11 March 2008

A Long Time Coming

Last night the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honored the inductees for 2008 in ceremonies at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Hall of Fame Foundation President and CEO, Joel Peresman, stated, “From poetry to pop, these five acts demonstrate the rich diversity of rock and roll itself. We are proud to honor these artists and celebrate their contribution to rock and roll’s place in our culture.”

The performer inductees are:

Leonard Cohen
The Dave Clark Five (Dave Clark, Lenny Davidson, Rick Huxley, Denny Payton and Mike Smith)
John Mellencamp
The Ventures (Bob Bogle, Nokie Edwards, Gerry McGee, Mel Taylor, Don Wilson)

Now I danced to The Dave Clark Five and The Ventures, listened with delight to Mellencamp, and have often been amazed by the constant reinvention of The Material Girl, but my heart belongs to Leonard Cohen. As a poet, writer, and musician he speaks to something tender, beautiful, sad, and sometimes edgy and dangerous in the human spirit.

So many years ago I can't exactly remember when except that it was in the sixties, I first heard Suzanne, bought the album and played it into the ground. Just last year a friend mentioned that the title of one of his songs Dance Me To The End of Love was the same as a favorite painting. The voice was older, the face craggier in the video, and the poetry still reminded you of something hidden in the soul that demanded attention because of the tears in your eyes. His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships.

His webpage has an extensive biography from his birth in 1934 to the present that you can read at your leisure. Check into it for his books of poetry and novels to add to your reading list, and make a list of his albums. If they aren't already in your home, go shopping then return home, pour a glass of wine, put on the CD or open a book and indulge yourself in the company of a wonderful man who has now received a long overdue honor.


Ivanhoe said...

Congrats on receiving POW for this week's MM post! Well deserved!

Travis said...

I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not that familiar with Leonard Cohen. I know I've heard his music, some of it covered by other artists. I'll check out the links.

And I'll add my congrats on MM post of the week!

eProf2 said...

Nice going, Jamie. Not only did you remember the reference to Dance Me To The End of Love, but you put my last name in the same paragraph. You might have been referencing 9/11 too as we had several exchanges on CL about Leonard Cohen there. (How I miss 9/11.) If you haven't seen the biographical film about Cohen's life, I'm Your Man, check it out. In the film, Antony does a wonderful rendition of If It Be Your Will. It's on YouTube. Nice post today.