.

Ladies and Gents, Leonard Cohen

Page 5 of 5

B

ack at the hotel, exhausted, champagned, and groupied after (some intelluctually, some in the usual way), Leonard Cohen sank wearily into the soft. A bottle circulated.  "Nancy was with us. Without her we wouldn't have been able to pull it off." 

He slipped off his boots. People began arriving for a party. Partly from fatigue, partly from triumph he spoke freely of the concert and bigger things. "I like that kind of situation where the public is involved. I happen to like it when things are questioned. When the very basis of the community is questioned. I enjoy those moments."

The cheerful detente he had achieved between the crowd and the police reinforced something he had said earlier. "I believe there is a lot of goodwill in society and in men ... and it's just a matter of where you cast your energy. You can in some way place yourself at the disposal of the good will that does exist ... or you can say there is no goodwill in society and what we must do is completely destroy the thing. I believe that in the most corrupt and reactionary circles there is goodwill. I believe that men are mutable and that things can change ... It's a matter of how we want things to change."

More people arrived. Old friends, Ron Cornelius' relatives, and strangers hoping for a chance to talk to Cohen. Despite his exhaustion, Cohen was ready for them. "Man, you know what is best about having a good crowd and giving them everything you've got? The incoherence afterwards. That's what ... Hey, where are the 14-year-old girls? This is California, isn't it? Where are the 14-year-old girls?"

This story is from the February 4th, 1971 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com