Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman

Post by LisaLCFan » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:02 am

MaryB wrote:Talk about timing, Footman's is perfect. Just in time to cash in on a name by producing a mediocre book.
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman

Post by bridger15 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:05 pm

DrHGuy wrote:Motivated in part by some of the comments in this sequence, I did a Q&A with Tim Footman that is posted at http://1heckofaguy.com/2010/01/11/exclu ... biography/
After reading the Q&A cited above and disliking Footman's attitude, I was tempted to dismiss this article.
However, there are two comments that especially peaked my interest. (in red)
A compelling new Leonard Cohen Cohen biography

He may be 75-years-old, but Leonard Cohen shows no signs of slowing down, thanks in part to a two years and counting global tour to reacquaint himself with adoring audiences and concurrently iron out allegedly swindled finances. Though his name might not immediately jump off the page for younger readers, the poetic songwriter’s tunes have been covered by Jeff Buckley, Bono, The Pixies, Nick Cave, R.E.M., Don Henley and someone major from just about ever genre known the world over. He’s not a traditional hit maker per say, but Cohen’s legend comes in a remarkable ability to tell a story, coupled with a self-deprecating, sardonic persona that would rather embrace Buddhist meditation than fame or material possessions.

Such is the somewhat complex though instantly likeable personality presented by Tim Footman throughout Hallelujah: A New Biography (Chrome Dreams) in what might not be the longest or more insightful Cohen biography on the market, but certainly the most current as it puts the aging subject back on the radar of contemporary culture. Though it lacks the tawdry details of most rock star tell-alls, there are allusions to drug and alcohol use, plus the occasional romantic escapade (including Janis Joplin).

However, the actual assessments of songs and a cannon of albums subject to endless scrutiny are much more compelling, if only for the varying emotional framework in which they were composed. Cohen’s financial dramas are divulged but not dwelled upon, while second hand source quotes from the singer himself indicate a forgiving attitude. It’s in this realization, coupled with the legacy he’s carefully sculpted since the 1960s, that paint the subject as a true luminary, who’s admittedly an acquired taste, but one that truly gets sweeter with every exploration.

-Andy Argyrakis
2009-San Diego|Los Ang|Nashville|St Louis|Kansas City|LVegas|San Jose
2012-Austinx2|Denver|Los Ang|Seattle|Portland

Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman

Post by tomsakic » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:44 pm

The Croatian translation is on sale since February 12. Still didn't get it, but the cover art is the same.
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Re: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman

Post by Joe Way » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:16 pm

One of my daughters gave the book to me for Christmas. I was startled by how poorly it was edited (if it was edited at all).

I don't begrudge the "critical" tone of the book in the sense that the writer is allowed to have opinions about the songs, but it is not the least bit scholarly in the good way that it should be about someone who is not only a singer/songwriter but a widely published poet.

I have read numerous biographies about important literary figures like James Joyce and W. B. Yeats. Richard Ellman comes to mind who wrote both the first important biography of both Joyce and Yeats. If anyone has read these works, it almost makes one laugh out loud to consider that Tim Footman's book would be in the same general genre. Ellman, of course, wrote his biographies after the death of the artists and had the assistance and blessing of both Joyce's wife, Nora and Yeats', wife Georgie. Because of these relationships, there was a certain level of protection for the artist and their personal reputation. This has led to a number of subsequent biographies that help reveal more about the artist. For example, a recent biography of Yeats, "Yeats Ghosts" by Brenda Maddox details how Georgie helped control Yeats by feigning a skill for the occult, i. e. automatic writing.

I am hoping that the new rumored biography by Sylvie Simmons has more substance to it. Certainly Jim Devlin's biography is much more insightful about the works that Leonard has produced.

"Say a prayer for the cowboy..."
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