The Song of

Leonard Cohen

by Harry Rasky

Song of Leonard Cohen Cover by Harry Rasky"In the late seventies, filmmaker Harry Rasky was on one wild trip! He soaked in a jacuzzi at the Four Seasons with Leonard Cohen...he drank wine and talked about the meaning of life with Leonard and Irving Layton at Leonard's place in Montreal...Harry and Leonard were mistaken for Bader-Meinhof terrorists by soldiers with machine guns while dining at a German Burger King...Harry was also part of the 1979 Field Commander Cohen tour...but best of all, he got everything on film!

"From the footage of these adventures, Harry Rasky created the acclaimed 1981 documentary film The Song of Leonard Cohen.

"Leonard Cohen called Harry Rasky recently to express his appreciation and admiration for the film. Inspired by that conversation, Rasky has delved into his personal archives and diaries upon which the film is based and has woven them into this moving and powerful text - The Song of Leonard Cohen.

"This book also contains Harry Rasky's never before published Bob Dylan Diaries, based on his notes and observations during the filming of a documentary project that was never completed.

"The Denver International Film Festival called Harry Rasky 'the world's most acclaimed non-fiction filmmaker.' He has been nominated for two Oscars and six Emmy Awards." - from the back cover of the book

Ira Nadel in the Cohen biography Various Positions writes about Rasky's documentary:

"Rasky showed Cohen performing in Europe and interviewed him in his Montreal home where he philosophized about his career and his attraction to music...

"In the Rasky film Cohen looked healthy and fit. His performances from the 1979 tour show a polished entertainer, with more rhythm and energy in his songs. Jennifer Warnes and Sharon Robinson harmonized perfectly with Cohen's sometimes raspy voice..."1

Harry Rasky's book about his experiences in filming this documentary, The Song of Leonard Cohen: Portrait of a Poet, a Friendship & A Film, has been published by Mosaic Press and is now available. Contact Mosaic Press at:

4500 Witmer Industrial Estates
PMB 145
Niagara Falls, NY, USA
Phone: 1-800-387-8992

to learn about obtaining the book or video documentary. Also read more about the book at
Dick Straub provides a review of the documentary The Song of Leonard Cohen. Read it in the Leonard Cohen Files in the Filmography section.

1. Nadel, Ira B., Various Positions, published simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, and in the U.S. by Pantheon Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 1996, pp. 228-29.

Return to the Home Page   Read the liner notes written by Leonard for the new album.   Learn which band members will solo on the new album.
Read the recollections of Jim Devlin and Jim Donoghue about concerts that will be featured on the new album.   A list of songs featured on the new live album.   Study the notebook pages where Leonard began Field Commander Cohen.   Prepare to be dazzled by this photographic tour from the lens of Hazel Field.   Read what the press has to say about the new live album.