Loser's Guide to Life
I was reading the liner notes to Leonard Cohen's The Best of Leonard Cohen (Columbia, WCK 34077). Here's what he says about “Chelsea Hotel” (which of course contains the line “Giving me head on the unmade bed”):
I wrote this for an American singer who died a while ago. She used to stay at the Chelsea, too. I began it in a bar in a Polynesian restaurant in Miami in 1971 and finished it in Asmara, Ethiopia just before the throne was overturned.
And here's a bit more from Harry Rasky's The Song of Leonard Cohen (2001):
About the verse "I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best"
Well that speciffically meant I wasn't one of Janis Joplin's closest friends. I don't really know her life deeply. I'd bump into her now and then and I knew her slightly, but there was obviously some kind of rapport and I did feel some sort of closeness to her - but I didn't want to include myself for History's sake or accuracy's sake as one of her intimates. I wasn't.
Anyway, no one can dispute Cohen's role in the overthrow of Haile Selassie. Yet interestingly enough, he didn't seek out this role. From a 1975 interview: “However, last summer I went to Ethiopia looking for a suntan.”
And the ultimate results?
More poems about Leonard Cohen!