birthdays, bananas, bish bosh… and Leonard Cohen

Well today I got the perfect birthday card: an etch-a-sketch with a portrait of Leonard Cohen from the cover of his first album. I’ve got one of those mini etch-a-sketches so I’ll try to do my own drawing of Leonard from.. um, let me see… okay, the ‘I’m Your Man’ sleeve, the one with the cool shades and the banana. I think I can etch-a-sketch a banana…
I spent my birthday morning doing phone interviews about the book – I’ve been doing that a lot of lately – and was really pleased when I heard that one of my interviewers today was going to be Brian D Johnson of Macleans in Canada (the magazine’s a bit like Times magazine but with more interesting writing on the arts). I’d come across Johnson’s name several times while researching my book; he’s done some great stuff on Leonard over the years, so for some of the time we swapped war stories…
Well I’m off to listen to the advance I just downloaded of the new album by another elusive and endlessly fascinating musician, Scott Walker. ‘Bish Bosh’, the album’s called. The opening lines to the opening song:

While plucking feathers
from a swan song
Spring might gently
press its thumbs
against your eyes……

Ah, I think this is going to be a very happy birthday.

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