“[Tomorrow Never Knows is] very, very beautiful.” Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About The Beatles – 1967

How The Beatles Changed The World

“How The Beatles Changed The World,” a 30-minute CBC Radio documentary from Peter Gzowski, first aired in May 1967. Leonard Cohen is given “the final word” on the program and spends those two to three minutes praising the Fab Four’s role as musicians and poets.

Leonard Cohen and The Beatles: May 1967

By May 1967, Leonard Cohen had published three volumes of poetry, Let Us Compare Mythologies (1956), The Spice-Box of Earth (1961), Flowers for Hitler 1964), and Parasites of Heaven (1966) and two novels, The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). While he was involved in the New York based folk movement in 1967, his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, was not published until December 1967, several months after the documentary aired.

The Beatles had been worldwide stars since 1963 and had become the dominant force in pop music since their 1964 trip to the US. When “How The Beatles Changed The World” was originally broadcast, The Beatles had released seven studio albums, including A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver.1

The song to which Cohen refers in his commentary (“… the last song on the last album … ‘It is not dying.'”) is, of course, “Tomorrow Never Knows” from the Revolver album, an intriguing choice that will be discussed further in an upcoming Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox post

Leonard Cohen – The Final Word


Also See: Leonard Cohen On The Beatles: “There were songs like ‘Hey Jude’ that I could appreciate. But they didn’t seem to be essential to the kind of nourishment that I craved.”

Credit Due Department: Adrian du Plessis, Allison Crowe’s Personable Manager, Leonard Cohen fan, Canadian citizen, and all around nice guy, alerted me to this recording.

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Aug 23, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com.


  1. A compilation album issued only in the US and Canada, Yesterday and Today, was released in June 1966. []

2 thoughts on ““[Tomorrow Never Knows is] very, very beautiful.” Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About The Beatles – 1967

  1. Hi Alan,
    I’m so very appreciative that the wealth of your documentation and commentary is once again available. Thank you, truly.

    I believe that Leonard Cohen can also be heard at the very beginning of the actual Gzowski documentary as well, but I’m wondering, do you concur?

    I transcribed this portion as best as I could as follows:

    “Each person has a song and probably the time will come we don’t even pay our artists anymore. We don’t even have to move because it will be like any little village in Egypt. You don’t even have to go to the next village to do what they’re doing. Everybody is playing their soul. Some village musicians will be more beloved than others but you can almost count upon the fact that in every village there will be a great singer and I would say right now in every high school there’s a great singer. In every classroom there’s a great guitarist. That’s somehow what we mean by culture.”


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