeslot (morning/evening) in which the song was played.

Sure would be nice to win. I can always hope.

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