Academic journal article Notes

Leonard Cohen Live in London

Academic journal article Notes

Leonard Cohen Live in London

Article excerpt

Leonard Cohen Live in London. DVD. Recorded Live in Conceit at the [O.sub.2] Arena, London, England (July 17, 2008). [S.1.]: Sony BMG Music Entertainment, 2009, 2008. 88697405039. $18.98.

"It's been a long time since I've stood on a stage in London ... was about, uh, 14 or 15 years ago, I was 60 years old ... just a kid with a crazy dream (laughs) ... since then, I've taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalan ... I've also, uh, studied deeply in the philosophies and the religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through (more laughs)."

With these words, Leonard Cohen sets the tone for his London concert with humorous acknowledgment of the low points in his life, and uplifting hope for those issues he has worked through over many years. Perhaps this is most clear in his lyric "Anthem" where he clearly juxtaposes positive energy with negative:

"'Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything; that's how the light gels in."

It is difficult to approach Leonard Cohen's art without understanding at least some aspects of his personal life. His recent tour schedule, at the age of seventy-five, has largely been for financial reasons. As Cohen retreated to a Zen monastery for five years, his business manager absconded with nearly all of his money. Although the courts sided with Cohen in a 9.5 million dollar lawsuit, it is not known if or when he will see any of that money. So Cohen resorted to "turning tricks" as he refers to it: perform for money. …

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