I know this is not longer news, but it's now when I finished of reading the biography, it had not sitting on my shelves for ages, I have not been busy at parties, I have not waited for summaries, sorry I have no excuses, but after reading it, I need to say one thing about it, even with my clumsy English, but before...
First, I consider it's an huge job. With a good sense of humour outlines the work and one imperfect man, gently without disturbing the orthodox fans. I agree with many of her thoughts, for example when she says, leaving London to Hydra, survival has been a major driving force, it's well expressed, anyway we talked about before in this forum. She searched every still alive human able to tell us something. There are many important contributions and unknown until now for me. We could believe that she has got all the information possible, but she could not find the test result for the food handling exam, this data only interest to me if he would serve me the Chicken Soup. Also we don't know the exact birth time, I guess than this it's only useful to see the natal chart. Never we will discover the whole mystery of Leonard Cohen, alas!
Note that the biographer -the reader can dream to go with her in the investigations throughout the book- is lovely.
(Photo © Eija Arjatsalo, Madison Event, Agust 2012)
INTERVIEW WITH SYLVIE SIMMONS by Jarkko Arjatsalo, September 2012
It's very rigorous work with many notes and sources for enjoyment of experts. In the Spanish edition the poems are respected in English, the translations are in appendix with the original versions of books published, excellent.
For me it is the most complete biography and the second best.
B4real wrote: Pages 148-149: Judy Collins says that Leonard sang Suzanne to her in her living room but in a video interview (Songs from the life of LC) Leonard states that he sang the song to her over the phone. Maybe he did it twice, once over the phone and once at her place?
Leonard states the phone version and his biographers repeat it, and Simmons knew and waited the story of the phone in mouth of Judy Collis, but the lady with rockabilly jacket strongly rejected the objection to her version. She later said that Leonard had just returned from Ibiza, here Simmons dares no longer to correct the Mediterranean island, lets to the reader understand the situation. But Judy Blue Eyes tells us that she received a call and a singer sang so wonderful song that she should record it. But the song was Both Sides Now and the singer Joni Mitchell.
What brings me here is a reference to the Cohen's tribute concert in Barcelona. The information is needed to know from where went the band for the 2008 tour. Leonard was impressed to see Javier Mas on the DVD of the concert. There was not one single concert, it was two mini tours under the name "Acuerdos con Leonard Cohen" (Acords amb - According to); four concerts in July 2006 and three in January 2007 with different configurations. Simmons adds that the concert had been involved his son Adam, the friend Jackson Browne and Anjani. There were also John Cale, Elliott Murphy & Olivier Durand, the faithful Perla Batalla who developed an important role... and a large group of artists singing in Spanish, Catalan and Basque, but for sure these admirers belong to another culture. Can we ignore Enrique Morente (deceased in 2010) and Omega? for example. (Although it's also true that Sylvie Simmons has written another biography of a guy with big nose too and also very interesting; Serge Gainsbourg, from another culture, I'm going to read it, definitely.)
The DVD and two CDs and reissue can be find in LeonardCohenFiles.com
. From an artistic point of view it is a great concert, it was recorded in Sant Cugat del Valles, near Barcelona. For copyright reasons it's lost the John Cale's Hallelujah and Alexandra Leaving.
The biographer can choose which parts are superfluous, in my opinion this one is objectively important. It were times of tributes, "Came So Far For Beauty / I'm Your Man" is an example perfectly exposed in the biography. Simmons says that Cohen's music was on stage but he was not, and Anjani literally stretched Leonard to go up on stage -Toronto 2006, mini tour Blue Alert 2007-, because that was the way. Our forum was abuzz of activism in that direction, the purpose was to demonstrate there was a large and unconditional audience waiting. Alberto Manzano -friend of Leonard and vested as Quixote- went decided to his personal ruin with "According". Significantly see Adam and Anjani singing together "Pequeño Vals Vienés".
Leonard took off again, this time free of old tyings, mighty and happy. From the success is easy write biographies, reissue books and records and give rewards, when everyone knows than Leonard is great and good, very good, Walter Yetnikoff knows it time ago. Now "According" surely could be a great success, but his family and friends would not bother to come, now it's not necessary.