Cohen thought he might have been able to help him
Leonard Cohen’s music offered catharsis and a sense of understanding for many, but not Kurt Cobain who, on Nirvana’s In Utero track ‘Pennyroyal Tea’, sung: ‘Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld / So I can sigh eternally’.
I get where he was coming from – it’s not that he wasn’t a fan of Cohen’s, he definitely was – it’s that Cohen’s world was so dark that if his music didn’t make you feel better on a given day, it would probably make you feel worse.
I think Cohen must of been aware of the lyric, and after the Cobain committed suicide, he said of him: “I’m sorry I couldn’t have spoken to the young man.
“I see a lot of people at the Zen Centre, who have gone through drugs and found a way out that is not just Sunday school. There are always alternatives, and I might have been able to lay something on him.”