Bell & Arc’s Cover Of “So Long, Marianne” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music

The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. There was “The Great Pretender,” “Cross Over the Road.” I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

Leonard Cohen1

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen mentioned a number of specific songs he favored. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Leonard Cohen Sends A Message To Bell & Arc

These Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox pieces typically begin with the evidence that Mr Cohen did indeed admire the featured song. This is the first case in which that evidence is in the form of an ad that ran in 1971.

The text attributed to Leonard Cohen, written in telegraphic format, reads:



The Bob Johnston Connection

Note that the ad copy in the lower left corner lists the producer of the Bell & Arc album as Bob Johnston, who also produced several notable artists, including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel., Willie Nelson, and, of course, Leonard Cohen.

Bell & Arc

Review excerpted from Bell + Arc “Bell + Arc” at Rising Storm

Bell & Arc’s one and only record is a prime cut of early 1970s British rock and roll. … Heavy threads of American soul music, as well as tasteful touches of gospel and country, are what inform this record more than anything. From the insistent groove of “High Priest of Memphis” to the rollicking banjo rolls in “Keep A Wise Mind,” it is clear what musical traditions these cats are mining. Graham Bell’s vocals here are so soulful it almost hurts, with the obvious reference point being the shredded-throat testifying of fellow countryman Joe Cocker. Turnbull’s guitar is also on fire, whether he’s indulging in tight wah-pedal workouts in “Let Your Love Run Free” or keeping things beautifully restrained in the band’s sizzling, slow-burn workout of Leonard Cohen’s “So Long, Marianne.”

Bell & Arc Biography
by William Ruhlmann from allmusic:

Bell & Arc was a British pop group that existed from 1970 to 1972. It was formed when singer Graham Bell teamed up with the group Arc, whose original lineup was John Turnbull (guitar, vocals), Mickey Gallagher (keyboards, vocals), Tommy Duffy (bass), and Dave Trudex (drums). (Trudex was replaced by Rob Tait, who was then replaced by Alan White.) Arc made an album, Arc at This (1970), before joining with Bell and recording Bell and Arc (1971). The group then split. Turnbull and Gallagher later joined Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

Graham Bell
Excerpt from Wikipedia

Bell was tempted away as a solo artist to record an album with Bob Johnson …. He then appeared in Tommy. After this it was reported that Pete Townshend produced an album for him but it never saw the light of day. He was featured on the front page of Sounds music paper in the late 1970s as a “the man most likely to” but sadly his profile was affected by the rise of punk and the New Wave.

Bell & Arc Cover Leonard Cohen’s So Long, Marianne


Credit Due Department: The ad was found by Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Dec 13, 2011 at, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

  1. Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994 []

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