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Thread: Leonard Cohen dead at 82

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    Default Leonard Cohen dead at 82

    This year sucks rocks.

    Leonard Cohen Dead at 82 - Rolling Stone
    Leonard Cohen, the hugely influential singer and songwriter whose work spanned five decades, died at the age of 82. Cohen's label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page.

    "It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away," the statement read. "We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief." A cause of death was not given.
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    Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet. Cohen's haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns, Greek-chorus backing vocals shaped evocative songs that dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression. He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his Eighties, releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year.

    "I never had the sense that there was an end," he said in 1992. "That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot."

    Leonard Norman Cohen was born on September 21st, 1934, in Westmount, Quebec. He learned guitar as a teenager and formed a folk group called the Buckskin Boys. Early exposure to Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca turned him toward poetry Ė while a flamenco guitar teacher convinced him to trade steel strings for nylon. After graduating from McGill University, Cohen moved to the Greek island of Hydra, where he purchased a house for $1,500 with the help of a modest trust fund established by his father, who died when Leonard was nine. While living on Hydra, Cohen published the poetry collection Flowers for Hitler (1964) and the novels The Favourite Game(1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966).
    Frustrated by poor book sales, and tired of working in Montreal's garment industry, Cohen visited New York in 1966 to investigate the city's robust folk-rock scene. He met folk singer Judy Collins, who later that year included two of his songs, including the early hit "Suzanne," on her album In My Life. His New York milieu included Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and, most importantly, the haunting German singer Nico, whose despondent delivery he may have emulated on his exquisite 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen.

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    Cohen quickly became the songwriter's songwriter of choice for artists like Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and many others. His black-and-white album photos offered an arresting image to go with his stark yet lovely songs. His next two albums, Songs From a Room(1969) and Songs of Love and Hate (1971), benefited from the spare production of Bob Johnston, along with a group of seasoned session musicians that included Charlie Daniels, gave them in Nashville.

    During the Seventies, Cohen set out on the first of the many long, intense tours he would reprise toward the end of his career. "One of the reasons I'm on tour is to meet people," he told Rolling Stone in 1971. "I consider it a reconnaissance. You know, I consider myself like in a military operation. I don't feel like a citizen." His time on tour inspired the live sound producer John Lissauer brought to his 1974 masterpiece, New Skin for the Old Ceremony. However, he risked a production catastrophe by hiring wall-of-sound maximalist Phil Spector to work on his next album, Death of a Ladies Man, whose adversarial creation resulted in a Rolling Stone review titled "Leonard Cohen's Doo-Wop Nightmare."
    Cohen's relationship with Suzanne Elrod during most of the Seventies resulted in two children, the photographer Lorca Cohen and Adam Cohen, who leads the group Low Millions. Cohen was well known for his wandering ways, and his most stable relationships were with backing singers Laura Branigan, Sharon Robinson, Anjani Thomas, and, most notably, Jennifer Warnes, who he wrote with and produced (Warnes frequently performed Cohenís music). After indulging in a variety of international styles on Recent Songs (1979), Cohen accorded Warnes full co-vocal credit on 1984's Various Positions.

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    Various Positions included "Hallelujah," a meditation on love, sex, and music that would become Cohen's best-known composition thanks to Jeff Buckley's incandescent 1994 reinterpretation. Its greatness wasn't recognized by Cohen's label, however. By way of informing him that Columbia Records would not be releasing Various Positions, label head Walter Yetnikoff reportedly told Cohen, "Look, Leonard; we know you're great, but we don't know if you're any good." Cohen returned to the label in 1988 with I'm Your Man, an album of sly humor and social commentary that launched the synths-and-gravitas style he continued on The Future (1992).
    In 1995, Cohen put the breaks on his career, entered the Mt. Baldy Zen Center outside of Los Angeles, became an ordained Buddhist monk, and took on the Dharma name Jikan ("silence"). His duties included cooking for Kyozan Joshu Sasaki Roshi, the priest and longtime Cohen mentor who died in 2014 at the age of 104. Cohen broke his musical silence in 2001 with Ten New Songs, a collaboration with Sharon Robinson, and Dear Heather (2004), a relatively uplifting project with current girlfriend Anjani Thomas. While never abandoning Judaism, the Sabbath-observing songwriter attributed Buddhism to curbing the depressive episodes that had always plagued him.
    The final act of Cohen's career began in 2005, when Lorca Cohen began to suspect her father's longtime manager, Kelley Lynch, of embezzling funds from his retirement account. In fact, Lynch had robbed Cohen of more than $5 million. To replenish the fund, Cohen undertook an epic world tour during which he would perform 387 shows from 2008 to 2013. He continued to record as well, releasing Old Ideas (2012) and Popular Problems, which hit U.S. shops a day after his eightieth birthday. "[Y]ou depend on a certain resilience that is not yours to command, but which is present," he told Rolling Stone upon its release. "And if you can sense this resilience or sense this capacity to continue, it means a lot more at this age than it did when I was 30, when I took it for granted."

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    The topper on the shit sunday that i was served tuesday. I'm heartsick over this.



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    Elite Member missbazilb's Avatar
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    Nooooooooo!!! Fuck you 2016. I'll never be happier to is a year goodbye.
    twitchy2.0 likes this.

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    Silver Member misrule's Avatar
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    Fucking 2016.

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    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    I was kind of expecting this to come sooner rather than later, but man, it still sucks. What an artist.
    czb and Wisher like this.

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    could this week be any more heartbreaking?
    i knew it was coming, i got a lump in my throat when i read his letter to marianne and he spoke about following her soon, but godamn it this one really hurts.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I just can't.
    "AND WHEN YOU BECAME DENISE, I TOLD ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, THOSE CLOWN COMICS, TO FIX THEIR HEARTS OR DIE."

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    51 more days and this fucking year will be over.

    R.I.P. Mr. Cohen.
    Wisher likes this.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Mrs. Mo was a big fan and for the longest time had some kind Cohen retrospective in her car's CD player. What really struck me is how dramatically his voice (especially) and songs changed over the years. I thought the young Cohen sounded a little too much like Dylan. But I loved the older Cohen and his older voice - Especially "Everybody Knows" and "The Future". "The Future" was playing at the end of the movie "Natural Born Killers". Loved it as soon as I heard it. By the way, it is the perfect reaction song to Trump's election:

    Geest likes this.

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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    I just spent 20 minutes weeping in my car.

    This week is fucking SHIT. I could write some poetic send off, but fuck it, all I can say is that this is a fucking shit week, and my heart can't take it.

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    Elite Member Annika's Avatar
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    he was the only one on my list of senior citizens i'd bang. i'm devastated.
    stella blue and Wisher like this.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    he's one of my original old man boyfriends, along with sam shepard.

    i've been randomly tearing up all week. the impending apocalypse is NOT a good time to be PMSing. and now this. fuck this week to hell.

    but yeah, fuck 2016. it's been a weird and unsettling year, in general and personally. i'm over it.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member palta's Avatar
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    very sad news.

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    czb
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    yes, this is beyond sad.

    i was lucky enough to see him in concer twice, both times in the past 7 years. really amazing performer. engaging and wistful.

    i thought when i read his last interview he said that he was ready to die??
    stella blue likes this.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    he was ready. we weren't.
    Brah, witchcurlgirl, czb and 6 others like this.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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