Leonard Cohen Turned 70 a Couple of Years Ago:

He's one of my favorite poets, songwriters, and singers, so I thought I'd note this. The Guardian (U.K.) notes 70 tidbits about him; here are a few of my favorites:

5 Cohen's albums regularly go to no 1 in Norway.

28 He is a lifelong manic depressive. Asked about drugs, he has said: "The recreational, the obsessional and the pharmaceutical - I've tried them all. I would be enthusiastically promoting any one of them if they worked."

37 Cohen has been with Columbia for 37 years, but relations are ambivalent. Accepting an award in 1988, he thanked Columbia and said: "I have always been touched by the modesty of their interest in my work."

40 Asking him where the songs come from is fruitless. "If I knew, I'd go there more often."

61 As a marketing ploy, cafes in the US that had "the Leonard Cohen vibe" were sent a free copy of the Tower of Song album. "I'd like to go to some of those," Cohen said. "I can rarely locate my own vibe."

68 He always has excellent backing vocals. "My voice sounds so much better when a woman is singing with me," he has said. "Some dismal quality is neutralised."

41 His album Death of a Ladies' Man was produced by Phil Spector, the reclusive genius of girl-group pop. "I was flipped out at the time," Cohen said later, "and he certainly was flipped out. For me, the expression was withdrawal and melancholy, and for him, megalomania and insanity and a devotion to armaments that was really intolerable. In the state that he found himself, which was post-Wagnerian, I would say Hitlerian, the atmosphere was one of guns - the music was a subsidiary enterprise ... At a certain point Phil approached me with a bottle of kosher red wine in one hand and a .45 in the other, put his arm around my shoulder and shoved the revolver into my neck and said, 'Leonard, I love you.' I said, 'I hope you do, Phil.'"

UPDATE: D'oh — I initially accidentally posted their entire article, which I hadn't meant to do. Just corrected this to indeed include just my favorite snippets.

Jeff R.:
The article being from 2004, one presumes that he turned 72 last week.
9.25.2006 5:52pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Double d'oh -- just fixed it; thanks, Jeff R.
9.25.2006 6:14pm
"Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld, so I can sign eternally."
9.25.2006 7:02pm
Cornellian (mail):
"Oh save me a place
in the ten dollar grave
with those who took money
for the pleasure they gave"

What a great songwriter.
9.25.2006 8:26pm
Revonna LaShatze:
Lol at the D'oh.
I just thought you really were a fan and wanted to share all those facts with us.
9.25.2006 9:33pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

5 Cohen's albums regularly go to no 1 in Norway.

28 He is a lifelong manic depressive.

9.25.2006 9:56pm
EV, I doubt you would care for Cohen's left-leaning political views.
9.26.2006 2:09pm