Leonard Cohen's Greatest Fan - "Banalny" aka Artur Jarosiński

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Tribute, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I was thinking back to the time when a young man from Poland shared, with Leonard Cohen's own personal blessing, an archive of all of the known recordings of Leonard. His tag name was "banalny", but he was Artur Jarosiński.

    But in a great tragedy, Artur was hit by a car and killed in 2011 before he reached the goal of sharing the entire archive. Sometimes, Artur shared the correspondence he received from Leonard himself.

    Shortly before the terrible accident, I had written to "banalny" about spoken word (readings, narrations) and interview recordings of Leonard, with that magical entrancing voice!

    Artur wrote back: "I have tons of that, but Interview and Spoken Word tapes are left for the end of DiLeCo releases. Time is of essence now as we have already lost 3 master reels and have to look for best sounding copies. And this refers to shows from not that distant past as 1985! I am really close now to digitize the complete set of known LC concerts. Then videos and then interviews and such. All in good time."

    There was no time left, sadly. I also wish that Artur had lived to hear the great final trilogy of Leonard's last three albums: Old Ideas, Popular Problems, and You Want It Darker.

    Many of the most serious fans and collectors of Leonard Cohen owe a lot to Artur's personal mission to spread the word. There is a little presence on the web in his memory, searching either by his birth name or his pseudonym.

    I will post some extracts of postings about Artur. I never met him. I wonder if other forum members ever met him or corresponded with him. I also wonder what became of Artur's archive of Leonard.

    Here he is: RIP Artur (1978-2011)

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  2. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Austin TX
    I did not know those details but I definitely recall Banalny and his LC recordings. Thanks for this post.

    Theres probably an archive of his posts at various live recording sites.
  3. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here is an extract from a post about Artur on boblinks:

    "Artur Jarosinski, a collector of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen works died on
    August 21, 2011, aged 32.

    True artists like Bob Dylan are rare species. True fans are not easy to
    find either.

    It would be hard to find a starker contrast between his internet status
    of a wiseman and real life figure. Gentle-mannered, slightly shy and
    cheerful Artur taught English to schoolchildren of Bochnia. He invented
    nursery rhymes based on Dylan songs. Imagine the amazement of kids
    coming for private lessons at the stacks of records and assorted
    dylanica cramped into a tiny room of the flat where he lived with his
    parents. Later on he moved to Wroclaw as a translator.

    Artur was a maverick. Many people did not understand his passion.
    (Maybe every collector is slightly misunderstood?) Bochnia, like many
    parts of southern Poland, is a curious blend between modernity and
    tradition. This is a sleepy former salt-mine town where older generation
    venerates John Paul II, cherishes family values and loves Polish folk music.
    These parts of Poland were a bulwark against communism but it
    somehow never came hand in hand with the Rolling Thunder Revue.
    The younger generation that does not remember communism inevitably
    slid into modern-era lowbrow entertainment. Bob Dylan has never
    attracted anybody's attention. Artur was alone in Bochnia.

    Kraków was a bit different, at least for a little while, when gloom of
    dictatorship turned into blossom of democracy. When Dylan came to
    the city in 1994 16-year-old Artur was there in an anonymous,
    rain-drenched crowd ready to skip the TV broadcast of World
    Champions final of Italy playing against Brazil. There was a craziness in
    this audience, megatons of pent-up energy. The Iron Curtain had
    just come down and people's hunger for rock music seemed insatiable.
    It would not last long. Soon the rock music came to be largely forgotten
    by those whose staple food became junk food of pop music. Artur stuck
    with healthy food of good music.

    Artur Jarosinski departed as he arrived, like a comet. He died in an
    accident on his way home after a concert. I wish Bob Dylan knew and
    heaved a sigh, because with every fan gone some of the artist is lost
    forever. Without fans there is no artist and Artur was one of the
    greatest of fans."

    Jakub Wisniewski
    December 2013
  4. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It is the material that he never circulated that I wonder about. Possibly hundreds of hours of spoken word recordings and interviews, especially. They gave completely new and fresh insight into Leonard Cohen, and had the magical quality of his spoken voice.
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  5. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Here is Artur with Leonard in 2007.

    Notice that Leonard appears to be sharing pastries with the people who are waiting to meet him.

    "Would you like a cream puff?"

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  6. oxegen

    oxegen Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Yes, I met him in 2008 at one of the Leonard Cohen concerts in Kilmainham, Dublin. A friend and I shared tickets over the weekend and Artur joined our little group at the Sunday night show, which Artur also taped. It rained quite heavily that night and the concert was held outdoors. It’s a wonderful tape - the rain does not spoil it too much but it has been a while since I last played it.

    Artur was friendly but quiet (shy). I remember my friend telling me a few years later that he had been killed in a car accident. Very sad!

    I don’t recall meeting him again after that night but I may have done so. I must check with my friend.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  7. Wateryeyes

    Wateryeyes New Member

    I met him, corresponded with him, went to concerts with him (1 Cohen, and ?? Dylan), and grieved over his dead. Went to Poland twice, to visit his parents and the place where he died (it was an accident, but no car involved) . His parents kept his extensive collection in tact (this was in 2014 or 2015).
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  8. Wateryeyes

    Wateryeyes New Member

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  9. Tribute

    Tribute Forum Resident Thread Starter

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