Just Like Mr. Cohen

11 Nov

Leonard Cohen is dead.

Long live Leonard Cohen.

Of all the great souls… the songwriters and prose writers and poets I have admired over the years… I’d put Leonard right up there with the very, very best.

He wrote simple. He wrote the truth. He wrote with humanity and compassion and subtlety and grandeur, and humor.

Chelsea Hotel is probably one of my top 10 favorite songs of all time.

But how can you pick and choose with Leonard’s work?

Melissa introduced me to his poetry in recent years, and it’s every bit as interesting, playful and deeply inspirational as his songwriting.

This is so strange.

About a month ago, I sat down to write a song about Leonard Cohen.

It just kinda materialized one evening while I was brushing my teeth before bed. “I want to be just like Leonard Cohen.”

That was a funny thought, with some honesty behind it. And the music came right with it.

So I went downstairs and stayed up way past my bedtime (for a school night) writing this sucker.

I recorded a couple early versions, then headed over to my friend Dan Ostrowski’s for the “real” recording session.

Set in the Maryland woods, Dan’s Sunrise Studio is a beautiful, happy space to create.

And create we did.

Dan is on drums and keyboards here. I don’t think you’ll hear a more flawless drum line (although Dan would probably disagree, being as modest as he is).

I’m on guitar(s) and vocals.

This isn’t a perfect version, or final version or anything.

But I offer it up to you as a bit of music amid the madness.

More than that, I hopes that ALL of my brothers and sisters (fellow humans, I mean) can take a moment to listen to some Leonard Cohen today.

In fact, if you haven’t, please go do so before you listen to this song.

I would start with Hallelujah.

Meanwhile, Leonard… here’s a tip of the old fedora to you, you old silken crooner… you old dancer in the moonlight… you seducer of souls… defender of the hopeless and the insane… poet… titan… we love you, and we bid you goodnight, sir… for now.

And here’s the song I wrote in your honor. I hope you can hear it on your celestial radio up there.

I call it: Just Like Mr. Cohen.

5 Responses to “Just Like Mr. Cohen”

  1. livingstonsanchez November 11, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    Just what I needed tonight. Love you bro 💚

  2. The Publisher November 11, 2016 at 11:39 pm #

    I’m so glad to hear that, Rosie – love you more!!

  3. vastcyclopeanvistas November 12, 2016 at 7:18 am #

    This is what I thought of:
    “I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
    Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
    But I hear him coughing all night long
    A hundred floors above me
    In the Tower of Song”

    Takin’ your place in the tower, my brother.

    • The Publisher November 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

      Dude. C’mon. I just got the chills for a bunch of different reasons, and now I’m literally tearing up a bit. Love ya. Thank you.

    • The Publisher November 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

      I should add that I would be more than thrilled to sweep the basement in that tower. I’d be happy to run really frivolous orders up to the penthouse area, just to get a glance at Leonard’s room, to see his hat hanging on the chair by the desk, and the little note pad where he’s writing down something true.

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