We Have The Music

Completion Date: 22 Feb 2019
Medium: Paint & ink on cardboard
Dimensions: 16 x 20 inches

Line from Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel which appeared on his fourth studio album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, released in August 1974.

On this album he began to move away from the minimal instrumentation of his earlier work, with the use of violas, mandolins, banjos, guitars, percussion and other instruments producing a more orchestrated (but nevertheless spare) sound.

The song refers to a sexual encounter in the Chelsea Hotel, probably New York City’s most famous Bohemian hostelry. For some years, when performing this song live, Cohen would tell a story that made it clear that the person about whom he was singing was Janis Joplin, who died of an overdose in 1970. Cohen would eventually come to regret his choice to make people aware that the song was about Joplin, and the graphic detail in which the song describes their brief relationship. In a 1994 broadcast on the BBC, Cohen said it was “an indiscretion for which I’m very sorry, and if there is some way of apologising to the ghost, I want to apologise now, for having committed that indiscretion.”

According to Ira Nadel’s 1996 Cohen memoir Various Positions, the singer finished writing Chelsea Hotel #2″ at the Imperial Hotel in Asmara, Ethiopia.

Text source: Wikipedia