At 77 years old, Leonard Cohen has just released his first album in eight years and what an ode to life it is.

“I love to speak with Leonard. He’s a sportsman and a shepherd. He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit. But he does say what I tell him, even though it isn’t welcome,” he sings on the new album “Old Ideas.

He brought the house down.

I first saw Leonard Cohen in the mid 60’s in London. He kept us waiting for 1 – 1 ½ hours and then appeared on stage in a cream suit with an acoustic guitar and nothing else. I bought all his poetry, listened to his music till 4 – 5 am, accompanied by bottles of Bordeaux – and suffered with him. Through the years he has traveled down many highways and up many mountains and written some of the greatest songs ever written. I saw him last year at the Beacon Theatre where he told us he’d studied all kinds of philosophies and religions and deep, deep thoughts, but despite this he is finding that cheerfulness keeps breaking out.

He’s in his 70’s now and has little time for alcohol, tobacco, drugs or sex but when you see him in concert, the cheerfulness is still there.

Like Leonard, “My friends are gone, my hair is grey, I ache in the places where I used to play.” And, also like Leonard, I can’t stop cheerfulness from breaking out.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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