In case you haven't heard my music history story. I wasted 12 years of my life listening to retarded popular music until I purchased Metallica Self titled "Black Album" in October 2005 and began to walk the path of Heavy Metal.
When my brother took me to see Dream Theater in Sydney during January 2008, I reached a turning point in my life that I had to throw away every piece of Kylie Minogue that clogged up my music collection. From that day forward I realized that today music is bullshit and all forms of Metal was a bunker to escape what was being broadcasted every hour of every day.
Into my 30's, I began life in London. This was when I started to realize that all the bands from the 1960s and 1970s did play a huge part in shaping the forecast of Heavy Metal Musicians from the 1980s and onwards.
It irritated me that bands like Bon Jovi, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while pioneers such as T-Rex, Free, Bad Company, MC5 had been left out in the cold.
In March 2008 a Jewish-Canadian man called Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. Some 40 years after his first album was released. Leonard was inducted in the same year as Dave Clark Five, Madonna, John Mellencamp
At the time iI had never heard anything about Leonard Cohen, but I had heard hundreds of artists cover Hallelujah in death scenes on TV shows. The first time I ever heard Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujah was on the first season of "Scrubs" when the 3 main characters have to deal with the death of their patient in the episode.
Leonard Cohen music had a prime impact on Canada. K.D Lang performed Hallelujah in front of a global audience at the Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
Between the years of 2008 to 2013, Leonard Cohen re-emerged after many years in the wilderness. He was touring the world, making money, putting out new music. People were still covering Hallelujah on their albums.
All of a sudden it ended on the 7th November 2016 when Leonard Cohen died in Los Angeles aged 82. I was in Hong Kong at the time of his death. I felt a great sadness on the passing Canada favourite sons.
This influenced me to write about DEATH while onboard the Tran Siberian Railway.
I was never a fan of Leonard Cohen, I knew little about him, I found nothing on him while I stayed in Canada in May 2010.
One day I came back from Lebanon in July 2019. I was reading the Metro Newspaper and I saw a review of the film Leonard and Marianne: Words of Love. It had been less than 3 years since Leonard had died and I found it was too early to make a documentary on a certain aspect of his life
Before I paid 15 quid to see this movie, I did a bit of research on Marianne Ihlen. She was a Norwegian lady living in Hydra Greece with a young son called Axel. Her famous husband had dumped her on the island. Marianne and Lenoard were together for x amount of years before they drifted apart to different sides of the Atlantic
The media portrays Marianne as a muse of Leonard. Its kinda like how in this shit movie Xanadu, a muse comes out of the Sky to influence and artist but leaves to go back to heaven and reappears again and again!
This time Marianne was a real woman who lived on earth for 81 years of her life.
One day after work I walked to Hackey Cinemas, plopped myself down in a small cinema and thought to myself "Am I the only person who wants to see this movie tonight?" Later on, I was joined by another 8 people who made the tiny cinema full!
The documentary starts in the 1960's Leonard Cohen has left behind the cold of the UK to live in Hydra. He isn't yet known as a singer. He is a writer who has written a few books on poetry.
On the island of Hydra, he meets Norwegian Marianne Ihlen who has been left heartbroken. Her famous husband Axel Jensen has dumped her for another woman. Marianne forms a close bond with Leonard Cohen. Her son Axel Jnr see Leonard as a STEPFATHER FIGURE.
The books Leonard wrote while on Hydra, wasn't that successful. Leonard spent a lot of his time on Hydra with the family of George Johnston and Charmain Clifft. In the mists of this film it mentions the sadness of Johnston family as his wife died of a deliberate barbituric overdose, he died of Health problem afterwards and all but one of their children have died young thanks to drugs, alcohol and whatnot.
SO it seems that Hydra is cursed, but it's curse doesn't affect Leonard and Marianne.
Around the turn of the '60s, Leonard Cohen has started to become a recording artist. Writing songs like "Bird on a Wire", "Suzanne" "Hey that's No Way to Say Goodbye" while in Hydra and has recorded the album in New York.
Leonard Moves back to Montreal and brings Marianne and Axel with him. Due to his newfound fame of being a Musician. Leonard wants to spend 6 months of the year in Montreal and the other 6 months in Hydra.
As the 70's draw to a start, you hear more about Leonard and Marianne drifting apart. Marianne lived in England and put her son in an English boarding school. Axel Jnr has spent a lot of time in Mental institutions due to his father passing Acid onto him.
Throughout the Documentary, there are many archives recordings of Marianne speaking in her mother tongue about life in Hydra. There is an interview by Judy Collins on how she coaxed Leonard into the spotlight.
The 70's period where Leonard worked with Phil Spector is a daunting part of the documentary as Mr.Spector was a big ass fan of guns and how the album was a huge debacle as both Cohen and Spector fame was winding down from the 60's fame.
Focusing on Leonard 1984 album "Various Position", it talks about how Colombia Records has screwed over John Lissauer and Leonard Cohen by not releasing this album thanks to Walter Yetnikoff antics. A sad stupid story of big labels screwing over the little guy with the big heart.
The 1990s brings in a quiet time of Leonard Cohen life. He has become a Zen Buddist monk. He spent a few years living at a monastery. Archive footage shows Leonard Cohen running around the monastery, ringing bells, saying prayers. It's impressive to see a Jewish man do something like that.
In the mists of the '00s, Leonard retirement fund has been squandered off by a former manager/lover Kelly Lynch who nicked $5million off the ageing musician. Leonard won the court case against Ms.Lynch but she in no way could ever repay Leonard.
Back to Music and touring, Leonard went in 2008. After his induction into the Rock Hall, Leonard was back on the world stage headling Glastonbury, selling out Sydney and playing all four corner of the globe.
It was in 2009 that Leonard played a show in Oslo, Norway. It was here he gave Marianne front row ticket to see her old boyfriend perform again after many years. We see in the footage an elderly greying Marianne Ilhen singing along to "So Long Maryanne". It was this part of the film that I began to weep deeply.
Until that day, the only Leonard Cohen songs I ever knew was "Hallelujah" and "Everybody Knows(Thanks to an Anti Smoking commercial in NSW).
The thing that broke my heart in the movie is seeing Maryanne Ilhen dying in the hospital. She is lying in bed when her friend reads out a letter Leonard Cohen has just sent to her.
I’m just a little behind you, close enough to take your hand. This old body has given up, just as yours has too, and the eviction notice is on its way any day now.
I’ve never forgotten your love and your beauty. But you know that. I don’t have to say any more. Safe travels old friend. See you down the road. Love and gratitude.
Marianne Ihlen started smiling in her last few days on earth. She told her husband and friend that Leonard was a lovely man. Marianne left this world on the 28th of July 2016.
15 weeks later Leonard Cohen left this world.
After wiping away my tears, I was reminded about how a woman enters a man lives for a brief period and then leaves an everlasting impact on his life until he dies.
This documentary made me think about how long we are here on earth. Leonard Cohen had 82 years on earth, Marianne Illhen had 81 years on earth.
Leonard Cohen deserved to live a long life for what he did for other people. Yes, his music has been over-covered so many times but he was never a rockstar, a pop star or a one-hit-wonder.
I feel sad that musicians like Sandy Denny, John Bonham, Steve Clark, Quorthon, Dead, Michael Hutchence, Dimebag Darrel, John Lennon didn't live past 40 or 50. They all should have grown up to be grey old people like Leonard Cohen despite the horrors of Alcoholism, Cancer, Heart Disease, Brain Haemorrhages, Homicide and Suicide caused them to leave this earth too earth.
When I clean Sandy Denny grave a few times a year, I always tell her she had more talent than fucking Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue and how today's retarded musicians should all suffer the same fate as what other rockstars went through.
Months after Leonard Cohen died, the German Thrash Metal band Kreator released a video to their new song "Fallen Brother" the video shows a man burning photographs of Rock and Metal Musicians who have passed on in the last 35 years. Leonard Cohen photo was one of them.
I felt touched that a Thrash Metal band could honour a musician like Leonard Cohen or even Prince.
Leonard Cohen will continue to influence musicians of all kinds from beyond the grave. It would be a fitting tribute if a Norwegian flew to Montreal and left a piece of a Norway Spruce plant at Leonards grave or if a Canadian flew to Oslo and left a Maple leaf at Marianne grave. A Maori left a silver fern at his Uncle grave in Tunisia while he left some Tunisian desert roses on his parents grave in New Zealand.
Surprise the last time I was in Norway, I went to the church and cemetery where Marianne had her funeral and was buried. My next quest is to find her grave.