Cohen said he is more interested in the next song than pondering the legacy of his past work. He talked about how puzzled he was by McCartney’s decision a few years back to change the credits on certain Beatles classics to “McCartney & Lennon” as opposed to the familiar “Lennon & McCartney,” as if anyone didn’t know who wrote “Yesterday.” Cohen said he views his work from a different vantage point — his most famous songs now belong as much to the audience and to other singers as they do to him.
I find I’m feeling much friendlier to my earliest work than I ever did. There was a certain time when I knew that the audience wanted to hear ‘Suzanne’ and ‘Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,’ but I didn’t want to play [them]. Now I really do. I think that contrary to Sir Paul’s experience, my sense of proprietorship weakens as I get older. I’m happy the songs exist and that I know them and I know the chords and how to sing them.
From Leonard Cohen reborn in the U.S.A. by Geoff Boucher at Pop & Hiss, the L.A. Times music blog: February 27, 2009. Photo taken at the July 31, 2009 Leonard Cohen concert in León by Indiana Caba
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 Mar 24, 2018.