What Leonard Cohen meant to me…
At some point when you realise you are not the alpha type (realise or decide, I can’t remember which - You say ‘tomato’, I say ‘socially imposed gender norms'). You realise you will probably never score the winning goal at the high school sport you are probably inept at. You will most likely never dole out bone crushing handshakes over million dollar deals in huge glass rooms at the top of huge glass towers. It’s shortly after this epiphany that you understand that as a non alpha type of man, role models are pretty thin on the ground. Doctor Who carried me through the first part of my life, ‘Timelord' still remains the only job I have ever wanted - Regularly saving the universe in idiosyncratic ways whilst wearing good overcoats is a delicious proposition, but wholly impractical one to a middle aged man with two children, a non robotic dog, and several mortgages.
As you get older male decent role models become even harder to come by. Most men become either curmudgeons or bores, the truly unlucky become both. Even our heroes are not spared this fate - the once vital rock star ends up as a self parodying nostalgia act. The bad boy novelist becomes a tedious reactionary grumping away in newspaper columns. If men worth emulating are like hen’s teeth. Men worth emulating in old age are like hen’s teeth to the power of needles in haystacks.
If anyone could show me how to age gracefully, with humility, humour and wisdom (All the while done with a knowledge of decent tailoring). It was Leonard Cohen. Great lyricists and poets do one of two things, they confirm something we know to be true or they tell us something that we wish to know, something that is just out of our grasp. Leonard Cohen could do both.
Interview 2001 - Lovely little three parter from Stina Dabrowski from around the time Cohen came down from the Zen monastery at Mount Baldy. Clearly Mme Dabrowski has the major hots for him, but Len copes with all the awkwardness with epic good grace.
The Stranger Song - A mesmerising performance from British TV 1967. Alice, My mother in law and I all had a debate for ages - Is he is crying at the end?
If It Be Your Will - Anthony (him of The Johnson's fame) performed this at an Australian tribute concert. Beautifully arranged and performed cover of one of my absolute favourite songs.
Lots of love,