A Leonard Cohen biography
My good friend the author, singer-songwriter and poet Anthony Reynolds has just been published with his third biography - Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life. Published by Omnibus Press in hardback it follows on from Anthony's past works that were about the lives and music of The Walker Brothers and Jeff Buckley.
I am honoured to be included in Anthony's new book with my thoughts about Cohen and my memories of seeing him live at the Isle of Wight Festival way back in 1970. Cohen made such a big impression on me then that he is the act I remember best from all those years ago.
I was interviewed as a Cohen fan, but in this very well researched book the author got in touch with and quoted from many other people who actually have worked with or have known the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist.
Buy Leonard Cohen - A Remarkable Life by Anthony Reynolds
Singer-songwriter, author and poet Anthony Reynolds has written a biography of Leonard Cohen. This book on the life of the Canadian legend is published by Omnibus.
A Leonard Cohen biography
Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life reviewed
Review of a biography of Leonard Cohen's life
Anthony Reynolds takes the reader from Cohen's early beginnings as a Montreal poet back in 1956 and his first novel in 1963 through all his many years as a very highly acclaimed singer-songwriter and musician, which all began for him really with his album Songs of Leonard Cohen back in 1967, but has continued up until this present time with 11 studio albums to his credit.
The book starts though with the author's experience of witnessing Cohen collapse on stage in Valencia, Spain, in 2009, just a short while into the performance. It was the first and only time Reynolds had been able to see Cohen live and this was how it turned out.
So whilst the author cannot claim to have had much experience of seeing Cohen perform on stage or to have personally known him he nevertheless makes up for this with the fantastic amount of research he did for this book. Details of Cohen's early background are included, his family, the women in his life such as Marianne, who became immortalised in song in So Long, Marianne , his time spent on the island of Hydra, the making of each of his albums, his books and poetry, his business associates and recording and touring deals, the highs and lows of his life, his time spent as a Zen monk, and his recent achievements and how he has attracted a lot of renewed attention - its all inLeonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life .
Reynolds brings his account vividly to life with numerous quotations from Cohen himself and from friends and associates. There is also a selection of black and white photos of Leonard Cohen taken at various points in his career, and for fans it is almost worth getting the book just for these pictures alone!
A chapter that stood out for me was the one about all the madness that went on in the making of Death of a Ladies' Man. This was the album produced by Phil Spector. Two musical geniuses but the project was a mess and a recording Cohen is not proud of.
It is worth considering when reading Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life that the author is an accomplished poet and singer-songwriter himself. I found it of great interest to see what Anthony would say about Cohen as one artist writing about another.
I discovered a lot of information about Leonard Cohen that I didn't know before reading this book. For example I found out that Cohen was obsessed with Nico at one point in his life. So was I so I can fully understand why!
Leonard Cohen - A Remarkable Life by Anthony Reynolds
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Anthony Reynolds book about the Walker Brothers on Amazon
The Walker Brothers were the US counter-strike to the British invasion of the mid-60s. While The Beatles, the Stones and many others were busy colonising the US charts. Not actu...
Anthony Reynolds personal website
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Anthony Reynolds and his musical background
More about Anthony Reynolds
Anthony Reynolds came to fame with his band Jack, a band that recorded two albums for Too Pure after signing a deal with the label back in 1993. The albums were highly acclaimed and the band became regulars in the music press of the time such as the NME and Melody Maker.
I knew Anthony from his earlier bands in Cardiff where we both played on the local circuit of venues. I remember when he left Cardiff for London and how he told me he was sure he would find a deal up there that he couldn't find in South Wales. He was proved right and I was very impressed not only with the music but with his achievement.
Jack was followed by another musical project called Jacques that recorded a lot more songs on two albums for the Setanta label.
Anthony Reynolds has produced many more recordings including his most recent solo album British Ballads that was released in 2007. He has also had his poetry published in These Rose Taste Like Ashes, an anthology of poems, lyrics and prose.
For details of all of Anthony Reynold's music, poetry, books and other creative projects please see his website in the links section above.
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