Harve Kubernik to Peter Lewis:
I do have one question. Bob Johnston the staff producer at Columbia Records did some producing with you and a few albums with Leonard Cohen. Did you meet Leonard 1967-1972 at Columbia or in a studio? Did you dig his records.
I just missed meeting Leonard. I first got turned on to him in New York. It must have been 68' or 69' when my marriage was falling apart. We were playing the Fillmore East or Village theatre. When the set was over I remember meeting Linda Eastman backstage. She was there with her camera to take pictures of the band.
I think see saw how downright lonely I was. She was one of those rare creatures you meet sometimes in life who just "knows" what to do and took pity on me. When we got to her apartment that night she went to her turntable and put on Leonard's first record. Of course "Susanne", "That's No Way to Say Goodbye" etc. came to me like the soundtrack of my life at the time.
Later, Bob Johnson produced our last album for Columbia "Truly Fine Citizen", in Nashville. When the record was finished he asked me if I wanted to stay after the others went home. He said he liked my voice and wanted to introduce me to Johnny Cash, Dylan, Leonard Cohen etc.
Why did I go home with the others and not take my shot at the time? It may have been some crazy idea that Many Grape wasn't finished yet.
Anyway, I never stopped listening to and admiring Leonard Cohen. He was the first artist I became fully conscious of, after Dylan, who could make the music fit the lyrics in a way that seemed already familiar. Anyway it all started that night at Linda's. Leonard's songs sounded to me like I'd heard them before in a dream, even as I sat there listening to them for the first time.
I got your 1967 book from Carol. It brought everything back in a rush. So much of what I remember about that time now got focused on my own personal experience. I had forgotten how it felt to be part of something that big.
Reading 1967 unstuck me and more than anything, my hope is that this book will remind others who were there that they weren't alone.
1967: A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love by Harvey Kubernik. Published in April 2017 by Sterling.
Thanks to Harvey for sharing with us!