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 Date:    14 Jun 1997 13:51:44 -0700 (PDT)
 From:    schmid@socrates.berkeley.edu

Here are some recent tidbits related to "our man."
  (1) Judy Collins regarding Cohen
  (2) More on Judy Collins regarding Cohen
  (3) Zen Cohen
  (4) Joni Mitchell on Cohen
  (5) Tragic news of a Cohen cover artist
  (6) Does Al Pacino look like Leonard Cohen?
  (7) Jarkko's visit in Berkeley
  (8) Cohen-talk 1990-95 and alt.music.leonard-cohen
  (9) CD player problems

Rudi Schmid, Integrative Biol., UC Berkeley 
Reviews and notices editor, Taxon:
   Journal for the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)


I recently found a used CD of Judy Collins's _Bread and roses_ (Elektra, Aug. 1976), which has "Take this longing" (5:25), her tenth recorded cover of a LC song. The CD is apparently out-of-print. Collins's first nine covers of LC songs are: _In my life_ (Nov. 1966; CD reissue May 1988) Suzanne (4:21) Dress rehearsal rag (5:19) _Wildflowers_ (Nov. 1967; CD reissue Nov. 1987) Sisters of mercy (2:31) Priests (4:55) [LC never recorded this] Hey, that's no way to say goodbye (3:28) _Who knows where the time goes_ (Nov. 1968; CD reissue May 1988) Story of Isaac (3:30) Bird on the wire (4:37) _Living_ (Nov. 1972; CD reissue Apr. 1989) Joan of Arc (5:55) (live) [Famous] blue raincoat (5:34) _Bread and roses_ (Aug. 1976; CD issue date ??, out-of-print) Take this longing (5:25) Duplications on compilation albums: _Colors of the day: The best of_ (Nov. 1972; CD reissue Oct. 1988) Suzanne [also on _In my life_] _So early in the spring_ (July 1977; not on CD) Bird on the wire _Both sides now_ (Duchesse 352/32, 1991, CD) Bird on the wire Hey, that's no way to say goodbye Priests Sisters of mercy Story of Isaac The 10 songs fit nicely on one side of a 90-minute, with Jennifer Warnes's _Famous blue raincoat_ (July 1987) going nicely on side B. Sides A and B overlap only 3 songs (i.e., 13 different songs on the tape). This makes a great car tape. LC, of course, duets on Warnes's "Joan of Arc". *****************************************************************************


More on Judy Collins from Richard Hess, who is setting up a Collins WWW site. Richard: What is the full title of the song that might be referred to (first-line?) as "It Seems So Long Ago." Rudi: The proper title is "It seems to long ago, Nancy". It first appeared on LC's _Songs from a room_ album (1969). On later albums (1973 _Live_ the song is shortened to "Nancy". Richard: I wrote that down at a 1969 Judy Collins concert and do not know what it refers to, but she obviously introduced it as a LC song. Rudi: This is interesting news, a new Collins cover of a LC Cohen song. It is not on the official albums, of course. "Nancy" and "Song of Bernadette," the latter from a 1994 concert, are two Collins covers not issued. Are there tapes of these? Do you know of any more Collins covers of LC songs besides the official 10 and the above two. Richard: I don't have tapes of these. In her April 18th [1997] concert she did a new LC song that I did not recognize. I don't know if it was "Song of Bernadette," or something else. Sorry. *****************************************************************************

    (3) ZEN COHEN

I recently found in the clearance folk section a bizarre recent CD: Zen Cohen [a woman, by the way] called _The future_ (Blood Muscle Records, Oakland, California, 1996) 19 tracks, TT 01 Alone 5:54 02 Although, cats do 4:42 03 Elephant 3:50 04 Our place 2:07 05 Bulan pucat 2:53 06 Prison blues 2:20 07 Prize 5:03 08 Blood 5:04 09 Earth ours 3:23 10 Piano improvisation #5 2:49 11 Fear blues 2:30 12 Softly 3:54 13 Where the money goes 2:56 14 Grease 3:25 15 Musim Hujan 3:28 16 Several monks 4:00 17 For Sainkho & Charles Gayle 3:22 18 Amerika 4:22 19 Amerika piano 1:49 Zen Cohen does vocals, guitar, piano, and cello. The other instruments (by 6 people) are contrabass (2), clarinet, 3 chambered harmonica, banjo, electric guitar, tuba. Second vocals are by Rachel Cohen (a Jill Cohen is credited with some artwork). The album was produced in Oakland, CA. This is somewhat indulgent 69 minutes and comes with Tibetan monk chants, the various instruments already noted, an elephant song recalling that of Tanita Tikaram, some songs (both in rendition and verses) recalling Tori Amos, still other stuff very disharmonic, and ending with a song called "Amerika" (the Berkeley leftist spelling). Actually all of it is interesting and some pieces quite enjoyable, though much of it rather sounds like what a person in a music conservancy perhaps had to do for a semester's project. Oh, Leonard Cohen is not mentioned though his presence is obviously felt. Jarkko currently has the CD and will post a picture of the cover in the curiosities section of his WWW site. *****************************************************************************


Hinton, Brian. 1996. _Joni Mitchell: Both sides now._ London: Sanctuary Publishing. 304 pp., [8] pp. pls. $19.95. Hinton's book has many references to Leonard Cohen, mostly minor ones in the context of his Canadian-ness, along with Mitchell, Neil Young, etc. But there are some very interested comments, to wit: p. 79: Like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen is a companion--and compatriot--and not a threat. The two did not really meet until both had left Canada. Both are famed for their restlessness, geographically and in matters of the heart. Cohen appears in three of Joni's songs: in 'That Song About the Midway' [on _Clouds,_ Oct. 1969]--about their brief affair--he is a devil wearing wings. In 'The Gallery' [on _Clouds_] he is a saint, though a tainted one. 'Rainy Day House' [sic; = "Rainy Day Night," on _Ladies of the canyon,_ May 1970] is said to be a tender farewell from her to him, though he was the one who instigated the parting. He left his melancholy spell on her music: "I think I'm rather Cohen influenced. I wrote 'Marcie' and afterwards thought that it wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for 'Suzanne'." Cohen's influence has been verbal rather than musical, showing her how poetry can be integrated into the popular song. "My lyrics are influenced by Leonard. After we met at Newport last year (1967) we saw a lot of each other. Some of Leonard's religious imagery, which comes from being a Jew in a predominantly Catholic part of Canada, seems to have rubbed off on me too." Elsewhere, she described Cohen and Dylan as points of departure. "Leonard didn't really explore music. He's a word man first. Leonard's economical, he never wastes a word. I can go through Leonard's work and it's like silk. Dylan is coarse and beautiful in a rougher way." p. 94 (about events in 1969). Joni is also catching up on her reading. Herman Hesse, Leonard Cohen--"her favourite poet"--and Rod McKeun. ... p. 100 (about songs on _Clouds_): Side two opens with an extremely sinister item, 'The Gallery', supposedly about Leonard Cohen, and portraying a man as manipulative as the narrator of, say Robert Browning's poem 'My Last Duchess'. This lover collects women; like the traditional song 'Reynardine', there is the suggestion he might kill them. Like Rose, he appears brainwashed. ... p. 108 (about songs on _Ladies ..._): 'Rainy Night House' is a strange song, quietly underpinned by cello. Joni becomes a whole choir at one point. It's a gentle farewell to Leonard Cohen--a boy who gave up his inheritance to become 'a holy man on the FM radio'--who is gently parodied in the religious imagery she calls up. The way 'called' is used twice, in two different senses, is pure Joni. 'The Priest' [Incidentally, "The priest" is JM's song, not LC's "Priests".] is also Cohen territory, an agnostic age's nostalgic for faith, but given a sexual charge. ... p. 131 (about songs on _Blue,_ July 1971): 'A Case About You' returns to that lonely northern star, shining through the night. It could be both Nash and (more secretly) her lost daughter [note, reunited with Mitchell this spring] being bid goodbye to; the lyrics imply that love is never lost, but can be recreated in the memory, as if new born. Taylor [singer James Taylor, another lover] plays second guitar here, which, with the re-evocation of the devil in the second verse, suggests that he too could be the subject of the song. My own uninformed guess is that 'A Case About You' is about Leonard Cohen--though the couple had parted some years before. If so, this would explain its religious imagery, the map of Canada, the lines about northern stars, and particularly the phrase "love is touching souls," which sounds like neither Nash [singer Graham Nash, another lover] nor Taylor, but straight out of the mouth of 'Laughing Len' It is a deeply heretic song, in which the changing of Jesus's blood into holy wine transmutes into sexual love. Mind you, what exactly is the point of a wine you can drink twelve bottles of, and still remain standing? *****************************************************************************


Jeff Buckley's 1994 album has a cover of LC's "Hallelujah" (6:53). Bulletin from Tower Records, EPULSE, 30 May 97: 8. rest in peace, jeff buckley: The details were sketchy at post time: JEFF BUCKLEY -- rising young singer/songwriter, Columbia recording artist, son of '60s folk-jazz singer Tim Buckley -- apparently drowned late Thursday, May 29, in the Mississippi River outside of Memphis. What's known is that he disappeared while standing waist-deep in the water, and that the Mississippi there has a strong undertow, and that authorities are still dragging downriver, hoping to find his body. Death is almost always tragic; to call it so is oxymoronic. But Buckley was an artist of rare promise who was just at the beginning of what looked to be a long and fruitful career. His Columbia discography is slim: one EP (1993's 'LIVE AT SIN-E') and one album (1994's 'GRACE'); he also appeared on the Jazz Passengers' 1994 High Street/Windham Hill album, 'In Love,' singing "Jolly Street." At the time of his death, he was in Memphis waiting to begin pre-production on his next album with producer Andy Wallace, after an earlier attempt with producer/Television guitarist Tom Verlaine didn't work out. While Buckley's emo-drenched style seemed excessive to some, his music rewarded the listener after repeated playings -- his vocal nuances expressed a broad palette sensitivity, like a more complex Robert Plant. He will be missed. Shame. *****************************************************************************


I recently had the 1993 Helsinki poster of LC framed. The clerk thought the picture remarkably like Al Pacino's? *****************************************************************************


As you know, Jarkko arrived on 29 May in California with his family for a two-week car tour visit. The three stayed at my place for the night and on the afternoon of the 29th, despite developing jet lag, locally (mainly Berkeley) we hit 10 CD and book stores in about 3 hours, checking only for Cohen things (well I also checked some for Bob Dylan and some other artists). Alas Jarkko and I did not find anything either of really did not have or want. Jarkko's only purchase was a promo of _The future_ (the duller promo, not the more attractive _Be for real_ one). Amazingly, one store had 4 rare 45" records (including the "Butcher"), which Jarkko already had (I do not collect vinyl as my life is already overburdened with too many other things), and boots are still available (a few of Cohen, who has been booted perhaps 20 times, but many of Dylan, who has been booted maybe 500 times). *****************************************************************************


I was forced to switch servers from GARNET to SOCRATES and so have to clean up files on the former. GARNET has 10 files, cleaned up, in ASCII, 1.4 MB worth, of the Cohen talk forum from 8 Nov. 90 through 21 June 95. This ceased after the newsgroup ALT.MUSIC.LEONARN-COHEN formed in early Sep. 1994. If anyone is interested in a copy of the 1990-95 files let me know by the end of the month. It probably is simpler for me to send a disk copy (I have tons of disposable American Online diskettes) of the files rather than to email them. The Cohen talk forum was especially heavy in 1991 and, when LC was touring, in 1993. *****************************************************************************

    (9) CD player problems

Some of you know that previously I had trouble playing some of the CDs that Jarkko had sent. Well, cleaning the laser lens of the CD player seems to alleviate the problem, a very quick process with one of the cheap (about $11) commercial lens cleaners. According to the 2/97 _Consumers reports_ Sony CD changers are especially finicky in this respect. *****************************************************************************

Last-modified: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 05:28:17 GMT
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