Musical Memories

I found this wonderful “paleolithic” video to one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs. Though I doubt it was what he had in mind, it works for me…

The ‘Net never ceases to amaze me. Looking at this, I said to Libby “First time I saw him was his first US gig, I think. The Newport Folk Festival, 1967. He looked like a rabbinical student, in a black suit– sat and sung “Suzanne” into his guitar. And it was magical. Joni Mitchell brought him out– she was wearing a horizontal striped mini- dress…”

I was wrong. The stripes were diagonal.


  1. Steve–I love it that you're a Leonard Cohen fan. A friend is going to see him December 18 in New York, and I am sick with envy…

    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    It's how the light gets in


  2. A favorite line among a million favorites– used it recently online re Catholic theology, calling the maestro something like a "Catholic Buddhist monk who went to Rabbinical school".

    My other favorite Cohen YouTube, maybe my VERY favorite, is for "Closing Time."

    Tom Russell is a huge fan too. I may have to write more about this…

  3. This film clip is from the semi-documentary French film "The Last Trapper", which I broke down and bought(it weren't cheap) awhile back, thanks to it's mention on the Retrieverman's blog. The whole movie is just such subjects and scenery–WORTH EVERY PENNY! Highly recommended! Being a sled dog afficiondo(some of my present team look just like the dogs on this film) I especially enjoyed it. It was a rather odd film, in that it was a dramatization of this guy's(and his wife's) actual life–so basically he WASN'T acting, just "behaving" in front of the cameras! And you could tell, at times, he was rather perplexed by it all! The DVD copy I got(in both French and English) had extras including how they got certin scenes–very interesting whether they were "created" or not!….L.B.

  4. I'm purty sure it was filmed in the Yukon, where this guy lives. The original French title is "Le Dernier Trappeur"–or some such. I found my copy on Amazon, of course….L.B.

  5. You introduced me to "Suzanne" when I guess I was 10! I have been a fan ever since and still know all the words. Intriguing video. K

  6. Teddy–in the movie(spoiler alert!) the main lead dog "Nanook"(yeah, kinda like naming a collie "Lassie", er a beagle "Snoopy", er a poodle "Fifi"!) meets with a depressing, but all too common demise. Part of the film's storyline is around a new dog a friend gives the trapper, of which he is NOT impressed with, and although his wife likes the new dog and works at incorporating it in the team(this dog's name is "Apache", but pronounced "Ah-Pash"! Perhaps the Northern Athabascan pronunciation of the term?)–so various scenes do show one less dog for various reasons. At least they did use the SAME dogs throughout, not switching entirely different individuals as many sled dog films do! Anyway(another spoiler alert!), the trapper finally(with GOOD reason!) comes around to respecting and growing attached to "Apache" before the film's ending! One comment made in the film that really stuck with me–during the trapper's yearly moose hunt for meat, after he gets his moose, he says he doesn't ask FORGIVENESS from the animal's spirit, but he does THANK it for it's sacrifice, explaining to it just how he will use the body. I found that rather profound–somehow even more respectful of Nature and our role in it than begging forgiveness for everything we do. I DO NOT, however agree with this trapper's philosophy that fur trappers are an absolute essential to Nature's balance! Although I do agree it would be a shame and a loss if NO ONE is allowed to live closely to Nature like this any more…..L.B.

  7. Thanks for the explanation about the difference in the number of sled dogs. I guess that inquiry is picky but for dog people the change is noticed and wondered about.

  8. Yes! I am one of those picky dog people too, and notice those things! Animal innaccuracy in films has always been a pet peeve of mine. Out of curiousity, I rechecked Amazon for copies of this film–it is still available, but even more expensive than when I bought it! I think I paid $20 bux for mine, and I cringed heavily doing THAT! But am glad I did–I have enjoyed this film repeatedley…..L.B.

  9. I have never seen Cohen in concert, but have always admired his work. "Suzanne" is one of the great songs of the era.

    Looking at the picture, though, reminds me of the first time I saw Joni Mitchell in concert. She played in McAlister Auditorium on campus at Tulane in early 1972. After the show, I left to go back to my dorm which was behind the auditorium and saw a limo parked on the grass in the quadrangle by the auditorium back door.

    I waited, and with a few other people saw Joni leave the auditorium with her very small entourage (2-3 people maybe) and get in the limo. She rolled down her window, looked me right in the eye, and said, "I hope you don't mind if we drive on your grass." I nearly passed out.

    Her opening act that night was some folk rocker guy we'd never heard of named Jackson Browne.

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