Almanac Music: Leonard Cohen is dead

Cask wine and conversation – with Spud Murphy and Susan Masotti, in a box Queenslander, Connan Street, Indooroopilly, circa1983. Leonard Cohen playing.


Add your Leonard Cohen tribute/comment/story.


Here’s a link to Richard Gehr’s Rolling Stone piece just published (midday, Friday).




About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

  2. “I ache in the places where I used to play “.

  3. “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin”.

  4. Dennis Gedling says

    “And just when I climbed this whole mountainside, to wash my eyelids in the rain!”

  5. Thesaurus Rex says

    James Valentine recounted an interesting anecdote on RN this afternoon about Cohen & Bob Dylan talking with each other one day. Apparently it went something like … Dylan said to Cohen: “Leonard, you are the number 1 songwriter in the whole world, & I’m the number zero!”. Cohen said later he eventually figured out what Dylan meant by that seemingly self-deprecating statement … Dylan was zero because he was out of the stratosphere & couldn’t be compared to anyone else, and Cohen, he was pretty good!

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    ‘A fitful dream the morning will exhaust’ Vale St Leonard Cohen

  7. John Butler says

    It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
    the holy places where the races meet;
    from the homicidal bitchin’
    that goes down in every kitchen
    to determine who will serve and who will eat.
    From the wells of disappointment
    where the women kneel to pray
    for the grace of God in the desert here
    and the desert far away:
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

  8. Thanks Phil. A nugget of gold right there.

  9. Colin Ritchie says

    I saw Leonard Cohen perform at the Arts Centre in Melbourne in 1985. I remember well the feeling of being completely blown away by his performance, in particular,with the clarity of the sound of the concert. Every note played was clearly heard as was every word he sang. The passion in his voice sent shivers down my spine and I was taken by surprise with the proficiency of his guitar playing. I could not believe just how good the concert was! Driving home to Colac my mates and I sang along with “So Long, Marianne” that we played over and over again on the tape player of my yellow Renault 12 wagon until our voices were so hoarse we couldn’t sing anymore. It was a most unforgettable concert.

  10. bob.speechley says

    Well recollected Colin – “So Long Marianne” is the Leonard Cohen verse that resonates for me to the point where my partner doesn’t want me to replay AND replay it.

  11. Colin, I was at that Arts Centre show in Melbourne in 1985 too. My memories are not as vivid as yours (possibly because I was right up the very back) but I do recall writing a review for Juke and starting with something like, ‘The lazy, cliched impression of Cohen as a dour, gloom and doom songwriter is so entrenched that the pendulum will probably never swing back far enough for people to realise that is not the case at all, especially in performance..’
    Phil, Alexanmdra Leaving is from the simply titled album Ten New Songs, an album I first thought bordered on being a bit cheesy (those keyboards, I think) but for many years the album has been my lullaby.

  12. Cut & paste the link to Leonard’s farewell. A life in poetry of the human soul.

    If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game. If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame. If thine is the glory, then mine must be the shame. You want it darker. We kill the flame. Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name. Vilified, crucified in the human frame. A million candles burning for the help that never came. You want it darker. Hineni, hineni, I’m ready, my Lord.

  13. I saw the 1985 tour in Perth at the Concert Hall. Vin i like your review. We had a similar response. He was witty and pithy and light and funny. Deep songs. Tower of Song is a standout. At our wedding we had a good friend sing Dance Me to the End of Love. Every line resonates. Listen to his latest album, literally just released. Producing gems to the end.

  14. Susan Masotti says

    There must have been too much cask wine because I can’t remember the music and only some of the conversation.

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