Hear Bill Flanagan’s never-before-heard interview with Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s 2006 interview with Bill Flanagan’s 2006 was, at the time, his first major interview in years as he prepared to return to the stage.

Caitlin Carter
December 5, 2016

Leonard Cohen’s never-been-released conversation with author, TV producer and SiriusXM host Bill Flanagan will air in a special broadcast on SiriusXM’s VOLUME (Ch. 106) channel.  Previously recorded at Manhattan’s Chelsea Hotel in 2006 but never publicly aired, this SiriusXM special will air on Written In My Soul, the new series hosted by Bill Flanagan featuring interviews with legendary musicians.

This candid conversation became the first major interview Cohen was to do in years, finding him as he was preparing to return to performing live after more than a decade out of the public spotlight.  In this exclusive interview, Cohen opens up about his early days at the Chelsea Hotel as he grew from poet to singer-songwriter; his first meeting with an unknown Lou Reed in 1966; his brief affair with Janis Joplin; and how he sought to impress his hotel neighbor Edie Sedgwick. Cohen also talked about his battles with depression, his five years in a Buddhist monastery, and the surprise that his song Hallelujah had become immensely popular.  At 70-years-old at the time of the interview, Cohen said he was finding himself “in the foothills of old age,” and was now in a hurry to complete his work.

The special airs Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 pm ET on SiriusXM VOLUME (Ch. 106). 

In the meantime, you can check out a preview of their interview.

On his neighbors at the Chelsea Hotel:

On meeting Lou Reed:

On battling depression:

Photo Credit: AP/Chris Pizzello/Spadi/Rick Maiman/G. Paul Burnett

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