“[Phil Spector] is very nice but he pretends to be violent. He kept a lot of guns around and armed bodyguards; bullets and wine bottles littered the floor…A pretty dangerous situation.” Leonard Cohen

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I knew his [Spector’s] songs, I liked his work a lot. But I didn’t know what it was to work with him in the studio! He had come to one of my concerts here in Los Angeles at the Troubadour. After the concert, Phil invited us to his house. The house was freezing because of the air conditioning; it was four degrees. He locked the door so we couldn’t leave. I said ‘Listen Phil, if you lock us in here, we are going to get bored… So as long as we are locked up we might as well write some songs together.’ So we started that very night. We wrote songs together for about a month, it was fun. Phil is really a charming guy when you are with him alone. I would write the words, then he would work on the melody, then I would revise the words to better fit the melody. We would exchange ideas. But in the studio when other people were around he was a totally different man. He is very nice but he pretends to be violent. He kept a lot of guns around and armed bodyguards; bullets and wine bottles littered the floor…A pretty dangerous situation. I wouldn’t say Phil is someone lovable, but he wasn’t mean – except once when he pointed a gun to my throat and then cocked it. He said ‘I love you Leonard.’ I responded ‘I hope you love me Phil.’ (laughs)… Once in the studio he pointed a revolver at the violinist who then packed up his violin and ran out (laughs)… But it was a bad time for me too. My mother was dying of leukemia, I was constantly going between Montreal and Los Angeles…

 

Leonard Cohen

 

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From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Les Inrocks: Aug 21, 1991). Via computer translation.

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 Feb 22, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

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