Leonard Cohen became a permanent fixture on my playlist after discovering the cover of “Closing Time” by Regina Spektor in Take This Waltz, the indie that left me more confused and saddened than enlightened. Not a typical rom-com but worth the effort after being able to take the waltz back in time to Leonard Cohen’s world of haunting beauty and hypnotic lines.
Cohen known for depression, womanizing, and poetry had brushes with the Beatniks, Warhol, Dylan and the rest of the Greenwich Village singer-songwriters, Nashville, Phil Spector and Nineties alt-rockers. He has been thought of by many as “permanently out of time, living a kind of existential isolation.”
Always a fan of the controversial Ms. Lana Del Rey, I was not all that shocked to find her cover someone as magnetically fantastic as Mr. Cohen. The announcement: a casual tweet of “new video” coupled with: Chelsea Hotel No. 2.
Lana Del Rey removes herself from the notorious motorcycles, string of men, and tigers to simply sit and sing this historic track of longing with the passion it deserves. Cohen wrote this song for his 1974 album “New Skin for the Old Ceremony” about a fling with Janis Joplin that took place in the famous New York Chelsea Hotel.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, “Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music.”
Rolling Stone who thinks most covers are “redundant, frequently pointless, and rarely remembered” finally found one to be on par with the original and I dare say I agree.
I don’t mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can’t keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often.
In a 1969 interview with Doors frontman Jim Morrison, one of the best musicians to ever live, was speculating about the future of music. His predictions were correct…
The new generation’s music … will have a synthesis of those two elements and some third thing. It might rely heavily on electronics, tapes. I can kind of envision, maybe, one person with a lot of machines: tapes, electronic setups, singing or speaking, using machines.
Morrison’s words are almost a perfect description of the technological enhancements in music: Skrillex, deadmau5, The Knife, and many more.
I have moved on. On with my life in the ways of area code, personality, and state of mind. Our love, too much or too little, I will never know. In the end I think of you fondly. Now I think rationally about you, you are older. You need a life to build.
I wonder will you find that one person that gets under your skin yet makes you love her due to to her quirks and artsy thoughts? Will you find that girl? I hope you do. I knew you settled before, I knew I challenged you in more ways than one, but I know you deserve something true, honest.
I hope you get there and even though I may never know, I hold out hope that you don’t stop looking and never, ever, settle.
Oh, Selfridges. I have mixed emotions about jetting across the pond, back to my native country and leaving you on Oxford Street, all alone. Hardly, you are a filthy cheater. Selfridges, let ‘s be honest here. You ALWAYS have been the one, since 1909. No blame is possible for your wicked charms that make my feet feel at home in your leather combat boots, snake skin pumps, and over-the-knee black suede boots. Selfridges, you are a beautiful thing. I never stood a chance. We never did.