Sunday, March 18, 2012

Leonard Cohen

When I first learned the guitar, and then started singing, Leonard Cohen's songbook "Songs From A Room" was a constant companion. The guitar parts are beautiful finger picking notated in tablature and the vocal range is perfect for a beginner. The main thing, though, was that during that time I was working in locked psychiatric wards and his lyrics resonated with what I was learning about states of mind that can get you put in places like that, which is also probably part of the reason lots of people are turned off by his music.

The release of his latest album, "Old Ideas", has been a hook for lots of articles about him and I want to save a link to this one because of the reporting on an incident I'd never heard of, which took place at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970. Because of a bunch of disruptive audience members, things seemed to have been teetering between Woodstock and a lesser Altamont, and Cohen took the stage and turned a performance into a therapeutic event.

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