“When I stand on a stage, I feel I bring my private life with me there and that that’s what’s interesting or amusing.” Leonard Cohen

Then you have invented for yourself a very non-typical existence for a performer.


I think the value of anybody on a stage is where he comes from. It’s not really so much what he does at the moment, assuming that it reaches a certain level of excellence. The interesting thing for me is what a man or a woman brings from his or her own personal kind of ambience to the stage. I’m only valuable at this moment because I don’t live that star’s life. When I stand on a stage, I feel I bring my private life with me there and that that’s what’s interesting or amusing. That’s what’s entertaining about me. When I see other people perform, I think the same way. When I see Joni Mitchell perform, I think this is really the story of a girl who moved from the prairies to Beverly Hills. When I see myself, I think this is the story of a guy who was born in Montréal and lives there still. And there are different kinds of stories, you know? And I think that’s what’s interesting about all of us.


Leonard Cohen


Leonard Cohen Looks at Himself by Danny Fields. Soho Weekly News, Vol. 1, #9. December 5, 1974. The exquisite photo atop this post, captioned, in the original post, “Leonard, Hand In Pocket, photograph by Michelle Clement. The photo is from the first Leonard Cohen show Martin attended He was good enough to provide this additional information:

I think it was Portsmouth, May 15th [1976] (or somewhere near that date) … At that show, Michelle was a fellow student and my friend the hotel manager had given me two tickets. We had the Chelsea School Of Art black Pentax Spotmatic, and took turns shooting, so actually I don’t really know which of us took that pic, but I vaguely remember printing it for her portfolio, so think it was her.

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 Jan 23, 2018.

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